WHY LEARN AT YEDI?
Unlike any other start-up incubator in the province of Ontario, YEDI equips entrepreneurs with formal institutional certification from The Schulich School of Business (York University) and/or YEDI upon program completion. This certificate will be a vital tool in the entrepreneur’s portfolio, indicating the level of their entrepreneurial knowledge to future investors and banks. This certificate especially helps those who have no previous business experience to demonstrate their credibility to banks for investment. YEDI prepares you for long-term success.
Access to Exclusive Finance Networks
Upon completion of the program, YEDI provides its entrepreneurs with the exclusive opportunity to showcase and pitch their projects for a chance to receive funding of up to $500,000 from YEDI’s own venture capital fund. Deriving from YEDI networks, the Venture Fair will also provide an investor audience for entrepreneur’s pitches composed of other venture capital firms and banks that can facilitate direct investment. The Venture Fair connects innovators with a significant industry network, and enables potential customers, partners and investors to get up close and personal with the entrepreneurs to learn about their business project, model, and goals.
Efficiency-Building for not-for-profits
YEDI values the social impact and contribution not-for-profits make to their communities. To ensure that not-for-profits are sustainable to effect long-term change, they must have a clear, effective model for operations. The YEDI program will cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset for not-for-profits, training them to become efficient, to create and use budgets wisely, and to bring more of a business edge to their social mission in order to achieve their goals.
Socially Responsible Thinking for for-profits
YEDI believes in social responsibility and an open mind. For this reason, the accelerator accepts both for-profit and not-for-profit fellows, incubating them in the same space throughout the program so for-profit companies can learn from not-for-profit organization values and receive constructive feedback with regards to the social impact and positive contribution of business practice.
Mentorship & Advisor Relationships
YEDI ensures that our entrepreneurs have a wide selection of subject matter experts spanning diverse industries with whom to consult at various stages of business development, be it accounting, technical aid, communications, marketing, and more.
Networking and Industry Connections
Thanks to YEDI’s mentors and partners, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to liaise with significant industry figures throughout their program, as well as network with investors at the YEDI Venture Fair at the end of the term. Entrepreneurs also enjoy making new connections with their peer-cohort and their extended networks.
Community & Peer Support
YEDI is community-driven. Innovators learn in a shared space with other start-ups and entrepreneurs, allowing for an immersive and intensive environment as peer workshops, presentations, and assessments are conducted. Mentors are not assigned on a one-on-one basis, but rather a series of subject matter experts are available for counsel and form the community of support for YEDI fellows.
Workspace & Other Resources
Space is a critical component to an entrepreneur’s productivity and creativity. YEDI participants and fellow entrepreneurs may apply for space at one of YEDI’s Business Acceleration Campuses which provide a platform for development and a centre for the entrepreneurial community. Those participating in YEDI programming on York University Campus benefit from a plethora of resources and facilities, including access to a student card & number, library and on-campus workspace (for individuals or teams), WiFi connection, and more.