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.


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.


March 4 – 18 – Intensive two-week program

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


  • 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


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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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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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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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A Year In Review

As 2016 comes to a close, we would like to take a moment to share our achievements from the past year. This year, 60 entrepreneurs and not-for-profit organizations successfully graduated from our programs. YEDI’s Acceleration Campus continues to grow with 45 companies residing and developing in the space.

Throughout the year new programs, both international and local, were introduced to support a broader array of entrepreneurs. The senior mentorship program is a unique and innovative initiative, which connects retired professionals to early stage entrepreneurs in order to guide them on the path to success. Since launching in September, over 60 entrepreneurs received support from these valuable mentors.

This summer, YEDI went abroad and delivered it’s intensive entrepreneurship program in Israel. The participants received workshop-based training in entrepreneurship and an opportunity to present their venture to top-funders of the Israeli start-up eco-system.

YEDI was also chosen to receive funding from the Federal Government and now provides seed funding of up to $30,000 to innovative entrepreneurs who successfully complete the Incubator Track. Applications for the program are currently accepted until February 10th, 2017. To learn more and apply click here.

Looking back at all the progress made this year, we would like to thank our partners, sponsors, donors and alumni for being a part of this unique community which keeps growing with time. Your contributions enable us to provide valuable and necessary services to not-for-profit organizations and emerging entrepreneurs. We extend our very best wishes for a happy new year. May the upcoming year provide us all with great opportunities, growth and strength.

Wishing you a healthy and prosperous year,

The YEDI team

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YEDI President Dr. Marat Ressin Receives Award for Excellence In Innovation

A prestigious distinction that will honour immigrants recognized as nation builders will highlight the work of YEDI President, Dr. Marat Ressin during the 2016 Pioneers for Change Award Gala.

On June 9, Dr. Marat Ressin will receive an award for Excellence in Innovation.
The awards gala this year will focuses on “immigrants working to build a Canada where every immigrant succeeds” with a lens on seven different categories.

“I am delighted that Dean Mukherjee-Reed and Dr. Ressin have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to Canadian society. Both are respected and prolific researchers and strong contributors to the global impact of York University,” said Mamdouh Shoukri, president and vice-chancellor. As president of one of York’s most ground-breaking institutes, Dr. Ressin’s expertise in the development of small businesses, not-for-profit organizations and real estate make him uniquely qualified to guide our student entrepreneurs to success.”

The Pioneers for Change Award Gala was launched in 1993 by Skills for Change, an organization that works to drive forward a shift in immigration and workplace trends.
Pioneers for Change award recipients are, according to Skills for Change, “incredible people who have made a significant and lasting contribution to Canada” and “who inspire newcomers to work toward their own success and follow their vision”.
More than 120 individuals have been recognized as Pioneers for Change since the first awards gala.
For more on the gala, visit

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YEDI Recognized For Achievements by York U President

On March 9 York University President Mamdouh Shoukri joined YEDI for a celebratory event marking the Institute’s achievement as the Top 3 University Linked Accelerator in North America and #1 in Ontario as ranked by UBI Global.

“York University offers some of the most creative entrepreneurial programming available, and YEDI has played an important role in helping us to achieve that. With the initiation of resources such as the Schulich Executive Education Centre and LaunchYU, YEDI has come a long way towards realizing its mission of providing innovators from any sector or industry top-tier training, business education, and mentorship. It is wonderful to see organizations such as UBI Global recognizing YEDI for what it is—a key catalyst for growing the knowledge-based economy in Canada and around the world.”
Mamdouh Shoukri, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University

​We look forward to continued joint success!


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On November 3, 2015, YEDI was ranked the #1 University linked accelerator in Ontario and #3 in North America at the UBI Global and Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) benchmarking conference & award ceremony for the 2015 top performing university business incubators and accelerators in North America. The event was held at TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St W, Toronto, ON, Canada.


The event highlighted best practices, hands-on-tools, analyses, success stories, and featured inspiring presentations that allowed those who attended to network, learn from each other and improve performance in order to enhance economic transformation and local, regional and national development.


“We measure results to assess how we are impacting and improving the world through the creation of effective and growing ventures” says YEDI President, Dr. Marat Ressin who was unable to accept the award in-person as he joined Ontario Premier Wynne on her China Trade Mission. He believes that the UBI Global Benchmark is an important tool for the industry to understand where it stands and how to move forward.


2015 has been an exceptional year for North America’s incubators, the third largest region UBI Global benchmarks in terms of sample size.
North American business incubators have attracted a total of $1.98b in investment. With regard to deal flow North America as a whole accept 9.2k applications per year, equating to an average of 154 applications per incubator.
In the last 5 years, North America’s business incubators have created 28.4k jobs (473 jobs per incubator) and over the same time period generated $5.3b in sales, equating to an average of $89m in sales per incubator.


​Congratulations to all our participants, alumni, supporters and team!!


​Top University Business Accelerator
A Top University Business Accelerator is an accelerator managed or formally affiliated with a university, that provides better value for the ecosystem and their startup clients than their regional or global peers. They stand out from average-performing accelerators with better outcomes on economy enhancement, access to funds and post acceleration performance indicators.

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