Carleton students working in the Carleton Accelerator facility.

Carleton student entrepreneurs play a key role in making Ottawa one of the top technology entrepreneurship cities in Canada and a premiere destination for entrepreneurs and startups worldwide.

Currently, a record number of Carleton student entrepreneurs are seeking funding from investors in addition to government grants. Investors’ funds, capabilities, and networks help student-led ventures scale their operations up and out.

To assist in this critical part of building a tech company, Carleton and its entrepreneurs are actively involved in Axis Ottawa, a unique conference that will bring together international investors, leading Canadian startups, and key players of the Ottawa ecosystem on October 21 and 22. The event will be hosted at Carleton and features startup pitches to investor panels, investor presentations, keynote speakers, 1-1 meetings, an exclusive dinner for startups and investors, and many opportunities for networking.

In preparation, on September 24, approximately 25 angel investors came to Carleton to listen to pitches from local ventures that included InteractiveStudios, Tarfee and eCelery. InteractiveStudios and Tarfee are both owned by Carleton students, who are working out of the Carleton-led accelerator located in the St. Patrick’s building.

Student-led ventures are developing capability to raise funds. For example, BitAccess raised $1M as a result of attending Y Combinator last year. The Globe and Mail identified BitAccess as one of four Ottawa startups to watch. Vignesh Sundaresan, the CEO and co-founder of BitAccess, is a TIM (Technology Innovation Management) student who will graduate this fall.

“Entrepreneurship is an area of institutional strength and growth. Carleton’s entrepreneurship programs are strong. At Carleton we do entrepreneurship; we don’t just talk about it,” says Tony Bailetti, Director of Carleton’s TIM program. “The number of students who graduate with a degree in one hand and a business in the other is growing.”

Carleton’s academic programs for talented entrepreneurs include the Technology Innovation Management program which is available to experienced personnel with engineering, business or science undergraduate degrees; the Minor in Entrepreneurship which is available to undergraduate students in all Carleton’s faculties; and the Bachelor of Commerce Entrepreneurship Concentration.

Carleton’s support of local entrepreneurship has resulted in it being the lead organization for Capital Entrepreneurs, a $2 million initiative to support young entrepreneurs that is funded by the Ontario Centres of Excellence under its Campus Linked Accelerators program that was launched in 2014. Carleton also led the Ottawa Young Entrepreneurs project, a $1 million initiative that launched in 2011, including all four Ottawa post-secondary institutions.

Carleton’s professional programs support student and community entrepreneurs. Carleton’s Lead To Win program was launched at the request of suppliers of venture capital in 2002. It adopts a unique ecosystem approach to help entrepreneurs launch and grow their ventures; each venture is expected to generate annual revenue of $1 million within three years.

Carleton’s unique Global Start program helps entrepreneurs globalize their ventures early and rapidly. The Nicol Entrepreneurial Institute at Carleton University also provides more than $100,000 of internships per year to students working on launching their ventures. Carleton has helped entrepreneurs to launch more than 200 companies and four ecosystems since 2009.

Carleton also proudly provides strong support to students with disabilities who wish to pursue entrepreneurial activities.

To reinforce a global perspective and strengthen research capability, Carleton’s TIM program produces the TIM Review, a refereed journal that targets entrepreneurs and attracts talented authors worldwide (timreview.ca/tim). The number of unique visitors to the online journal exceeds 25,000 per month, with readers from all over the world. Visitor breakdown by continent: 33% Americas; 32% Asia; 28% Europe; 5% Africa; and 2% Oceania.

This focus on entrepreneurship has enabled Carleton to operate three facilities:

  • The Carleton-led Accelerator is a 4,000-square-foot state of the art facility to support students in launching and growing companies, as well as support the delivery of high-impact programs to the community.
  • 1125@Carleton provides 7,500 square feet of experimental, collaborative, virtual and physical space for developing solutions that contribute to building sustainable communities, whether focused on new products and services, or addressing irritants or complex “wicked” problems.
  • Carleton’s Discovery Centre is a place for students to engage in collaborative and interactive learning.

There are many other programs that Carleton delivers to support innovation and entrepreneurship in our community. By supporting these services to entrepreneurial students, Carleton is actively contributing to the local economy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 in , ,
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