Maria Konikov

Maria Konikov

YEDI Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary of Inaugural Program

5 years ago, YEDI opened its doors to our first cohort of innovators! Since then, over 400 entrepreneurs have completed our programs, raising hundreds of millions of dollars in funding and sales and creating over 10 000 jobs. YEDI has grown to become the world’s #1 university-linked business accelerator, and we look forward to seeing what the future has in store.

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YEDI Concludes a Successful Entrepreneurship Program in Israel

In August 2018, YEDI completed its third entrepreneurship development program for Israeli entrepreneurs. This year 15 innovative ventures were selected to complete a 2-week intensive program. The cohort also included entrepreneurs from the United States who travelled to Israel in order to join the cohort.

The cohort included unique ideas in the health-tech, mobile and educational sectors among others.  Upon their successful completion of the program, participants pitched their ventures to a funder audience, including investors, potential partners, municipal representatives, and representatives of the Israeli Innovation Authority.

YEDI’s unique entrepreneurship program in Israel offers mentorship, education, connections, and academic credits. The program aims to help local entrepreneurs develop a global business without leaving their country. 

We once again congratulate all the participants for their hard work! The YEDI team is looking forward to seeing their future growth and success, both in Israel and around the world!

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Congratulatory Announcement by FedDev at YEDI

On April 27th, 2018, Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament for York Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), celebrated YEDI’s recent ranking by UBI Global as the #1 University Linked Accelerator in the World.

In just four short years, YEDI has pioneered an innovative methodology for business acceleration, which combined with strong partnerships and talented mentors, has propelled them to become the leading acceleration program in the world!

The celebration event was attended by Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament (York Centre), on behalf of the Honourable Minister Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), along with YEDI alumni, community partners, and supporters, to mark the international recognition of YEDI’s program delivery.  In 2017, FedDev Ontario made a non-repayable contribution of almost $2 million towards the delivery of YEDI’s Incubator Track program, one of the Institute’s successful programs delivered to 45 entrepreneurs in York Region and the City of Toronto.

UBI Global is a Swedish-based data and advisory firm specializing in mapping, highlighting, and connecting the world of business incubation. According to UBI Global, a top university-linked acceleration program is a business accelerator connected to an institution of higher education that achieves outstanding impact and performance relative to its global peers. The program outperforms its global peers with regard to the value it provides to its innovation ecosystem and its client startups, as well as the attractiveness of the program itself.

This year’s rankings showcased the growth and improvement of Canada’s incubation and acceleration landscape with many of the top programs being from Canada.

As YEDI embarks on its fifth year, it is looking forward to welcoming international entrepreneurs, growing the Incubator Track, and expanding the YEDI Business Acceleration campuses.

“Congratulations to the York Entrepreneurship Development Institute on being ranked the #1 University-linked Business Accelerator in the World by UBI Global for 2017/2018! This accomplishment brings great pride to the southern Ontario region and Canada.”

– Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament (York Centre)

“The successful delivery of incubator track and accelerator programs is vital in supporting the growth of high-potential, early-stage businesses and positively impacts the startup ecosystem in Canada. I am pleased to see the success YEDI is having in providing Canadian entrepreneurs with innovative tools and skill development, along with opportunities to engage investors, enhances their ability to scale-up and expand into new markets.”

-The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

 

 

 

 

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YEDI Concludes Extremely Successful Global Start-Up Mission to Israel

In March, YEDI concluded the first ever Canadian Global Start-Up Mission led by a university-linked business accelerator, and the results have exceeded the best expectations. Among many other successes, new agreements valued at $7.35 million were signed between YEDI, Canadian mission participants and Israeli ventures and organizations.

Many start-ups are looking to access global markets very early, and for several, their first entry market will not be Canada. Accessing emerging markets can be challenging due to significant differences in culture, business environment and in often language barriers. These “born global” start-ups need help overcoming these common differences to doing business abroad, as well as accessing business networks.

