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!

Read More

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.



Read More

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

Read More


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.

Read More


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!

Read More

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

Read More

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!


Read More



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.

Read More


After incubating more than 100 ventures, we are excited to announce the launch of YEDI’s Business Acceleration Campus. Committed to helping fuel high potential, high growth ventures, the 80,000 sq ft. facility is complete with commercial, industrial, office, educational, TV studio and theatrical spaces to serve a diverse mix of industries and needs.

The Acceleration Campus aims to provide a robust co-working and educational space for ventures requiring resources past the initial incubation phase. Access to subject matter experts, broad investor base, one-on-one goal setting and on-going educational sessions are all part of the accelerator’s value-added free service suite.

For those looking to take residence in this new and innovative space, we strongly believes in ventures retaining full ownership and do not take equity in exchange for participation. Instead, accepted ventures can choose from several space options at market value price points.

Upon acceptance, one year goals are set and reviewed on an on-going basis with program advisors to ensure participants are continuously taking their organizations to the next level.

Applications are currently accepted from both for-profit and not-for-profit ventures that are in their growth stage. Interested applicants may submit an application via www.yedinstitute.org/accelerator; all applications are reviewed on a rolling-basis and acceptance is dependent on fit and space availability. ”


Read More


On Monday October 26, we hosted our quarterly alumni networking event on the ever popular topic of social media. Alumni learnt valuable tips and insights from industry experts Blue Door Inc.

For those who were unable to attend the event in-person, here are 5 things you must be doing on social media:
1. Create great content 
– Re-post or create content that is relevant and will be interesting to your target   market.
2. Distribute content (ads, hashtags, contests, influencer network)
– With so much content being published every second, it may be difficult for your target audience to find you without some added help in getting their attention. Some free and easy ways to get your content in front of a larger audience is by using hashtags which are relevant to the post and audience. Additionally, investing in ads across relevant social media platforms can increase exposure in a shorter period of time.
3. Engage with customers & prospects
– Your customers, both past and future, are human. They would like to interact and feel that there is another human on the other side of the screen. Some useful ways to do this are: respond 100% of the time, like, comment & share, use a name and always provide exceptional service.
4. Use tools
  – It can be a challenge to manage a social media presence while simultaneously overseeing many other aspects of your start-up or organization. To make the process more manageable, consider using free platforms such as Hootsuite to pre-schedule posts and Followerwonk to quickly find potential followers and influences in your industry. 

5. Measure results
– In order to know whether your strategy is working or not, you must invest time into measuring it along the way. Consider important metrics such as:  followers, engagement, sales, phone calls and web traffic among others. 



The event was hosted at the newly renovated JRCC East Thornhill and refreshments provided at the event were generously donated by Tov Li and DANI Toronto. ​

Read More


Marking the culmination of 4 months of hard work, graduates of the Spring Incubator and Existing Not-For-Profit tracks pitched their ventures to YEDI’s funder audience on
June 26th and 29th.

Events featured remarks by various politicians, YEDI partners and supporters including: Dr. Marat Ressin (President, YEDI), Dr. Alan Middleton (Executive Director, SEEC),
Gail Gillian (President, Canadian Association of Business Incubation), Hon. Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua (City of Vaughan), Hon. Peter Kent (MP, Thornhill), Hon. Mark Adler (MP, York Centre), Rabbi Yoseph Zaltzman (JRCC) and Ms. Jennifer Ladouceur (Economic Development City of Vaughan).

We look forward to their continued success!

Have a start-up idea? Growing an existing venture or not-for-profit organization?Applications for the Fall 2015 Incubator and Existing Not-For-Profit tracks are accepted until August 16, 2015. Please follow this link to apply and learn more about YEDI’s various program tracks.

Read More