Anucha family creates new award to support Black entrepreneurs

Young Black man working at a desk

A new award created and funded by the Anucha family is the first of its kind to support Black entrepreneurs at YSpace, York University’s entrepreneurship and innovation hub.

The award commemorates the family’s son and brother Alfred Anucha, a visionary, young entrepreneur who passed away at the age of 26. A former York student, Alfred was also the founder of Stay Ulo, a network of properties that offers flexible apartment rentals with a hotel experience.


Alfred’s passion for entrepreneurship and his unwavering belief in the potential of young people to create were the cornerstones of his life, shared family members at a recent event to announce the award. “ ’Bet on yourself. Bet on the future.’ This was Alfred’s mantra and encapsulates the vision of the Alfred Anucha Award,” said Adanna Anucha, Alfred’s sister. “Our family is excited to support young, Black entrepreneurs to ‘bet on yourself’ just as Alfred did. We hope this award will serve as a living tribute and memorial to honour Alfred’s legacy as a true innovator and dreamer.”

The award will support aspiring Black entrepreneurs in partnership with YSpace and the Black Entrepreneurship Alliance. Self-identifying Black individuals (Canadian citizens, permanent residents and protected refugees) are eligible for this award, with a preference given to Black male entrepreneurs under the age of 30, in recognition of the historical underrepresentation by Black male entrepreneurs in this space.

Each year, a maximum of four entrepreneurs will receive $2,500 each in recognition of their commitment to their craft. Additionally, recipients can take advantage of YSpace’s specialized programming free of charge to nurture their ventures. Current and past program participants are eligible and encouraged to apply for this award, which will be available annually for the next five years.

The award is also a testament to the deep connection the Anucha family shares with York University. Alfred’s mother, Uzo Anucha, is an associate professor at the School of Social Work in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. She is also the York Research Chair in Youth and Contexts of Inequity. Alfred’s four siblings have also attended York University.

David Kwok, director of entrepreneurship and innovation at YSpace, said, “YSpace is honoured to have this partnership and support of the Anucha family. This award will be a catalyst for many young, Black entrepreneurs to receive the funding and support necessary to continue their impactful work in the community. Our collaborative efforts will create greater access and growth for these Black-led businesses.”

Applications for the first round of awards are open from Nov. 20 to Dec. 15. More information about the application processes will be available on the YSpace website.

Schulich triumphs in fall case competitions

Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building

This semester, the Schulich School of Business sent several case competition teams to universities across North America – to much success. Each student team received coaching from alumni and faculty as part of Schulich’s highly regarded Case Competition Program, which serves as a platform to develop essential skills in strategic thinking and presentation.

Schulich School of Business Fall 2023 case competition teams. Left photo, from left to right: Ian Chang, Disha Mittal and Abilash Sathyakumar. Right photo, top row: Siddharth Dave, Jack Goodwin and Omer Rahim; middle row: Kian Rastegar and Sophia Katzell; bottom row: Sophie MacLellan, Joanne Estephan, Joe Fayt and Mikayla Wronko.

Team Schulich clinched the $10,000 top prize at Duke University’s 2023 Energy in Emerging Markets Case Competition. Ian Chang (JD/MBA ’24), Disha Mittal (JD/MBA ’24) and Abilash Sathyakumar (JD/MBA ’25) competed against 60 teams from over seven countries, including finalists from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and Judget Business School at the University of Cambridge. Their winning proposal offered a practical business model addressing the electrification challenges in Nigeria’s rural areas. The team’s achievement, with support from alumna Neda Riazi (BBA ’14), reflects Schulich’s commitment to developing solutions with positive social and environmental impact.

The DeGroote Innovative Solutions Competition (DISC), which took place virtually earlier this month, saw two new Schulich case teams secure second and third place. Students Mikayla Wronko, Sophie MacLellan, Sophia Katzell, Joanne Estephan, Jack Goodwin, Omer Rahim, Kian Rastegar and Siddharth Dave tackled two real-life business cases sponsored by industry leaders. The competition tested their ability to quickly devise business strategies, with one week of preparation for the first case and a three-hour timeframe for the second. The DISC teams received guidance from alumni coaches Michael Chan (MBA ’19), Santoshi Tadanki (MMAI ’23), Kristen Ferkranus (MBA ’20), Adam Wexler (MBA ’11) and Ollie Adegbulu (MF ’23).