In partnership with Canadian and Israeli institutions, 10 Canadian ventures spent a full month experiencing and learning from Israel’s unique start-up ecosystem. Selected entrepreneurs participated in an intensive global entrepreneurship development program led by business leaders and start-up founders. Throughout the program, entrepreneurs visited global companies and unique start-ups, and met with top leaders of Israel’s start-up ecosystem and government officials responsible for the growth and development of SMEs.

Highlights:

  • $7,350,000 in overall agreements and MOUs signed by YEDI and mission participants
  • $580,000 total investment secured as a result of the mission, with $50,000 distributed during the mission
  • Met with Government Ministers and Chairs of Parliamentary Committees responsible for growth and innovation in Israel
  • YEDI authorized to issue letters of support for Israel’s Innovation Authority granting opportunities to Canadian-Israeli projects
  • Ariel University in collaboration with YEDI was invited by Israeli government to submit a funding application for up to $20 million Shekels in order to build a YEDI Business Acceleration Campus and international entrepreneurship development program in Israel.
  • Visited institutions and support services including: Israeli Knesset, Israel’s Innovation Authority, Technion University, Ariel University, Volcany Center, Barkan Manufacturing Zone, and Haifa Port Authority.
  • Visited successful global start-ups: Fiverr, Foresight, Allot, StoreDot, Our Crowd and many more.

“The trip was an invaluable and eye-opening experience. It provided us with knowledge, connections and platforms from which to build international collaborative projects and business partnership opportunities that will strengthen our venture and its growth in Canada and internationally.” Natalya, Founder of Cleanopy

 

 

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YEDI Ranked #1 in the World by UBI Global!

YEDI has developed tremendously since the 2015 UBI global rankings; our alumni network grew by five times and the number of jobs created by them grew tenfold. YEDI developed strong partnerships across the ecosystem and around the world. This helped us to provide alumni with all resources needed for growth. We see this as a great example of collaboration between academia, industry and government!” Dr. Marat Ressin, YEDI President 

UBI Global is a Swedish-based data and advisory firm specializing in mapping, highlighting, and connecting the world of business incubation. Through a network of more than 500 member organizations from over 70 countries, UBI Global provides matchmaking, ranking, benchmarking, and research services to corporations and business incubation programs. According to UBI Global, a top university-linked acceleration program is a business accelerator connected to an institution of higher education that achieves outstanding impact and performance relative to its global peers. The program outperforms its global peers with regard to the value it provides to its innovation ecosystem and its client startups, as well as the attractiveness of the program itself.

YEDI operates based on a unique model and therefore it was important for us to see how we compare to other accelerators in order to validate that our choice of model was indeed correct. Additionally, the scientific research provided by UBI has been incredibly valuable as we are able to understand which areas require a greater focus and how we may improve. Due to the research provided in 2015, we were able to implement significant improvements which helped us improve our ranking this year. Moreover, YEDI is linked to one of the top business schools in the world, and it is important for us to maintain this high level of education.

Being part of UBI’s global rankings has allowed us to connect with leading accelerators and incubators around the world, share resources and learn from each other so that we may provide the best services and support to entrepreneurs.” Dr. Marat Ressin, YEDI  President

This year’s rankings showcased the growth and improvement of Canada’s incubation and acceleration landscape with many of the top programs being from Canada.

As YEDI embarks on its fifth year, we look forward to leading the first Canadian Global Start-Up Mission to Israel, welcoming international entrepreneurs, growing the Incubator track and expanding the YEDI Business Acceleration Campuses.

The YEDI team is extremely proud and humbled by this announcement. We share this honour with our partners, mentors, donors, collaborators and most importantly our alumni. Thank you!

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YEDI Global Start-Up Mission to Israel March 4-30, 2018

We are delighted to share that YEDI will lead a global start-up mission to Israel for 20 Canadian entrepreneurs March 4-30, 2018. This exciting opportunity, in partnership with Canadian and Israeli institutions, will allow participants to immerse themselves in Israel’s diverse and unique start-up ecosystem in order to grow their businesses and foster global connections. Selected entrepreneurs will participate in an intensive, free four-week global entrepreneurship development program led by top business leaders and start-up founders. Throughout the program, participants will meet with top leaders of Israel’s start-up ecosystem, visit global companies, unique start-ups; and meet with government officials responsible for the growth and development of SMEs.

