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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
November 24, 2014
 
 
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Laurier Toronto

Laurier creates entrepreneurship opportunities with new space at the Hub

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Nov 30/11

A space at the Communitech Hub affectionately nicknamed the sandbox will soon become Laurier’s playground for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Laurier’s long-standing Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program (EAP) is a flagship opportunity for students to launch new ventures while earning academic credit. Starting in January, the program will have dedicated space at the Hub.

“Relocating the Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program to  the Hub will enable us to immerse Laurier students in the city’s entrepreneurship ecosystem,” said Steve Farlow, executive director of the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship. “Students will be able to easily connect with other entrepreneurs, community partners, corporate partners, investors and the alumni mentors they are assigned.”

The program is run by Laurier’s Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the School of Business and Economics and the Faculty of Science. Undergraduate students from other academic disciplines may also apply to be part of the program. Laurier has also partnered with Conestoga College to ensure Laurier students have access to Conestoga student volunteers that can build websites and design logos and marketing materials for start-ups using the space.

As Laurier students complete the Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program, they will have the opportunity to graduate directly into Communitech programs offered at the Hub that will helpthem take their venture to the next level.

“Entrepreneurship provides knowledge, skills and experience that is fundamental to being an effective contributor in today’s world, whether running one’s own business or working in an established organization.,” said Farlow. “For Laurier students to be leaders, , we need to expose them to the discipline of entrepreneurship as a complement to their chosen field of study.”

The program is one of many partnerships between Laurier and the Communitech Hub. In January 2011, Laurier and Communitech launched a joint MBA/Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EiR) program. EiRs are successful entrepreneurs or ex-CEOs and CFOs who provide support to over 300 start-up companies in the Waterloo Region. Under the program, MBA students work with early-stage firms and EiRs to provide guidance and advice to new businesses.

Steve Currie, vice-president of business services at Communitech, approached Farlow about the partnership in 2010.

“It obviously addresses a need that we have around being able to meet the growing demand for our coaching and mentoring to start-ups in the region,” said Currie. “On the other hand, it provides MBA students with an opportunity to work with a senior person, who will be their coach and mentor.”

Laurier is one of the founding academic partners at the Communitech Hub, located in Kitchener in the historic Tannery Building. It is one of many facilities and organizations that comprise the Canadian Digital Media Network, which aims to establish Canada as a world leader in digital media by fostering connections and speeding the commercialization of Canada’s digital talent, products, and companies.

For more information, please contact Victoria Larke, manager: Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship at vlarke@wlu.ca.


 

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