Incubator

A QUICK LOOK: YEDI


PARTICIPANTS

YEDI accepts 15 entrepreneurs per cohort. An Expert Committee comprised of industry experts and partners will be responsible for evaluating applications based on set criteria.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Applicant is the founder; co-founder(s) will be considered;
  • Any adult age or background;
  • Applicant does not have to be enrolled in York University to apply;
  • A unique and innovative idea that is in raw, seed, early, or growth stage;
  • Applicant is able to commute to York University for the duration of the program;
  • Applicant(s) is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
PROGRAM
Accepted students undergo a free, intensive 16-week program, including formal academic lectures by Schulich Executive Education Centre instructors, workshop-based training in entrepreneurship, and mentorship by key industry leaders. At the end of the incubator, entrepreneurs will have a professionally developed business plan, an executive summary, and a proper business model that is ready to pitch and potentially bring to the market. Upon successful program completion, participants receive a formal institutional certification from The Schulich School of Business (York University) & YEDI.
INDUSTRIES
YEDI is sector agnostic and will consider start-ups from any industry.
LOCATION
All sessions are conducted at the Schulich Executive Learning Centre; all work facilities are located at the York University campus in Toronto.

FUNDING

Upon program completion, graduates are eligible to apply for seed funding and/or VC funding through YEDI’s Venture Capital fund.

Funding is intended for early-stage opportunities in the start-up validation stage, when the scientific, technical and commercial merit, as well as the feasibility of the applicant’s product or service has been determined.

VENTURE FAIR

Entrepreneurs need as many opportunities as possible to showcase their companies. Upon successful completion of the accelerator program, YEDI participants will present their ventures to the Institute’s funder audience.

The Venture Fair provides a concrete opportunity for participants to showcase their business plan, models, and milestones to an investor audience, as well as create industry partnerships that will take their venture to the next step in development and success.

CURRICULUM COMPONENTS


LECTURES

Selected entrepreneurs participate in sessions facilitated by YEDI & Schulich Executive Education Centre professors and instructors, providing a solid foundation in business theory and economics. Theory examined includes: entrepreneurship, marketing and sales strategy, business development and growth, finance, and communication skills. Successful entrepreneurs quickly need to learn where they lack expertise and require a network of support. Entrepreneurs participate in sessions that will prepare them for real-life application of theory to achieve inspiration, ideation, and implementation. Topics include: visioning, environmental scanning, finance and fundraising. All sessions take place once per week.

Framework of the Incubator Program:

Week 1. Entrepreneurial Leadership. Building a Successful Team.
Week 2. Visioning and Environmental Scanning
Week 3. Business, Strategic Planning and Modelling. Defining a Business Model
Week 4. Business Model Canvas, Operations of SMEs
Week 5. Market Testing and Go-To-Market Strategy
Week 6. Business Planning and Modelling (Personal Session)
Week 7. “Friendrising”: Networking and Pitching Skills
Week 8. Financial Projections: A Monetary Interpretation of the Strategy and Operational Plan. Sources of Funds
Week 9. Marketing and Sales Strategy
Week 10. Financial Projections (Personal Session)
Week 11. Marketing and Promotion in a Digital Era
Week 12. Building an Organizational Structure. Major Powers in a Corporation
Week 13. Business Communications: Customer Service and the Executive Summary
Week 14. Raising Money and Relationships with Investors
Week 15. Pitch Rehearsal Session (Personal Session)

PEER CLUSTERS & MILESTONES

Entrepreneurs often benefit by sharing best practices, challenges, and accomplishments with one another. The YEDI Director coordinates regular entrepreneur cluster meetings to facilitate constructive feedback, group exercises, and peer-support. Participants are also expected to complete bi-weekly milestone deliverables that are assigned to guide the business development process. Each milestone and achieved goal will form a component of the final proof-of-concept, with which the entrepreneur will graduate the program.

MENTORSHIP

Entrepreneurs will be matched with subject matter experts across diverse industries. The YEDI Program Coordinator will ensure that volunteer mentors from pertinent sectors are available for valuable insight, problem-solving, and networking opportunities.

COMMUNICATIONS SUPPORT


A business will not survive in a competitive market if it lacks customer service, people management skills, and is unable to relate well to clients, vendors, and staff. Students will take in both a lecture and a seminar involving key components of business communication skills. Our partner National Communication Coaching Association of Canada (NCCA) helps entrepreneurs with their business branding, writing, communication tactics and pitch presentations.

Application Period Is Now Closed

YEDI Incubator Track  Grant Recipients