PROGRAM FEES

With the help of our Canadian and Israeli partners, the program is made available at no-cost to selected entrepreneurs. This includes full tuition, co-working space-time, flights, accommodations, meals and site visits.

DURATION

March 4 – 18 – Intensive two-week program

March 19 – 30 – Workspace at WeWork Israel for further business development

ELIGIBILITY

  • Applicant is Canadian citizen or permanent resident between the ages of 18-29 with an incorporated business;

The applicant is looking to:

  • Immerse themselves in a selected global market through an exploratory visit which includes academic programming in partnership with local top-ranked universities;
  • Develop strong business relationships that are only possible through sustained face-to-face interaction;
  • Gain first-hand knowledge of the opportunity within that market; and
  • Achieve tangible business goals in the selected global market outside of Canada and the U.S.A, such as: sales, investment, and strategic partnerships

 

Apply by January 10, 2018

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YEDI Spring 2017 Venture Fairs

 

Marking the closing of 4 months of hard work, graduates of the Spring 2017 Incubator Track and Existing Not-For-Profit Track pitched their ventures to YEDI’s funder audience on June 27th and July 14th.

The events featured remarks by Dr. Marat Ressin (President, YEDI) and various YEDI partners and supporters including Dr. Alan Middleton (Executive Director, Schulich Executive Education Centre) and Raphael Costa (Manager, Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre).

Following the formal pitch presentations, which took place at Vaughan City Hall and at our YEDI Business Acceleration Campus, the participants offered a closer look into their ventures and projects while networking with guests from different industries and organizations supporting entrepreneurship and changemaking in Canada.

YEDI would like to congratulate all of our graduates for their hard work!  We look forward to seeing you grow and succeed even more. Thank you as well to everyone who attended the Venture Fairs and for your continuous support of YEDI.

Have a start-up idea? Growing an existing venture or not-for-profit organization? Applications for the Fall 2017 Youth Program and Not-For-Profit Tracks are accepted until September 20, 2017. Please follow this link to apply and learn more about YEDI’s various program tracks.

 

 

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YEDI officially designated under the Start-Up Visa Immigration Program

On May 6, YEDI became an officially designated organization by the Government of Canada under its Start Up Visa Immigration Program. This important milestone will enable YEDI to support international entrepreneurs who look to Canada as a new home for both themselves and their ventures.

We value personal connections and encourage hopeful applicants to review our International Start-Up training programs which allow entrepreneurs to become familiarized with Canada’s business landscape and meet with organizations supporting small business growth and development. Upon program completion, entrepreneurs will have the tools and expertise necessary to pitch and potentially bring their ventures to the Canadian market. Participation in the program will allow both participants and organizations to have a better understanding of each other and increase applicant’s chances of obtaining a letter of support.

To learn more about the Start-Up Visa immigration program, please visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/business/start-up/

 

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Celebrating the launch of a second YEDI Business Acceleration Campus!

We are delighted to announce the opening of YEDI’s second Business Acceleration Campus. On May 1, YEDI opened the doors to its new facility located on the second floor of the IMPROVE Centre in the City of Vaughan. The new Campus features 50,000 sq. ft. of office space, shared co-working space, boardrooms and a 250 seat auditorium. Ventures looking for a dynamic, resourceful and vibrant co-working space are invited to submit an application. 

 

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FedDev Ontario Announces Investment In YEDI

On Friday April 28th Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament for York Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario announced an investment in the York Entrepreneurship Development Institute to support the delivery of our Incubator Track program. MP Levitt also celebrated the graduation of 15 entrepreneurs who participated in the first cohort of the program and also met entrepreneurs of the second cohort, which was launched on March 16, 2017.

“The Government of Canada recognizes the vital importance of skills development and growing new companies in making Canada a global centre for innovation. This investment in the York Entrepreneurship Development Institute will help 45 entrepreneurs to gain the necessary skills and access to capital, with a goal of creating innovative companies and jobs of the future.”– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

With this non-repayable contribution through FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation initiative, we are providing much needed seed funding to support entrepreneurs in further commercializing their ideas and launching high-potential, early-stage businesses. During the ceremony, each of the 15 graduating ventures received a non-repayable, equity-free grant of $30,000.

