Carleton students and recent graduates pitched exciting plans to launch and grow businesses in Canada’s Capital Region on Thursday, and received advice from the university’s new Chancellor, Charles Chi, a Silicon Valley veteran.
The presenters are part of an elite group of the Carleton Entrepreneurs program, a campus-wide initiative that increases innovation and fosters an entrepreneurial spirit among students and recent graduates. Their business opportunities have been endorsed by review boards comprised of serial entrepreneurs, economic development officers, company managers, service providers, consultants and academics.
From a mobility device for acute rehabilitation to virtual therapy for special needs children, water-activated shaving products, and booking a bar stool from afar, these are cutting-edge ideas aimed at the marketplace.
Charles Chi, a highly successful serial entrepreneur who graduated from Carleton with a Bachelor of Systems Engineering in 1988, encourages students to pursue their dreams through hard work, dedication and strategic thinking.
The Carleton Entrepreneurs program, supported by the Sprott School of Business, involves 75 students. It harnesses innovation across all disciplines to create and retain wealth for the region by providing mentorship and support.
“Fostering entrepreneurship across the campus is a central part of our mission here at Carleton,’’ said Jerry Tomberlin, dean of the Sprott School. “We are leading the way when it comes to producing tangible business results from our programs.’’
Sixteen businesses are now moving forward – with $1.6 million already raised from private and public sources and eight patents filed. Students expect to generate $1.8 million in revenue in 2012.
“It is remarkable what student entrepreneurs can accomplish when enabled to do so by the university,” said Tony Bailetti, director of Carleton’s Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization. “The intent is for each Carleton Entrepreneur to graduate with a degree in one hand and a new company capable of creating six plus local jobs in the other.”
Successful student groups may be provided space in Invest Ottawa’s incubator and access to experienced mentors like Charles Chi and various funding programs such as the Carleton University Nicol Internships, funded by Ottawa business leader Wes Nicol.
Carleton Entrepreneurs is part of Ottawa Young Entrepreneurs, a project which received $1 million in funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence last summer.
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