All student teams were coached by Professor Joe Fayt, who teaches several marketing courses at Schulich and is responsible for training the graduate-level case teams. Fayt brings over a decade of experience to the Case Competition Program and has earned over 60 international competition victories through his coaching of Schulich teams.

“Congratulations to the Schulich teams on their top-tier placements at recent national and international case competitions,” said Schulich Dean Detlev Zwick. “Kudos as well to the case competition coaches, alumni advisors and supporting faculty who did an outstanding job preparing our students to compete at the very highest levels.”

York alum earns Governor General’s Literary Award

3d golden star golden with lighting effect on black background. Template luxury premium award design. Vector illustration

Award-winning author and York alum Kyo Maclear is the 2023 recipient of the Governor General’s Literary Award for non-fiction for her memoir Unearthing: A Story of Tangled Love and Family Secrets.

Kyo Maclear (image by David Wall)
Kyo Maclear (image by David Wall)

The book recounts the story of a family secret revealed by a DNA test, the lessons learned in its aftermath, and the indelible power of love, according to publisher Penguin Random House Canada.

Maclear is a scholar, essayist, novelist and children’s author. A few of her well-known and well-loved books are Bloom (2018), Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation (2017), The Liszts (2016), The Wish Tree (2016), Virginia Wolf (2012) and Spork (2010).

Maclear’s works boast a global reach, with translations in 18 languages and availability in over 25 countries, often accompanied by illustrations from notable artists like Isabelle Arsenault. These literary creations have garnered nominations across a spectrum of esteemed awards, including the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction and the Trillium Book Award, among others, showcasing her work’s diverse appeal and recognition.

The peer assessment committee of the Governor General’s Literary Awards commended Unearthing for its “recursive, often incantatory prose,” highlighting how it blurs the distinction between memoir and philosophy. It acknowledged Maclear’s use of this distinct prose to delve into the “porous grounds of self, culture and belonging.”

Established in 1936, the Governor General’s Literary Awards aim to honour Canada’s finest literary works, acknowledging outstanding contributions in seven categories across both official languages. These prestigious awards are overseen by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Maclear holds a doctorate in education (language, culture and teaching) from York University. An editor-at-large with Tundra Books/Penguin Random House Canada, she has taught creative writing with the Humber School for Writers and the Banff Centre for the Arts, and is currently an instructor with the University of Guelph’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.

In 2018, she won the prestigious Trillium Book Award in the English-language prose category for her non-fiction memoir Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation.

Winners of the Governor General’s Literary Award receive $25,000 each, as well as a $3,000 grant to their publisher to help promote the book. Recipients from 2020 to 2023 will be honoured at a gathering in Ottawa next spring.

York U Motion Media Studio a hub for future creative talent

YUMMS green screen studio

By Alexander Huls, deputy editor, YFile

The York U Motion Media Studio (YUMMS), supported by Cinespace Studios, continues to see growth as it offers courses, workshops, talks and critical hands-on experiential education for those in the York University community looking to become the next generation of content creators across creative industries.

Originally gifted to York’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) and York University in 2016 by the Mirkopoulos Family, the York U Motion Media Studio was branded and relaunched in its current iteration post-pandemic in February 2021. Located within Cinespace’s expansive content production complex in Toronto, YUMMS’ interdisciplinary studio space features a student lounge, two studios, a standing set, a green screen stage and state-of-the-art equipment provided by MBS Equipment Co. Its offerings are geared towards providing opportunities to receive hands-on experience with industry tools.

Students enrolled in AMPD courses have access to the space, and various courses – including production design, cinematography, virtual production, motion capture, creative producing and film production – integrate the space into the curriculum.

Ingrid Veninger
Ingrid Veninger

“We’re really on the ground with experiential education,” says Ingrid Veninger, director of YUMMS and associate professor in the Department of Cinema & Media Arts.