“The York Entrepreneurship Development Institute is a key resource for entrepreneurs from any industry or sector. With the FedDev Ontario funding, the Institute will provide entrepreneurs with comprehensive training and mentorship to teach them the business skills they need to turn their innovative ideas into real solutions.”

– Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament for York Centre

We would like to thank FedDev Ontario for their generous investment, and thank all those who joined us on Friday for this wonderful announcement. As entrepreneurs establish and grow their businesses with help from this program, it is expected that up to 70 new full-time jobs will be created. Congratulations to all our newly funded entrepreneurs!  We wish you continued success and are looking forward to sharing your results.

“We are extremely proud of the program and community of successful entrepreneurs we have created over the past few years. So far our hard-working graduates have one of the best survival rates of Canadian start-ups, and we believe that with this additional funding to help seed their ventures, they will be even more successful, and have long-term prosperity.”

– Dr. Marat Ressin, President, York Entrepreneurship Development Institute

MP Michael Levitt and Dr. Marat Ressin presenting Matrix Thompson with seed funding for his venture

Left to Right: Maria Konikov, YEDI Director of Operations; Andrea Orazi, Program graduate and Founder of The Chufa Co; MP Michael Levitt; Dr. Marat Ressin, YEDI President; Dr. Alan Middleton, Executive Director, Schulich Executive Education Centre

Fall 2016 Cohort Graduates

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FALL 2016 INCUBATOR TRACK VENTURE FAIR

On March 9th, 2017, YEDI celebrated the successful graduation of  the Fall 2016 Incubator Track. The graduation marked the completion of 4 months of dedicated work by participating entrepreneurs. The graduates faced a funder audience as they pitched and showcased their projects and ventures at the Schulich Executive Learning Centre at York University. Two of our participants, Kevin Chau (SummaryScanner) and Andrea Orazi (The Chufa Co.), shared: “It’s remarkable that a program like this even exists and helps entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey.”

Following the formal pitch presentations, the entrepreneurs offered a closer look into their ventures while networking with guests from different industries and organizations supporting entrepreneurship in Canada.

YEDI would like to congratulate all the participants for their hard work!  We look forward to seeing you grow and succeed even more. Thank you as well to everyone who attended the Venture Fair and your continuous support of YEDI.

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FALL 2016 EXISTING NOT FOR PROFIT VENTURE FAIR

On January 17th 2017, YEDI celebrated the successful graduation of it’s Fall 2016 Existing Not-For-Profit cohort. The graduation, which took place at Vaughan City Hall, marked the completion of 4 months of continuous work by the participating organizations and projects.

During the Not-For-Profit Venture Fair, the participants faced a funder audience, pitching and showcasing their progress throughout the program. At the closing of the presentations, participants Nadia Sayeh (ANNISAA Organization of Canada) and Leslie Shapiro (Ahavat Yisrael Hebrew School) shared their personal experience of the YEDI program: “The diversity of the group brought together so many different perspectives. It was a very enjoyable experience, and I feel so fortunate to have been able to participate in it. It will truly have a lasting effect on my life”, said Nadya.

The event featured remarks by Dr. Marat Ressin (President, YEDI), Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua (Mayor, City of Vaughan), Michael Levitt (MP, York Centre), Rabbi Yoseph Zaltzman (Chief Rabbi, Jewish Russian Community Centres Ontario), Raphael Costa (Manager, Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre), along with other notable speakers and representatives.

We are very proud of all the participants who represented their projects at the event and would like to congratulate them on their hard work during this whole time. Thank you as well to everyone who attended the Fall 2016 Venture Fair. We look forward to seeing all the alumni succeed and develop even more!

Applications are now accepted for the Spring 2017 Programs! Apply online for both Existing Not-For-Profit and the For-Profit Incubator by February 10, 2017.  We would love to see you at our next Venture Fair!

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