U of T Entrepreneurship Week goes virtual for annual celebration of startups

It’s a case of “business as virtual” as the University of Toronto prepares for its fifth annual Entrepreneurship Week, a four-day showcase of U of T’s vast and vibrant entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem.

Running from March 8 to 11, this year’s U of T Entrepreneurship Week features a full slate of programming – startup showcases, pitch competitions, keynote talks, workshops, networking events, panel discussions and more – in a safe and easily accessible online setting.

Moderna Co-founder to headline U of T Entrepreneurship Week

U of T alum and serial entrepreneur, Derrick Rossi is set to discuss his unique journey as a biologist-entrepreneur and his thoughts on biotechnology innovation on March 11 during the fifth annual U of T Entrepreneurship Week. His conversation with BNN Bloomberg anchor Amber Kanwar will headline the RBC Speaker Series and promises to be a signature event of the annual celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship, which runs from March 8 to 11. This free, virtual event is open to all members of the U of T community and the public.

Google reveals nine startups joining first cohort of Canadian accelerator

Google for Startups has revealed the nine startups joining the first cohort of its three-month, now-fully digital, Canadian accelerator program for early-stage tech ventures using machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI) in their business.

The program targets seed to Series A Canadian tech startups that use machine learning and AI.

The three-month Google for Startups Accelerator program, originally planned to be held in-person in Kitchener-Waterloo, was first announced by the tech giant in February. In June, Google announced the accelerator would be held virtually and would run from September 8 to November 27.

Focused on sustainability, U of T startup puts insects on the menu – for your pet

A University of Toronto startup is looking to improve the nutrition of dogs and cats while protecting the environment. 

Working with U of T Mississauga’s ICUBE accelerator, HOPE Pet Foods bills itself as both meat-free and sustainable, and is preparing to launch a line of pet foods built around alternative proteins – namely insects and algae. Sofia Bonilla, a post-doctoral researcher at U of T and the startup’s founder says that HOPE Pet Foods allows pet owners to purchase food that is more closely aligned with values such as sustainability and being “cruelty-free.”

Bonilla is actively marketing her product and has enjoyed some early successes. The mother of two small children was a recent semi-finalist in the Total Mom Pitch Competition presented by Scotiabank. Her company also won second prize in the Adams Sustainability Innovation Prize, and she recently received support through U of T’s Lo Family Social Venture Fund.

‘A match made in heaven’: U of T alum, Allen Lau, on Naver’s US$600-million acquisition of Wattpad

Wattpad, the world’s most popular digital storytelling platform, is preparing to write a new chapter in its own story after being purchased by South Korean internet giant Naver for US$600 million.

Wattpad, which was founded by University of Toronto alumni Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen in 2006, started out as a self-publishing platform, but has since spawned a film and TV production arm called Wattpad Studios; a book publishing division called Wattpad Books; and Wattpad Brand Partnerships, which helps brands reach Gen Z consumers. Learn more.

‘Business as virtual’: Registration now open for U of T Entrepreneurship Week

University of Toronto Entrepreneurship Week is coming March 8-11, 2021, and it is business as virtual! 

Join U of T’s entrepreneurial community and campus accelerators in an online celebration of the positive impact that innovation and startup activity can have on our economy, our health and the planet. With over 500 new ventures launched in the past decade, U of T is one of the world’s top 10 university-managed incubators and #1 in Canada for research-based startups.

This year’s schedule includes Entrepreneurship Week mainstays, such as the RBC Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and RBC Speaker Series.  Plus, new events such as Pitch with a Twist to celebrate International Women’s Day and the Scaleup Showcase, spotlighting U of T’s fastest-growing companies.

This week of public events is open to students, mentors, alumni, business leaders, investors and anyone else who wants to be inspired and learn why University of Toronto is THE place for entrepreneurship. 

U of T startup Bridge7 using artificial intelligence to improve cancer treatment

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing many industries and the applications of AI are becoming more widespread each day. Launched via the U of T Early-Stage Technology program (UTEST), Bridge7 is a startup working to apply AI “to improve the quality, consistency, and efficiency of cancer treatments.” On August 19, Bridge7 was announced as one of nine startups selected for the inaugural cohort of Canada’s Google for Startups Accelerator. The tech giant’s Global Accelerator Program was created to foster companies that focus on local issues, helping them address their specific markets and giving them access to Google’s resources.