Support for Entrepreneurs at UTM

The immediate support and dedication to prosperous ideas is what students and community members can expect in joining I-CUBE. I-CUBE’s team work space within the Innovation Complex, identifiable by the vibrant green walls and collaborative work support tools, is now home to the first cohort of 15 admitted student teams looking to develop their ideas into Minimum Viable Products where they will then be looking towards possible commercialization and funding opportunities. The professional development of teams within I-CUBE is focused on a “cross-pollination of minds, skills, students and community members to generate success” Al Nakib mentions.

Through the I-CUBE Innovation to Commercialization for Entrepreneurs (ICE) program, students do not have to forfeit their business and entrepreneurial visions to fulfill their academic goals; rather, their academic and professional mentalities are merged, developed, and supported. This in turn allows them to have real-world experience by building a business from ideas, gaining customer validation, and growing from failures meanwhile having the support of honorable mentors, attending exclusive seminars, and developing an attitude needed to succeed in the startup environment explains I-CUBE Program Coordinator and graduating Master of Biotechnology student, Darren Lum. Students gain access to the I-CUBE facilities, advisory services, exclusive workshops and events, but also guidance from top supporters of innovation including the RIC Centre, MaRS, and the City of Mississauga where “this support is crucial for success” says Professor Lacetera.

Within I-CUBE, success is measured not simply by what you create, but the experiential knowledge you acquire. It was formed in the very structure that the teams within it are encouraged to create their businesses; through diversity, collaboration, and hands on experience. Those admitted have the opportunity to grow in skill and mindset by learning how to address rapid shifts in culture, technology, and the workplace.

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