Venture Forward

The ICUBE Venture Forward provides access to professionals
and resources to take your operations to the next level.

Venture Forward is designed to accelerate your business growth in a sustainable way. Work with mentors and industry professionals in a boutique-style experience. Join a community of entrepreneurs all working toward the same goal: making an impact, and scaling up! University of Toronto students, Alumni, and residents of the Peel region are eligible to apply.

Mentoring and Advising

Meet ICUBE staff advisors to stay on track, and access resources. Match with an industry mentor to continue learning and building your network.

Unlock Student Talent

Work with talented students from University of Toronto. Access volunteers, team members, or classes interested in working on your project.

Access Grants and Investors

Apply to compete in pitch competitions, and if you are investment ready, meet investors in the ICUBE community.

Venture Forward Teams gain access to:

  • One year membership to ICUBE’s resources and programs.
  • Access to U of T student talent and subsidies to hire
  • Co-working space, including use of wi-fi and printer, at no cost
  • Volunteer and Co-op student placement (by project basis)
  • Mentors and start-up coaches
  • Workshops and training opportunities
  • Office hours with professional partners (IP, legal, finance, etc)
  • Eligibility for the ICUBE Pitch competition and other opportunities
  • Access to capital (Grants, Investors, Loans, etc.)
  • Networking opportunities with leaders from Peel region and beyond
  • Access to the ICUBE and OnRamp facilities, and member perks
  • Opportunity to get featured on The Varsity Publication
  • Opportunity to receive a $3,000 grant towards IP legal services
  • PR Office hours with Betakit to discuss story opportunities, potential coverage, and other items of note with a BetaKit editor.
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  • Commitment:

    • Meet bi-monthly with your staff advisor to set goals, and report on development, growth, and next steps
    • Become an active and present part of our ecosystem, attending workshops or events that add value for your growth

    Application Process

    • Eligible applicants will be asked to prepare a basic slide deck (no more than ten slides) explaining their project and why it is a good fit for ICUBE.
    • Each pitch should be no more than ten minutes long and will then be followed by questions from the committee. (A pitch guide and template will be provided).
    • If the venture is not accepted, the committee will provide feedback as to why and make suggestions, as appropriate, for further work or other programs to consider.

    We accept applications to the Venture Forward on a monthly rolling basis. Apply using the form below, and we will contact you to provide upcoming pitch dates.

Equal Opportunity Policy

 

At ICUBE we have a clear vision: to create a community where entrepreneurship is an opportunity open to all, and a creation space where diverse leaders can ideate, collaborate, and make an impact together. 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 identities, and actively creating space for marginalized change-makers and under-represented disciplines. All creators, entrepreneurial thinkers, and leaders are encouraged to apply.

Eligibility Requirements

Must have a launched initiative or MVP with demonstrated market fit and some traction

  • Must be dedicated to solving a compelling problem (all venture structures/industries welcome)
  • We are looking for diverse, coachable and collaborative teams
  • Must be a University of Toronto student, recent alumni (within the last 5 years), or a Peel region resident
  • The business idea must be in alignment with University of Toronto’s applicable policies and legislation and ICUBE’s values

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.