Beyond developing hands-on familiarity and mastering of filmmaking equipment, YUMMS intends to help students build up a resume of experiential accomplishments that will assist them with their future content creation careers. “The first thing they’re going to be asking you when you sit across an interview table will be, ‘What is your experience? What have you done? What sets have you worked on?’ ” says Veninger.

YUMMS empowers them with answers. It also aims to assist students navigating the industry by connecting them with creative professionals through the facility.

One way is through being located within the Cinespace complex – a hub of international filmmaking activity. “Our students and folks in the greater York U community can just open the door and look down the hall and see the world of productions swirling,” says Veninger. “They’re just one step away from the creative industries they want to be a part of.”

Another way is through workshops, masterclasses and programming like the YUMMS Industry Talks Series, a monthly career development and networking event, hosted in partnership with Cinespace’s CineCares program and OYA Black Arts Coalition, creating further opportunities to learn and form industry relationships. “We’re trying to help facilitate that extra step to foster meaningful connections, so that AMPD students can gain greater access, insight and opportunity to engage with our ever-growing on-screen industries.”

York U Motion Media Studio Industry Talk event
Ingrid Veninger moderating a session of the YUMMS Industry Talks series.

Veninger stresses that YUMMS isn’t solely meant for undergraduate students, however. “It’s a teaching, learning and research space for undergrad and graduate students, alumni and faculty researchers to utilize this invaluable resource for courses, labs, workshops, master classes and production,” she says. “The space is multifaceted. Media arts research faculty are building a three-panel installation on-site, graduate students are shooting thesis projects, AMPD alumni are returning to workshop feature film screenplays with actors, award-winning cinema and media arts instructors are launching new interdisciplinary courses like Shooting the Set, and more. We are continually receptive to new initiatives, which help us maximize the opportunity of this gift, originally from the Mirkopoulos family and now with TPG Real Estate Partners.”

Still relatively new, the use and awareness of the studio’s multiple offerings requires outreach through a variety of channels. In addition to social media, building excitement happens with students. “I’m sometimes surprised when I go into first- and second-year classes. And I’ll ask if they know about the Motion Media Studio and there will be crickets,” she says. “But as soon as I mention we are located at Cinespace, where award-winning features and shows have been produced – like ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘The Umbrella Academy,’ Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water ­– their eyes light up.”

Awareness of YUMMS is changing quickly. As the University heads into the winter term, YUMMS currently has 13 student film productions booked back-to-back. “The space has never been more active. Our calendar is packed, which is a great problem to have,” says Veninger.

An ongoing $3.12-million investment of support, from 2022 by the Cinespace Film Studios, will continue to allow YUMMS to pursue its goals and build up momentum, not just to benefit those who use the studio but the industry as well.

“Our students are the next generation of original content creators. They’re the forward-thinking innovators,” says Veninger. “The industry wants to discover new talent? Well, here you go. Let us introduce you to the next wave of bold, new, fresh, original visionaries ready to ignite our creative industries across Canada and around the world.”

For more information about the York University Motion Media Studio, visit

York Circle Lecture Series presents experts on topical subjects

York Circle Lecture series

In collaboration with Jennifer Steeves, the York Circle Chair and associate vice-president research, the Office of Alumni Engagement invites the community to York University’s Keele campus for a new instalment of the York Circle Lecture series.

Beginning Nov. 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Life Sciences Building, prominent faculty members will delve into a diverse array of compelling subjects, reflecting the defining themes of York University.

The York Circle Lecture Series is held four times a year and is open to York’s community, including alumni and friends. Tickets are $5 and include coffee, light snacks and lunch.

Sessions will feature the guest speakers, and attendees will be asked to select one lecture from each session during registration.

10 a.m. sessions

Maxim Voronov
Maxim Voronov

Maxim Voronov, professor, organizational behaviour and industrial relations, Schulich School of Business, presenting “The good, the bad, and the ugly of authenticity.”

Authenticity seems ever-present in today’s society, and it has become an important research topic among organizational scholars. Much of the time, both scholars and practitioners see authenticity as unambiguously good. But we need to acknowledge the darker side of authenticity and explore its implications. The purpose of this talk is to explore “the good, the bad and the ugly” of authenticity, shifting the focus away from authenticity as an attribute of people and things and toward unpacking the process by which people and things are cast as authentic. A particular focus will be on unpacking the contribution of authenticity to both social good and social harm.

