York partnership supports entrepreneurs of Italian descent


YSpace, the innovation hub at York University, and Schulich Startups, led by the Innovation Office at the Schulich School of Business, have partnered with the Canadian Italian Business & Professional Association (CIBPA) to enhance the Italia360 incubator program.

Italia360 is an eight-week, part-time program designed to nurture the entrepreneurial aspirations of first-generation Canadians, individuals with Italian heritage and newcomers to Canada. Now in its second year, this groundbreaking initiative aims to equip aspiring student entrepreneurs with essential tools to develop and market their business ideas.

David Kwok
David Kwok

“We’re excited to join forces with CIBPA and DMZ [the startup incubator at Toronto Metropolitan University] to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs through the Italia360 program,” said David Kwok, director of YSpace. “At YSpace, we’re committed to providing comprehensive support to promising entrepreneurs, and this partnership further strengthens our mission to foster innovation and entrepreneurship within diverse communities.”

Students selected to participate in Italia360 will benefit from a range of resources provided by YSpace, including joint workshops with DMZ, tailored mentorship sessions, access to the YSpace learning community and physical office space at YSpace’s Markham location. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to engage in exclusive networking events hosted by Schulich Startups and YSpace, gaining exposure to industry leaders and potential collaborators.

Giuseppina (Pina) D'Agostino
Giuseppina (Pina) D’Agostino

“As an associate professor at York U and an active member of the CIBPA community, I am so excited to see this partnership between CIBPA and YSpace come to life,” said Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Giuseppina D’Agostino, a CIBPA board member and recent winner of the CIBPA Women of the Year Award. “The Italia360 program is about training up the next generation of Canadian entrepreneurs with Italian heritage and newcomers to Canada, and the new YSpace component will provide even greater support to these participants to bring their ideas to life.”

Building on the success of its inaugural year, the second edition of the Italia360 program will further elevate participants’ entrepreneurial journeys by offering additional opportunities for selected student teams, including fast-tracking to YSpace’s accelerator programs. With a focus on supporting both tech and product-based companies, Italia360 continues to pave the way for aspiring entrepreneurs to thrive in today’s dynamic business landscape.

For more information about Italia360 and to apply for the program, visit the CIBPA website and the DMZ website.