As part of my Master of Management of Innovation program I got the chance to secure an internship at ICUBE UTM. I was very excited to join the team but at the same time was worried about what contributions someone like me with a pharmacy undergrad and a master’s in management could add to such a team.
Being lost and confused I was lucky to have Ignacio Mongrell ICUBE’s Assistant Director as my direct supervisor. Since day one he supported my onboarding by having several meetings and thoroughly explaining what my role is at ICUBE and what the expectations are. In addition, he took my background and my learning expectations from this internship into consideration and tailored assignments accordingly.
Later, I got the chance to meet the whole ICUBE team which interestingly had people from different backgrounds who are really passionate about what they do. Having a team with different educational backgrounds and experiences enriches what ICUBE does and its level of contribution to the start-ups it supports.
Now that my internship has come to an end, I have had the chance to work on several exciting projects and support some amazing start-ups. First, Arbre, a sustainable sun care brand based on diversity and inclusion by providing sun protection products for demographics neglected by conventional brands. For this start-up I had the chance to work on an extensive market research and analysis to determine their market landscape and competitors both in Canada and USA.
Another interesting start-up I had the chance to work with was Inwit, Toronto’s first zero-waste food app. Inwit aims to replace single-use plastic consumption in the takeout industry by providing a reusable sustainable alternative. For this start-up I have supported them through an extensive market research for both potential partners as well as clients within Toronto that would be an excellent fit for Inwit’s revolutionary product.
Not All Heroes Wear Capes
ICUBE is much more than just a start-up incubator. It is the home of social entrepreneurship in Toronto. All start-ups supported by ICUBE aim to change the world and have an impact for the improvement of different societal aspects whether it is health, environment, or even diversity and inclusion.
The work that ICUBE does goes beyond that. It helps and guides young passionate entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. Through funding, mentorship, and different support services young entrepreneurs can transform their vision into a reality and that is something I am very proud to be a part of.
Not only has this internship been a steep learning curve with a hands-on experience it has allowed me to step out of comfort zone and provided me with a great sense of accomplishment. Everyday, I looked forward to this internship knowing that I was a part of a bigger eco-system that is working towards the betterment of society.
It is amazing how the work done by the ICUBE team was above and beyond my expectations for this internship. To me they are real heroes who strive daily not only to prepare the next generation of leaders but also change the world to a better place.