Emilie Roudier
Emilie Roudier

Emilie Roudier, assistant professor, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health, presenting “Wildland fires: studying our blood vessels to better understand the impact on health.”

Over the past decade, the intensity and size of wildland fires have increased. Wildland fire seasons have lengthened, and these fires contribute to global air pollution. This presentation will highlight how wildland fire-related air pollution can impact our heart and blood vessels.

11:20 a.m. sessions

Usman Khan
Usman Khan

Usman Khan, associate professor and department Chair, Department of Civil Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering, presenting “Harnessing the power of AI for flood forecasting.”

Floods are the most frequent weather-related natural disasters, affecting the largest number of people globally, with economic damages in excess of $900 billion (between 1994 and 2013). Globally, climate change and urbanization have led to an increase in floods in recent decades and this trend is projected to continue in the coming years, including in Canada. Despite this, Canada is the only G7 country without nationwide flood forecasting systems, which are key to saving lives and reducing the damages associated with floods. Hydroinformatics, the study of complex hydrological systems by combining water science, data science and computer science, attempts to improve traditional flood forecasting through the use of advanced techniques such as artificial intelligence (AI). This talk will outline recent research in this area and plans to build a Canada-wide, open-source, real-time, operational flood forecasting system that harnesses the power of AI to improves our ability to predict and prepare for floods.

Antony Chum
Antony Chum

Antony Chum, assistant professor, Canada Research Chair, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health, presenting “The impact of recreational cannabis legalization on cannabis-related acute care in Ontario.”

This presentation will discuss the effects of cannabis legalization on cannabis-related acute care (emergency department visits and hospitalizations). The research conducted discovered specific impact patterns among different demographic groups. Additionally, the talk will delve into regional disparities and analyze the policy implications arising from the legalization process.

Since 2009, York Circle has showcased the ideas and research being generated by York University’s community. Topics come from every Faculty and have included discussions around gender issues, brain function, mental health, international aid, sports injuries, financial policy and many more evolving subjects.

Order of Ontario appoints York-affiliated changemakers

Order of Ontario medal (source: Wikimedia Commons)

A total of four individuals with affiliations to York University are among those invested this year with the province’s highest honour, the Order of Ontario.

Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor The Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell
Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor The Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell

The four were among 26 new appointments announced by Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and Chancellor of the Order of Ontario Elizabeth Dowdeswell.

The Order of Ontario recognizes exceptional leaders from all walks of life and diverse fields of endeavour whose impact and lasting legacy have played an important role in building a stronger province, country and world.

“As Chancellor of the Order of Ontario, I am proud to recognize the Order’s 2022 appointees. These remarkable Ontarians demonstrate outstanding merit and excellence in many diverse disciplines, including the arts, science, education, sports and human rights,” said Dowdeswell. “In reflecting the best of Ontario, they inspire the best in ourselves. On behalf of a grateful province, I offer my warmest congratulations.”

The incoming Lieutenant Governor, Edith Dumont, will bestow the province’s highest honour to the new appointees in a ceremony taking place on Nov. 27.

The 2023 appointees with York affiliations are:

Dyane Adam, donor and former faculty

A former principal of York University’s Glendon College, Dyane Adam became the first woman and Franco Ontarian to serve as Canadian commissioner of official languages. She did so from 1999 to 2006, protecting and promoting linguistic duality across Canada. Her bold leadership and determination helped her overcome extraordinary challenges to succeed in writing a report, during her tenure as Chair of the French Language University Planning Board, that would serve as the government’s basis for legislating the creation of the Université de l’Ontario Français in 2018. She has also received numerous awards, including being made Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes académiques de la France, Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Pléiade de l’Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, and received the Golden Jubilee Medal of the Order of Canada in 2013.

Christine Jennings, alum

Christina Jennings is the founder, Chair and president of Shaftesbury, one of Canada’s largest production companies, and the nation’s only women-led entertainment company. She has helped the province become an important creative hub for original Canadian content, including the widely popular Murdoch Mysteries, which she executive produces. A recognized global leader, Jennings was named Playback Magazine’s Producer of the Decade and one of the 20 Most Powerful Women in Global Entertainment by The Hollywood Reporter. She currently serves as the Chair of the Canadian Film Centre Board of Directors, and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2019.

Arthur Lockhart, alum

As a filmmaker, author, teacher and advocate, Arthur Lockhart has transformed the narrative around childhood sexual abuse for tens of thousands of people, turning trauma into triumph. As a professor in the Faculty of Social and Community Services at Humber College, he saw the need for a facility where victims could share their stories in a space of safety and compassion, which led to the creation of The Gatehouse, an organization that provides a safe environment for those impacted by childhood abuse. The Gatehouse opened its doors in 1998, bringing Lockhart’s vision and action, “hear the child, heal the world” to life. For his work providing training and organizational transformation consultation on the local, national and international levels, he has received numerous awards, including the City of Toronto Mayor’s Community Safety Award.

Ajay Virmani, government body member and donor

Ajay Virmani is president and CEO of Cargojet, Canada’s largest cargo airline, which he formed in 2002. Starting out as as window washer, he rose to be recognized as a Globe and Mail Report on Business’s Top “CEO and 2020 Strategist of the Year,” an Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young and honoured with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. In less than 20 years, he has overseen the growth of Cargojet making it the largest overnight air cargo airline servicing both domestic and international markets. Furthermore, he founded The Virmani Family Foundation, which has become one of the most significant charitable organizations in Ontario – a benefactor to multiple women’s shelters, hospitals and health care initiatives. He has also served on York University’s Board of Governors.

York alum, faculty among Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100

Group of diverse women entrepreneurs

Seven York University alum and one faculty member have been recognized as female leaders in Canada who work to build positive change and empower others. The women are recipients of the WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards for 2023.

WXN is a Canadian national organization that celebrates the advancement of women. Launched in 2003, the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards celebrate the incredible accomplishments of Canada’s top female executive talent as well as their organizations and networks.

The 2023 winners will be celebrated in person at the 21st annual Top 100 Awards Gala, hosted at the Fairmont Royal York Toronto on Nov. 30.

The Top 100 Awards span the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, with the winners selected by WXN’s Diversity Council of Canada. The awards are presented to remarkable women in 12 categories. York recipients earned awards in five of those categories.

Below are this year’s winners and the categories for which they were recognized.

Amex Emerging Leaders

This award recognizes women between the ages of 30 to 40 years, who have been targeted for successive leadership positions within their organizations and have a proven passion for learning and innovation.

Rochelle Atizado
Rochelle Atizado

A master connector, Rochelle Atizado is senior advisor, partnerships and special initiatives at the United Nations Foundation and leads social impact partnerships with purpose-driven companies, creative community, civil society, young people and the UN to propel the sustainable development goals forward. Atizado is also a UN published writer. A Filipino Canadian hailing from Toronto, Atizado holds a bilingual masters of public and international affairs from Glendon College, York University. Having worked in Canada, Switzerland and the U.S., Atizado is now based in New York City.

Brittany Straitton
Brittany Straitton

Brittany Straitton is a dynamic leader with retail experience that spans merchandising, marketing, financial planning and replenishment. As vice-president of forecasting, replenishment and planning at the Canadian Tire Corporation, Ltd., Straitton is responsible for the correct timing of the $11-billion flow of goods from vendors to Canadian Tire stores at the right quantities. Passionate for promoting diversity and inclusion, she was one of the founders of CTC’s Families Employee Resource Group. Straitton holds an honours BBA from Brock University and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Compass Rose Entrepreneurs

This award recognizes women who own and operate thriving businesses.

Lisa Melchior
Lisa Melchior

Lisa Melchior, a Schulich School of Business alumna, has been a successful private equity investor for more than 25 years and has global investing expertise in enterprise software. Melchior is a thought leader in her sector and has sat on numerous public and private boards across North America and Europe. She is the first woman in Canada to launch a private equity fund, as she is the founder and manager partner of Vertu Capital, a technology private equity fund supporting the growth of the Canadian tech ecosystem.


This award recognizes women who are professionals in practice and play a leadership role within their organizations.

Poonam Puri
Poonam Puri

A full professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School, Poonam Puri is an internationally recognized scholar of corporate law, corporate governance and capital markets regulation. She is the York Research Chair in corporate governance, investor protection and financial markets. Co-founder and director of the Osgoode Investor Protection Clinic, she chairs the board of directors of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto and serves on the board of the Canada Infrastructure Bank and Colliers.


This award recognizes women in STEM roles who are challenging the status quo for knowledge and female empowerment.

Victoria Granova
Victoria Granova

An alumna of the Schulich School of Business, Victoria Granova is an industry leader, educator and passionate advocate for diversity and gender inclusion in the cybersecurity industry. Granova is a PhD student researching human-centric cybersecurity at Toronto Metropolitan University’s Cybersecurity Research Lab. She is also an instructor at Queen’s University, Toronto Metropolitan University and York University teaching enterprise cybersecurity and financial data privacy. Outside of teaching, Granova is a security technical program manager at Amazon Web Services (AWS), managing global vendor security, as well as the founder of CyberToronto, an edtech startup.

Women of Courage, presented by Richardson Wealth

This award recognizes women who champion Canada and its values across a diverse range of causes, with courage and compassion, even as it means risking their careers, reputations and, sometimes, their lives.

Domanique Grant
Domanique Grant

Domanique Grant, an alumna of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, leads Grant Creativity Inc., a BIPOC-owned, female-led Canadian social enterprise dedicated to increasing access and development for equity-seeking groups through wellness and entertainment-based programming. Her music has been at the forefront of some of the largest global movements of our time. Through Grant Creativity Inc., her work as a social entrepreneur includes founding The Imagine Summit, Canada’s first visualization, mental wellness and professional development summit. The Imagine Summit supports youth and entrepreneurs from underserved communities.

Lily Pourzand
Lily Pourzand

Lily Pourzand came to Canada as an asylum seeker from Iran at age 24 after graduating from law school. She continued her education in women’s studies and graduated with an LLM in feminism and law from Osgoode Hall Law School. Through her work as a director of programs for violence against women shelters, she provides services to women, children, immigrants and has become a leader in Social Services in York Region. Since 2021, Pourzand began to share her life experience in the media to shed light on women’s challenges and braveries.

Lisa Raitt
Lisa Raitt

An alumna of Osgoode Hall Law School, Lisa Raitt joined CIBC Capital Markets in January 2020, after careers in the public and private sectors. Her focus is on senior client coverage and business development with clients in the energy, infrastructure and industrial sectors. Previously, Raitt was the president and CEO of the Toronto Port Authority. She was elected into the House of Commons in 2008, and held three senior portfolios. Raitt was the deputy leader of the Official Opposition and the Conservative Party of Canada. She is currently the vice-chair and managing director, global investment banking at CIBC Capital Markets, as well as the co-chair of a Coalition for a Better Future.

About the Women’s Executive Network (WXN)

WXN (Women’s Executive Network), a member-based organization, is North America’s No. 1 and only organization that meaningfully propels and celebrates the advancement of professional women at all levels, in all sectors, and of all ages. WXN delivers this advancement through training, events, mentoring, networking and award and recognition programs for members and partners. WXN operates in Canada and the U.S.

Schulich partnership helps propel student startups in India

Businessman with white rocket launching from his hand to sky

The Schulich School of Business recently concluded its Together Mission 4.0, the fourth edition of its annual entrepreneurship bootcamp and venture competition supported by an ongoing partnership with the Government of India’s Startup India initiative.

The global online event, which bridges the innovation ecosystems of Canada and India, pairs Schulich master of business administration (MBA) students and alumni with inspired teams of student entrepreneurs hand-picked by Startup India from over 17,000 Indian colleges and 700 Indian universities. The Schulich mentors assist with pitch design, business planning and competitive analysis throughout the course of a three-week intensive mentorship program, and then each team presents their idea. After the top six teams are determined, they are invited to take part in a grand finale event, with live pitches streamed to an estimated audience of 10,000.

“The Together Mission is an incredible opportunity for our students to reach out across the globe and leverage their entrepreneurial training and mindset as a force for good and friendship,” said Chris Carder, executive director of Schulich’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, who created the program. “We love seeing these companies grow and thrive in India, thanks to our many students and alumni mentors, and we’re already excited for next year.”

This year’s winning team, Climec Labs, led by Indian student entrepreneurs Inderan Kannan and Atul John, received a $10,000 cash prize for their innovative idea to use microalgae to improve indoor air quality. Supporting the project were Schulich MBA students Aditya Singh, Aditya Chandel and Adhiraj Singh.

“We are deeply grateful for Schulich and York University in helping us achieve the impactful goals we set forth in our pitch,” said Kannan. “We never imagined the incredible impact these Canadian students made on our startup in only one week.”

Receiving a $5,000 cash prize as the runner-up was team InnrGize, led by Shalmali Kanu and Siddharth Warrier, with a device that uses neurostimulation to reduce stress and improve sleep.

In addition to the cash prizes, winners of the competition are rewarded with access to powerful startup tools and global networks to help them realize their dream.

Startup India is a flagship initiative of the Government of India, intended to empower startups to grow through innovation and design.

For more information about the Together Mission, visit 

A full video of the event is available to watch on LinkedIn.

Talk explores impact of Canada’s social inclusion strategy on Greece

Notes lecture workshop meeting

York University’s Department of Sociology will host a discussion on Nov. 16 that delves into Canada’s strategy for promoting social inclusion among Indigenous and vulnerable communities, and how it could inform Greek policymakers.

The talk, titled “Social Exclusion of Roma, Indigenous People and Irregular Migrants,” aims to offer valuable insights for Greek policymakers seeking to tackle the issues confronting marginalized groups, including the Roma community, migrants and undocumented individuals.

The talk emphasizes the crucial endeavour of aligning equitable ideals with the current social landscape.

Gemechu Abeshu
Gemechu Abeshu
Andriani Papdopoulou
Andriani Papdopoulou

Participants will learn from guest speaker Andriani Papadopoulou, a senior investigator in the human rights and equal treatment departments of the Greek Ombudsman. Papadopoulou earned her PhD in sociology from York University in 1994, and her work revolves
around combatting discrimination and examining the ways though which socially vulnerable groups sustain and reinvent their heritage in their new-found societies.

The event’s discussant, Gemechu Abeshu, is a postdoctoral Fellow in York’s Department of Sociology and his research interests include forced displacements, racialized refugee integration and non-state political power forms. Abeshu has a PhD in social anthropology from Bayreuth University, Germany.

The event is co-sponsored by York’s Department of Sociology (Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies), the Department of Sociology Maurice Manel Colloquium Fund, York’s Resource Centre for Public Sociology, York’s Centre for Refugee Studies and the York Research Chair in Political Sociology of Health (Cary Wu).

It takes place in S802 Ross Building on the Keele Campus from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and is a hybrid event. RSPV by Nov. 9 using this form.

To attend virtually over Zoom, use this link and enter meeting ID: 972 3631 5327 and passcode: 020005.

Schulich’s Master of Marketing program earns top spot in Canada

Seymour Schulich Building

The QS World University Rankings has ranked the Master of Marketing program at York University’s Schulich School of Business No. 1 in Canada and 10th overall in North America.        

To compile its 2024 ranking, QS surveyed 131 master of marketing programs in 26 countries around the world using a number of criteria, including employability, thought leadership, class and faculty diversity, value for money and alumni outcomes.

Schulich’s Master of Marketing program ranked 10th in the world in the category of Alumni Outcomes – the extent to which the school’s graduates have gone on to pursue highly successful careers.

“We’re very pleased to have been ranked the No. 1 master of marketing program in Canada and one of the top programs in North America,” said Schulich Dean Detlev Zwick. “Today’s ranking results are a reflection of our world-class faculty, the high quality of our students and program, and the success of our graduates.”  

For more information about the 2024 QS master of marketing ranking, visit QS World University Rankings: Business Master’s 2024 – QS.