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 will also invite some of the York startup companies he's been mentoring to come and 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 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:
1. Grant Brigden, Founder, Rover Parking
2. Portl Media
Schulich School of Business
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.
Facilitator: Derrol Salmon
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:
*Please note the new date for this session (previously Nov. 1st)
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.
Revenue Engineering is a set of processes that drive customer traction and revenue for a business. This workshop is designed to help you understand the importance of sales and marketing, and lay a solid foundation for revenue growth.
Facilitators: Jesse Ariss & Elliott Atkins
Jesse Ariss is senior product marketing manager at Vidyard, the world’s leading video platform. He lives in the world between the product and marketing teams, helping guide the company’s strategy and direction. Jesse has spearheaded several Vidyard product launches, including Vidyard for Support, the world’s first video platform designed to supercharge customer success teams. Prior to Vidyard, Jesse was responsible for product marketing at BlackBerry Messenger and before that, he was on stage—he has a degree in drama from the University of Waterloo.
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.
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: Marnie Walker
Serial Entrepreneur, Teacher, Investor
Marnie’s passion is entrepreneurship. A serial entrepreneur she has founded, grown and sold 2 successful companies. The first was Student Express a special needs school bus company that she grew from a start up to a muliti-million-dollar company with a fleet of 250 buses and 300 employees. The most recent venture, 401 Bay Centre which she sold in 2015 was an executive office centre located in the heart of downtown Toronto.
She has received many awards and acknowledgments for her entrepreneurial achievements including Canada’s Women Entrepreneur of the Year, Extraordinary Women of the Year and inclusion in the W100 Top Women Business Leaders in Canada for over 10 years.
She co-founded Maple Leaf Angels, an angel investment group composed of high net worth investors that invest in start-up and early stage high potential companies.
Marnie has taught entrepreneurship at the Schulich School of Business and spoken widely on entrepreneurship. She reviews business plans for funding for Ontario Centres of Excellence and sits on the advisory boards of various high growth companies.
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 class will provide you with the knowledge you need to succeed.
Facilitator: Oleg Amurjuev
Oleg is a program director, business adviser and instructor at the York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) and the founder/owner of a management consulting business – AOCS.
He has a background and wide experience in senior management within the high-tech industry (computer hardware and software), management consulting, teaching and mentoring. His personal mission is to make entrepreneurs and managers of start-up and early-stage companies knowledgeable about the most efficient processes for turning an idea into a successful business; be it development of the commercialization strategy, corporate structure creation, or raising venture capital. He is a part-time instructor and facilitator at the Schulich Executive Education Centre focusing on entrepreneurship, corporate governance, business modelling, financial planning and technology commercialization. Oleg is a welcomed speaker at a number of international forums and conferences, as well as an author or co-author of eight books and more than 100 articles.
Register for this workshop here: