EPICentre and the Office of Research and Innovation Services travelled to Toronto for the annual Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Discovery, Canada’s leading innovation-to-commercialization conference. Discovery brings together key players from industry, academia, government and the investment community, as well as entrepreneurs and students to pursue collaboration opportunities. Discovery is a showcase of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research from sectors such as health, manufacturing, digital media and cleantech, including energy, environment and water.
OCE Discovery kicked off with two important keynote speakers. Spencer West, an inspirational speaker, author and humanitarian, started things off with a motivating speech. After losing both legs from the pelvis down at the age of five, Spencer tackled challenge after challenge, learning to navigate in a world set against those with disabilities. As a global speaker, he has captivated hundreds of thousands with his keynote addresses, ‘Redefining Possible and No Can’t, No Won’t, Only How’.
The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, the Premier of Ontario, was also in attendance to give a keynote address about entrepreneurship and innovation and how Ontario is moving forward with these important components in mind.
During the event, the University of Windsor showcased its OCE funded research and highlighted its Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre). In addition to our exhibition booth, two Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) student finalists from the University of Windsor showcased their cost-effective and practical solutions to accessibility-related barriers. A number of EPICentre-based startups also had displays for their companies. Through the exchange of ideas and inspiring ambiance, OCE Discovery fostered potential collaborations and future innovation for the University of Windsor. EPICentre was among one of many other entrepreneurship centres attending the event and there were plenty of opportunities to connect and collaborate with other OCE-funded entrepreneurship centres from across Ontario.
EPICentre also brought 11 new founders for the conference to kick off the RBC EPIC Founders Program. Students and alumni in the program were given the opportunity to network with other startups and entrepreneurs, as well as participate in numerous learning sessions. For example, OCE Discovery featured an “Expert Zone” where participants were able to meet expert investors, entrepreneurs, innovation agents and professional services and export specialists through one-on-one meetings. This was but one example of many of the resources and opportunities provided at OCE Discovery.
The conference concluded with a Thank You video where one of EPICentre’s newest founders, Adrian Menzi, made a brief appearance. You can check out the video below:
Lastly, images of the EPICentre and Office of Research and Innovation Services booth can be found below: