Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is LaunchYU?

LaunchYU is York University’s entrepreneurship program, where entrepreneurs across campus and in the surrounding community can connect, collaborate, learn and succeed:

  • Connect entrepreneurs, innovators, and like-minded individuals at York University
  • Collaborate with various faculties across the university campus and industry partners to organize events building an entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Help new and aspiring entrepreneurs learn about entrepreneurship and related topics through various workshops and learning sessions.
  • Help early-stage startups succeed through an accelerator program that includes workshops, mentorship sessions, and opportunities to present to potential investors.

2. Who can participate in LaunchYU activities and apply to the accelerator program?

LaunchYU is built to support entrepreneurs across the community. Anyone with a desire and motivation to build a venture, either for-profit or not-for-profit, can participate in LaunchYU activities and is eligible to apply for the accelerator program.

3. How do keep myself updated about various LaunchYU activities?

You can subscribe to our mailing lists by entering your email here.
You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

4. I am working on a technical project, but I don’t know how to build a startup to commercialize it. How can LaunchYU help me?

If you are working on an innovative project and want to build a startup around it, there are various ways we can help:

  • LaunchYU organizes cross-campus networking events for students, alumni, faculty, staff and external community members. These networking events can provide good networking opportunities for you to find a business partner.
  • You can learn about various aspects of building a business through our workshops and events
  • You can participate in our accelerator program, which will help you build your venture and scale it

5. I have a business idea, but I need some technical help to execute it. Can the LaunchYU program help me?

If you have a business idea but need technical help to implement and execute the idea, you can partner with some technical students or faculty from York University who can potentially work with you to implement your idea.

LaunchYU organizes cross-campus networking events for students, alumni, faculty, staff and external community members. These networking events can provide opportunities for you to find a technical business partner.

6. I have a business venture, how can the LaunchYU Accelerator program help my business?

The LaunchYU accelerator program provides the following benefits to the participating ventures:

  • Knowledge about various aspects of business through the program conducted by our partners: VentureLab and YEDInstitute
  • Mentorship by leading experts from industry and academia
  • Access to early-stage investors
  • Introductions to strategic relationships (customers, partners, recruits, investors)
  • Opportunity to participate in the final pitch competition and win cash prizes up to $30,000

7. I have a social enterprise, how can the LaunchYU Accelerator program help me?

We believe social enterprises serve a greater good and building them can be quite challenging. Our program is designed to help social enterprises grow and achieve sustainability.

The LaunchYU accelerator program accepts social enterprises and both not for profit and for-profit ventures; we also provide the following benefits to all cohort members:

  • Knowledge about various aspects of business through the program conducted by our partners: VentureLab and YEDInstitute
  • Mentorship by leading experts from industry and academia
  • Access to early-stage investors
  • Introductions to strategic relationships (customers, partners, recruits, investors)
  • Opportunity to participate in the final pitch competition and win cash prizes up to $30,000

8. How much does the LaunchYU Accelerator program cost?

The LaunchYU program is absolutely free, and there is no cost for the ventures admitted.

9. Do I have to share equity with LaunchYU or York University?

No, LaunchYU or York University will not claim any equity share for the ventures participating in the LaunchYU program. If the program helps a venture get funded, the equity will be shared between the investor and the founders only.

10. How can I apply to the LaunchYU accelerator program?

Applications for the 2017 cohort will open in early March. Please check back then

11. What shall be my team size for applying to the LaunchYU Accelerator program?

We expect the team to have between 1 to 5 co-founders. However, your venture can have more employees, advisors and contractors.

12. What is the deadline to apply for the LaunchYU accelerator program?

The applications for the LaunchYU Accelerator program 2017 cohort close on mid-April 2017 (final date TBC)

13. When does the LaunchYU accelerator program start and finish?

The LaunchYU Accelerator program begins in May and runs until mid-July.

14. If I am selected for the LaunchYU Accelerator program, what are the time commitments?

We estimate the time commitment from the ventures for the LaunchYU programming activities over the course of the Accelerator program (10-weeks) will be approximately 50 hours. You are expected to spend much more time building your venture.

All the co-founders of the selected ventures must be present for the accelerator workshops. The approximate time commitment for these workshops and session will be approximately 25 hours spread over 10-weeks. Apart from these workshops, you will have mentor sessions of approximately 10 hours over the course of 10-weeks. You will have regular status reporting to LaunchYU. You are also expected to attend networking events and the final pitch competition.

Apart from this, the ventures are expected to meet the milestones set for each venture in the allotted timeframe.