LaunchYU organizes educational workshops, networking events, and hackathons that contribute to enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus.
LaunchYU also provides entrepreneurs with a physical collaboration/ideation space, which can be used during early stages of their ventures.
Upcoming Events and Workshops:
Developing your business model and performing customer validation are essential steps in creating a startup company. This RevUP workshop will give you a better understanding of how to:
- identify your customer’s problems,
- work with your customers to find a solution; and
- achieve product-market fit
Delivered by Chris Carder, Co-Founder for Kinetic Commerce and Schulich Entrepreneur in Residence, Chris will take you through his experience with business models and customer validation in his two companies, Think Data and Kinetic Cafe (now Kinetic Commerce). Chris has also invited 2 of the York startup companies he's been mentoring to speak about their experience.
Facilitator: Chris Carder
Chief Commercialization Officer, Kinetic Commerce
Entrepreneur in Residence, Schulich School of Business
Chris is Co-Founder of Kinetic Commerce, Canada's leading retail innovation lab - working with clients such as Aldo, L'Oreal, Reitmans, Rona, Chapters-Indigo and Ivanhoe Cambridge.
Chris is also an Advisor and Investor with more than 20 Canadian startups and also serves as a mentor for LaunchYU's IgniteUP program and is The Entrepreneur in Residence with York University’s Schulich School of Business - where he coaches the next generation of up-and-coming business innovators.
Prior to Co-Founding Kinetic, Chris also created the largest email services provider in Canada, ThinData Inc. Growing that business from a two-person startup to a 110-person tech powerhouse. ThinData was acquired by Transcontinental Inc. (TSX: TCL.A TCL.B) in 2008.
Special Guest Speakers
Clement Lo, Founder & CEO, Wantboard
Clement is the founder and CEO of Wantboard, a Toronto-based startup that specializes in helping people get items not available in their country. He was previously a senior product manager at Purolator and holds a Bachelor of Computer Engineering from Queen’s University. Clement lives in Mississauga and is most interested in businesses where profit, customer delight and social good are all positively correlated.
Zack Fisch, CEO, Dash MD
Zack Fisch is CEO at Dash MD. Dash MD provides patients with hospital specific and condition specific tools and resources to help patients manage their recovery, find follow-up care in their community, and have patient experiences, and voices, heard by their hospital. Dash’s mobile platform is delivered to patients at the point of care and is downloaded by patients onto their smartphones. As a patient, Zack himself fell through the cracks in the healthcare system. This inspired him and his team to build a solution that not only catches patients that fall through the cracks, but propels them towards recovery.
Zack is currently taking a leave of absence from his full-time JD/MBA studies at Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business to focus on bettering the healthcare system and helping as many patients as possible. To date, Dash MD has helped thousands of Canadians more effectively manage and coordinate their care and has partnerships in place with 30 hospitals across Canada.
Register for the workshop here:
The key questions for entrepreneurs setting out to create a business are "Should this product/service be built?" and "Can we build a sustainable business around this set of products/services?"
Once you have answered these questions, the next question is often "How can this product be built?"
The first step towards implementation is developing a prototype or a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). However, this is often a big challenge for many entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur,
- you need to understand the differences between proof of concept, functional prototype, and MVP.
- you need to know what does a prototype means in the context of your startup.
- you need to know if your team has the comprehensive skill set required to implement the product/service.
- you need to find resources which can help you develop and iterate on your product development/service rollout.
In this workshop, we will help you to better understand the process of implementation of your startup by addressing these issues. We will provide you pointers to resources to help you build your prototype rapidly and be able to fast iterate on them.
Additionally, you need to ensure that your customers have an excelling experience with your product. In today's world, it is imperative that your products (including, but not limited to apps, websites, physical products, etc.) provide an intuitive and a functional user experience. In this workshop, we will understand the basics about User Experience and User Interface design and its importance for entrepreneurs launching new products.
