The RBC EPIC Founders Program is an intensive 12-week startup accelerator program for students and recent graduates who want to turn their ideas into businesses. Participants accepted into this program will receive a stipend of up to $6,000 per person that can be used as seed funding for the business. Program participants will attend weekly workshops and seminars with distinguished guest speakers, receive one-on-one mentorship and coaching, and attend special events; a package valued at over $7,000.
RBC EPIC Founders
- Students or recent alumni graduated within the last 7 years (post 2014) from any Canadian post-secondary institution
- You can demonstrate some evidence of idea validation and have undertaken some primary and secondary market research
- Your startup/ new venture has a unique value proposition
- You have an initial mock-up of your product/ solution
- The business is two years old or less (the business can be early stage, as long as it meets the criteria above)
- Successful applicants will be required to dedicate 35 hours a week to their business and program activities. Participants are required to have open availability from Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm starting May 25 to August 12, 2021. All activities will be hosted virtually for the duration of this program
RBC EPIC Founders follows the Business Model Canvas and Lean Startup approach, a step-by-step business development method created by serial entrepreneurs Alex Osterwalder, Eric Ries, and Steve Blank. Teams will be directed to “test” their ideas/assumptions by getting out of the building and talking to potential customers. The program will be augmented with guest speakers, subject matter experts, and mentors as teams attempt to validate their value proposition and business models. The program will culminate on Final Pitch Day, giving participants the opportunity to pitch their idea and prototype to a panel of judges for a chance to win additional cash prizes valued at $4,500.
Our specialized and unique workshops are designed to educate and train these trailblazing startups to be confident in:
The first steps to starting a business are some of the most important. Here, participants will learn the foundational concepts of starting a business, which includes design thinking, customer discovery process, lean startup methodology, and fundamentals of market research.
Marketing Strategies and Communication
A big component to starting your business is developing your own distinctive brand. In this module, participants will learn the basics of building a strong marketing strategy through storytelling, social networking, website design, search engine optimization, traffic building, and other forms of digital marketing. Participants will also learn how to effectively communicate to future customers, suppliers, and/ or investors by developing strong presentation and interpersonal skills.
Business Law & Intellectual Property Knowledge
Often, startups will generate many forms of intellectual property. Here, teams will learn more about the different forms of intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, and copyright. Teams will also get the opportunity to learn about business structures, including sole proprietorship, partnerships, and corporations. It’s important for startups to consider these topics early; in this hands-on module, teams will learn the best strategy that fits their business to maintain a competitive advantage.
For every startup, knowing your cash flow (money coming in and money going out) is pivotal to getting off on the right foot. Here, teams will get a functional understanding of budgeting, cost analysis, pricing strategies, and building future forecasting models and financial projections.
Startups selected for this program will:
- Be connected with an experienced mentor
- Attend exclusive events with distinguished guest speakers
- Connect with EPICentre’s network of entrepreneurs and community members
- Be eligible for up to $6,000 in stipends
- Pitch their business idea on Final Pitch Day for a chance to win additional cash prizes totaling $4,500
- Students enrolled in Co-operative Education Program at the University of Windsor may also be eligible to use this program as their Summer co-op term. In order for this program to be considered as your Summer co-op term, please confirm eligibility with the co-op office in advance by emailing the Program Co-ordinators
Application link will be available Monday, April 19th, 2021
- Formal applications open: Monday, April 19, 2021
- Formal application deadline: Monday, May 10 @ 5:00 pm
- Program start date: Wednesday, May 26, 2021
- Orientation: Wednesday, May 26 @ 10:00 am
- Program end date & final pitch competition: Thursday, August 12, 2021
This webinar is intended to give you:
- A basic overview of the RBC EPIC Founders Program;
- Outline of 12-week curriculum and module breakdown;
- Review of program eligibility and requirements;
- Detailed information about the application process; and
- Opportunity for Q&A.
- Anyone interested in applying to the RBC EPIC Founders Program
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.