Bring your idea to life!

We work with change-makers from all backgrounds and industries to help turn your big ideas into reality. We offer the resources and teach the skills you need in order to map out a sustainable business or organization. Whether you have been building an invention, dreaming of starting a non-profit, or see a nagging problem that you know you could fix – this program will help you make it happen.

“The program helped me clarify every aspect of my business: marketing, messaging, business model, the benefits and methods of customer interviews, funding, etc. All of it was incredibly valuable. My original goal was to have confidence in what to do next (and not do) and this program helped me with that and more.” -Ideation Lab Graduate

Applications will open in few months for summer term.

Experiential learning

The structured, hands-on learning opportunity that will empower you to bring your venture to life!

Innovation tools

Utilize innovation tools and approaches like the business model canvas and design thinking

Small class sizes

Small cohorts of dedicated teams maximize opportunity for one-on-one support and collaboration

Community

Build a network of entrepreneurs, experts and advisors to work with you beyond the Ideation Lab program

Successful applicants attend:

  • Boot camp intensive – a transformative multi-day deep dive. Work with expert facilitators and industry leaders to delve into the problem you want to solve, determine the viability of your idea, and develop a model to support your vision.
  • Ongoing workshops – build and practice the skills needed to move from planning to implementation. Topics include sales, marketing, and more.
  • Ongoing advising and mentorship

All Start Up teams receive:

  • Online learning modules that support in-class live training sessions
  • Access to the ICUBE, and OnRamp facilities, and member perks
  • Networking opportunities at UTM and the wider community
  • Advisors/mentors from ICUBE
  • The opportunity to pitch for cash and prizes
  • One year membership to ICUBE’s resources and programs.

“It’s clear that the tools I’ve learned about will help me as my business model continues to evolve. I am eternally grateful for the program and everyone in it.” – Ideation Lab Graduate

Who Should Apply?
You are a strong fit for this program if:

  • You have identified a business idea and are in the ideation or early startup phase
  • You are open to exploring and changing as you work through the program
  • You are ready to commit at least 5 hours a week on your venture
  • You are looking for collaborators and advisors
  • You are serious about pursuing this idea, or an entrepreneurial idea in the future, and are committed to completing the program
  • You are a U of T student, recent alumni, or resident of the Peel region

Equity and Diversity Statement

Ideation Lab’s dedication to promoting diversity in our teams includes a commitment to ensuring every cohort accurately reflects our community, welcoming folks of all gender identities, sexual orientations, races and ages, and actively creating space for marginalized change-makers and under-represented disciplines.

All creators, entrepreneurial thinkers, and leaders are encouraged to apply.

Eligibility requirements

The following qualifications must be met for applicants to be considered for entry:
  • Must be one of the following:
    • Current University of Toronto student
    • Recent alumni (within ~5 years)
    • Resident of the Peel region
  • Have identified a business idea or problem to solve, and are in the ideation or early start up phase
  • Be available for all sessions, and be committed to working on your venture for at least 5 hours weekly
  • The business idea must be in alignment with  applicable policies and legislation and Ideation Lab’s values

Testimonial

Selection process

Application Screening Process

All applications will be evaluated against program criteria in the following steps:

  • Initial screening by program staff to ensure basic eligibility
  • Eligible applications will be reviewed by a panel of internal and external industry experts, and assigned numerical grades
  • Grading will be averaged across the judging panel, and the top teams will be offered a place in the program

Judging Criteria

The panel of reviewers will be provided a rubric to score applications against the following criteria.

  • Completion
    • Is the application complete?
    • Are all questions answered in detail?
  • Novelty and Compelling Nature of the Idea
    • Is this an industry that is already well represented in ICUBE?
    • Is the idea unique, interesting, and demonstrates potential?
  • Impact
    • Will this solution impact lives in a meaningful way?
    • Is there a large market for this idea?
    • Does the solution address a widespread problem?
  • Alignment with Programming
    • Is the Ideation Lab program will positioned to address the challenges faced by the entrepreneur?
    • Can the Ideation Lab program address the main priorities of the entrepreneur?
    • Is the venture at the right stage for this program?
  • Attention to accessibility/inclusiveness
    • Ideation Lab provides value-based entrepreneurship education. Is this business idea and the founding team attentive accessibility, inclusiveness, and social issues?
  • The Entrepreneur
    • Does the founding team have the right skills to pursue entrepreneurship at this time?
    • Is the founder committed to this program and furthering this idea?
    • Does the applicant demonstrate professionalism?

Ideation Lab’s dedication to promoting diversity in our teams includes a commitment to ensuring every cohort accurately reflects our community, welcoming folks of all gender identities, sexual originations, races and ages, and actively creating space for marginalized change-makers and under-represented disciplines.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the commonly asked questions from ICUBE’s staff

A business incubator is a program that gives very early-stage companies access to mentorship, investors and other support to help them get established. Business incubators work with early-stage companies to get them to move beyond their embryonic phase.

A business accelerator is a program that gives developing companies access to mentorship, investors and other support that help them become stable, self-sufficient businesses. Companies that use business accelerators are typically start-ups that have moved beyond the earliest stages of getting established. They have basically entered their “adolescence,” meaning they can stand on their own two feet but need guidance and peer support to gain strength. Less developed companies not ready for an accelerator would instead use a business incubator for support.

No! All of ICUBE’s programs are free. We are fully funded by grants and the University of Toronto.

No! ICUBE does not take any equity or ownership interest, including but not limited to shares, stocks, membership units, or any other equivalent form of ownership in our ventures business in exchange for providing programming or services. However, please note that when being connected to investors, or when using particular UofT resources (i.e. research facilities), founders are responsible to review those terms separately, as we cannot guarantee what parties external to ICUBEUTM require.

All of ICUBEUTM’s programs are open to students, staff, or alumni of any of the UofT three campuses. Additionally, our programs are open to members of the Peel region. ICUBE Studio’s paid services are open to any business in Canada.

No, ICUBEUTM is not a student club, we are a university student life unit under the Institution of Management & Innovation at University of Toronto Mississauga.

ICUBE is simply i3 which stands for: Inspiration, Ideation and Innovation. Finally, UTM is the University of Toronto Mississauga campus.

ICUBE hires work study students every term! Keep an eye out for our job postings on CLNx at clnx.utoronto.ca.

Venture Forward is a one-year program designed to accelerate your business growth in a sustainable way. This is ideal for businesses who are already set, have a product, or are currently selling products/services and need an extra push to grow and scale their business.

Ideation Lab is a one year program that is ideal for teams who have identified a business idea and are in the ideation or early startup phase.

This program is open to self-identifying Indigenous people across the GTA, with preference given to U of T students, staff, and faculty which focuses on bringing an Indigenous and non-Indigenous lens to entrepreneurship.

Yes absolutely! In fact it’s encouraged to do so. It is very common for ventures to be part of multiple different incubator programs to help solve different problems and raise more funding.

Not particularly. While we do highlight social innovation more, we accept ventures from all different fields and categories as long as they are ethical businesses and are not against any of University of Toronto’s policies.

An ICUBE membership is for one year from the date of acceptance into Ideation Lab or Venture Forward program. After the one year is up, you are encouraged to apply again.

Indigenous business training program created by RedBird Circle Inc. in partnership with UofT Libraries, ICUBE UTM and The Bridge at UTSC

An experiential learning program that follows the school 3 semesters schedule, for anyone with a great idea who wants to make it happen.

A boutique-style remote program to support your business development and help you grow through one-on-one support. This program is open all year.

A student-led creative studio with intends to serve the prototyping and design needs of our ventures and small businesses in our community.

This 2-day retreat is designed to help you reflect on your journey, what drives you, all the hats you wear and what is next for you and your social enterprise.