Sam Horodezky has been building robust, user-friendly software for 15+ years. Sam returned this summer to his native town Toronto, after 20 years in the US, to found his own consultancy, Strathearn Design. Previous to this he held senior Product Management positions at Teradata Marketing Applications and Qualcomm Inc. Sam holds an MS in Cognitive Science from UC San Diego, and six patents from the USPTO.
Derrol has spent 20+ years in the technology industry in various roles ranging from electronics engineering, software development, product management and business systems analysis. His current venture is NewMakeIt; a collaborative space in Newmarket that enables members of the local community get a start in innovative, creative and entrepreneurial endeavors. Derrol is an aspiring community builder and speaker and loves to contribute to discussions around entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.
Register for this workshop here:
You have a great product/service backed by a solid business model. The next step in the process of building a startup is to get the product/service out in the market, get people to use it and make money out of it! This is often the hard part and many startups fail to market their product/service and sell it.
This workshop is designed to help you understand the importance of sales and marketing, and lay a solid foundation for revenue growth.
Co-founder, Opilio Labs Inc.
Founder & President, AddMirror Canada Limited
Professor, School of Marketing, Seneca Business
Elliott is Co-founder of Opilio Labs, a new company capitalizing on the growth and excitement around the Internet of Things. His passion for entrepreneurship and education allows him to split his time between helping organizations grow their people and revenue and developing our leaders of the future. Elliott is also a Professor in the School of Marketing at Seneca College focusing on Sales, Marketing and Entrepreneurship. He currently helps young entrepreneurs start and grow their new businesses as a Business Coach and Lead Mentor at HELIX, Seneca’s on campus business accelerator program.
Elliott founded and built a place-based media business, AddMirror, which has grown to include locations in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. He has over 10 years of experience working with Agencies and brands across Canada. Prior to founding AddMirror, Elliott held sales and sales leadership positions at leading technology companies including Microsoft, Dell and Sprint.
Elliott holds an MBA in Marketing from the Schulich School of Business and a BASc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
Co Founder and CEO, Odyssey3D
Jimmy’s vision for Odyssey3D began from a trip to Israel to study technology entrepreneurship. Since graduating from the Schulich School of Business, He was the winner of Schulich’s 2016 Start-Up Day and has since brought his project to the market to launch the award winning real estate start up Odyssey3D.
Founder, Ohh Products
Brittany is the 23 year old founder of Ohh Products, a company that is on a mission to bring inclusive products to the snacking category.
Her quest began, when she noticed that there are a lack of products for individuals with food sensitivities. Being one of those individuals she decided to act on creating inclusive snacks.
Now as an adult, she has channeled her inner entrepreneur and placed her focus on providing healthy products for those with food sensitivities. Charlton’s company, Ohh Products, creates snacks that are allergen free, nutritious and tasty!
Entrepreneurs need to be able to pitch their startups: for face-to-face events, or a sales pitch to a prospective customer or a pitch to investors to access funding. Also, they need to do it effectively and successfully.
In this workshop, you will learn how to pitch your startup communicate its value proposition effectively.
Facilitator: Aiko Thurlow
Founder & CEO, InFounders
Aïko runs InFounders, a social organization that creates masterminds for entrepreneurs. She is also a startup mentor and the founder of Toolmuse, a tech startup. She previously worked as a consultant with Accenture as well as in banking, with a special focus on small businesses. Aïko has been active in the New York and Toronto startup space for the past 5 years. She is closely knit to the local startup community, lecturing at universities, speaking at meetups, and participating in the organization of events such as Propelify (one of the largest NY innovation events), Startup Weekends, and the Women Techmaker Conference.
Register for this workshop here:
A basic challenge startup entrepreneurs often face is that they don’t really know how much to raise and what options to consider, when it comes to financing their startup.
This workshop will be focused on managing the financials for your startup. You will learn the various options for financing your startup and provide you with a practical guide for how to prepare your first (or next) round of financing for your startup.
Whether you’re an entrepreneurial person who someday could be seeking investment capital, or a startup founder or CEO of an early-stage company looking to raise funds, this workshop will provide you with the knowledge you need to succeed.
Chris Cory, Senior Analyst, Venture Lab
Register for this workshop here: