Start-Up

Experiential Learning

A 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 Start Up program

“The ICUBE Start-up 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.” -ICUBE Graduate

Successful applicants attend:

  • Boot camp intensive – explore your idea through this 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, get creative with finding solutions, and develop a model that will support your vision.
  • A series of workshops – build and practice the skills needed to move from planning to implementation. Topics include sales, marketing, and more.
  • Ongoing advising and mentorship will be available throughout the semester.
  • Please note: In response to COVID-19, all programming will be virtual

All Start Up teams gain access to:

  • Start Up funding of up to $1000 for participation and the opportunity to pitch for additional prizes
  • Online learning modules that support in-class activities
  • Access to the ICUBE and OnRamp Coworking Spaces
  • Networking opportunities at UTM and the wider community

Applications Now Closed for Summer Cohort! Deadline to apply was: April 30, 2020

“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.” – ICUBE 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 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

ICUBE’s dedication to promoting diversity in our teams includes a commitment to ensuring every cohort accurately reflects the UTM community, welcoming folks of all gender identities, sexual originations, 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.

Applications for the Summer Cohort are Now Closed

Program Outline

  • Intensive Boot Camp
    • Friday May 29, 6pm-9pm
    • Saturday May 30, 9:30am-12:30pm and 5pm-8pm
    • Sunday May 31, 9:30am-12:30pm and 1:30pm-4:30pm
  • Ongoing Workshops
    • Tuesdays in June and July, 6pm-9pm
    • Sales intensive: June 13, 9:30am-4:30pm
  • Final Presentations and Funding Competition
    • Wednesday August 5, 6pm-9pm

Funds will be dispersed 2 times throughout the program to participants who have met all requirements. Graduates can compete for additional prizes at the end of the program.

Additional optional events will be available throughout the semester. Teams will also be encouraged to meet regularly one-on-one with a staff or mentor advisor. Office hours will be available for consultation with professional partners.

*Please Note: Schedule is subject to change. Final schedule will be provided with letter of acceptance.

The following qualifications must be met for applicants to be considered for entry into the Start Up cohort:

  • Must be one of the following:
    • Current University of Toronto student
    • Recent University of Toronto 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
  • The business idea must be in alignment with University of Toronto’s applicable policies and legislation and ICUBE’s values

Application Screening Process

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

  1. Initial screening by program staff to ensure basic eligibility
  2. Eligible applications will be reviewed by a panel of internal and external industry experts, and assigned numerical grades
  3. 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 ICUBE Programming
    • Is ICUBE’s program will positioned to address the challenges faced by the entrepreneur?
    • Can the Start Up program address the main priorities of the entrepreneur?
  • Attention to accessibility/inclusiveness
    • ICUBE provides value-based entrepreneurship education. Is this business idea and the founding team attentive to issues around accessibility/inclusiveness?
  • 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?

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

BENEFITS FOR ALL TEAMS

All teams who are a part of ICUBE are a part of the University of Toronto. Upon acceptance, you will receive a U of T ID Card and online authentication to the University of Toronto portals and many other member perks!

Members Perks