Innovation at the Impact Centre

Headshot of smiling man with short red hair, moustache, and stubble in grey blazer and light blue shirtGuest Post by: Scott McAuley, Communications Coordinator at UofT’s Impact Centre 

The desire to enable innovation is all around us. From university campuses to corporate headquarters to government chambers, new programs are springing up that are designed to help bring ideas into reality, and reality into practice. The University of Toronto is no different. The University has always been an innovator, from the isolation of insulin to creating the pacemaker, but today’s technologies and markets provide new opportunities that require a new way of thinking.

The Impact Centre is a research institute at the University of Toronto that is dedicated to bringing science to society. We create and deliver events, programs and courses that are all designed to introduce students to innovation and entrepreneurship as well as give them the support they need to make those dreams a reality.

Some recent and upcoming programs:

Entrepreneurship 100: Conversations

Entrepreneurship 100: Conversations is a live-only experience where you can interact with nine real entrepreneurs over three sessions. We just completed the second series, which focused on questions around social entrepreneurship, freelancing, and fundraising. Our nine wonderful panelists, including Heather Payne (HackerYou), Pooja Viswanathan (Braze Mobility) and Luke Anderson (Stop Gap Foundation) shared their experiences, answered questions from the audience and stayed late into the night to network with students. We will be hosting another series of events as well as hands-on workshops in the fall, so look out for more information in September.

Four panelists speaking on a stage

 

Techno:

Techno is an elite entrepreneurship training program for top science and engineering students and recent graduates who want to create high-impact, technology-based startups. Scientists and engineers may be experts in their field but they often lack knowledge and skills in areas that are vital to the creation of healthy and profitable businesses. We want to help them enable their science to impact society.

Created in 2010 at the University of Toronto to encourage young scientists and engineers to pursue technological entrepreneurship, Techno has now trained 130 teams and launched 88 companies.

During Techno’s week-long intensive training, participants are exposed to topics such as intellectual property protection and strategy, market research and customer behavior, product development, business models, negotiation, and pitching. Our training format focuses on hands-on learning—topics are introduced in a short lecture, then participant teams are given class time to apply their new skills to developing their companies with help from experts in the field.

 

Entrepreneurship@UofT Week Showcase:

On Friday March 31, the University of Toronto hosted the largest gathering of entrepreneurs, startups, incubators and accelerators in the history of the University. The Startup Showcase, part of Entrepreneurship@UofT Week, brought together 60+ startups and nine campus-linked accelerators from across all three campus’ to share their stories, meet other entrepreneurs and build the U of T startup community.

Two students listening to a man talk about his startupConvention room filled with people and showcase booths

The event featured a showcase floor where attendees could learn about startup companies making an impact in areas from digital health to financial literacy, an inspiring talk on the future of artificial intelligence from Geoffrey Hinton, and final pitches for the inaugural RBC Prize in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

To learn more about events taking place on campus, sign-up for the Impact Centre newsletter at the bottom of our website.

Scott is a PhD Candidate in the University of Toronto’s Department of Biochemistry as well as the communications coordinator at the Impact Centre. He is deeply involved in supporting student startups as well as promoting student professional development in addition to his academic work on antibiotics. 

 

 

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