WINDSOR, ON – Visitors to the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) Founders Demo Day had the opportunity to get a first glimpse of business start-up ideas and chat with their creators. The event was the culmination of the 12-week EPIC Founders program that trained 17 student entrepreneurs and recent graduates from various backgrounds on launching a lean start-up business.
EPICentre Program Manager Nicole Anderson says the entrepreneurs had a workshop or a mentor every week, where they were tasked with developing a tangible concept or product by the end of July. “They came to the program with just an idea, and today they are demonstrating their final product,” says Anderson. Fourth-year Computer Science student Curtis Collard developed his Community Health program with the goal of connecting people and government on issues that matter to both parties in an effort build stronger communities. “The program was phenomenal,” says Collard. “It gave us the lean start of methodology and let us focus on our target market for our particular idea.” Collard says the event will help him grow his business network. “I already had people from the University expressing their interest and connecting me to other people who are doing similar things, which is so valuable.”
After presenting their businesses to the crowd, the Founders – all UWindsor and St. Clair College students – are now expected to apply for an incubator space to accelerate their business. If their ideas are accepted they will receive six months of free space. “We’re very excited,” says Anderson. “We’ve had a lot of different organizations approach us to fund the program and we are in the process of finalizing two organizations who agreed to fund it for next year.”
Daily News, August 4, 2015