Ontario increasing program funds

Minister of Research and Innovation Reza Moridi at Communitech in Kitchener on Sept. 18, where he announced the province’s plan to increase funding to campus entrepreneurship programs.

Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation, Reza Moridi, at Communitech Thursday. (Photo by Will Huang)
Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation, Reza Moridi, at Communitech Thursday. (Photo by Will Huang)

On Sept. 18, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation Reza Moridi visited the Communitech Hub in Kitchener to make an announcement on behalf of the Ontario government.

Moridi announced that the province will be increasing funding for on-campus entrepreneurship programs located in Ontario’s post-secondary institutions.

The Ontario government, as part of its Youth Jobs Strategy, will introduce two new programs to fund on-campus entrepreneurial growth in Southwestern Ontario’s post-secondary institutions.

The programs, dubbed Campus-Linked Accelerators and On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities, will place over $25 million over the next two years into the hands of educators to build and support both new and existing entrepreneurship activities.

Within the Region of Waterloo, the Campus-Linked Accelerator program will create the Waterloo Region Campus-Linked Accelerator, which will be a partnership between Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo. The funding will also go towards Laurier’s Brantford campus to help expand their entrepreneurship programs for Aboriginal and at-risk youth.

“The funding is going to the two universities for the programs they run, so specifically at Communitech we have Laurier LaunchPad and Velocity Garage from UW. I think it increases the resources available, particularly for students or recent graduate entrepreneurs,” said Chris Plunkett, director of media relations for Communitech.

“Whether it’s business talent coming out of Laurier and the real focus Laurier has on entrepreneurship in their business education, or the math, science and engineering talents coming out of UW, the universities are creating a lot of great talents to fuel this innovation ecosystem,” said Plunkett.
Entrepreneurship is a stated goal of the program, aiming at young people to help foster economic growth through business creation.

“We want to see that our graduates come out of universities and colleges either looking for jobs or looking to hire people. Meaning they’ve started their own companies and are bringing their ideas, inventions and innovations to the market place. Places like Communitech and Velocity and the Accelerator Centres in our universities and colleges are established for that purpose,” said Moridi.

“Job creation and economic growth is a part of the philosophy behind these kinds of investments.”

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