Social Enterprise at Ryerson U

by | Mar 2, 2016 | Community Initiatives, Company News, Innovation

For young entrepreneurs, it is essential to get support from experts and find the financial resources to develop your innovation and business venture. MAKO is proud to be part of a community that believes that progression of our economy heavily relies on young innovators. We love supporting programs that help individuals bring their idea to market.

Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund (SEDF) is an initiative to provide growth financing for Ontario-based social enterprises.  The Government of Ontario is providing a $4 million Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund to support innovative social finance pilot projects across the province. This great initiative is created to help social entrepreneurs who are creating jobs and taking on Ontario’s social and environmental issues. Our friends at Ryerson University have launched a new programfunded by the SEDF to help young entrepreneurs build and scale their social innovation ventures operating in the Greater Toronto Area.

Funding Opportunity for Applicants

Applicants can apply to two funding stages the Market Validation stage and the Market Readiness stage after completing a preliminary Idea Consultation. Each business idea will be assessed and examined. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to be mentored by experts in order to improve their business plan and develop their social innovation skills. Applicants who have successfully completed the Idea Consultation stage will be able to move on to the Market Validation stage.

The Market Validation stage is a 6-month program offering successful applicants a $5000 award to help them test their idea on the market. Social innovators will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to experts and improve their business plans.  To be eligible, applicants must have a detailed business plan and have conducted preliminary research to identify competitive products and outline their differentiating factors.

The Market Readiness stage is open to entrepreneurs who have successfully completed the two previous stages or are at an equivalent stage of development. A funding of up to $15,000 will be granted to help entrepreneurs bring their idea to the market. Successful social innovation enterprises will be eligible to become entrepreneurs-in-residence at one of Ryerson’s Innovation Zones for a six-month period where they can get great support in several areas. The award will be granted on a 1:1 matching basis, the matching funds have to be obtained elsewhere. The deadline for applications is March 16, 2016.

This new program is a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs who are looking for support to scale and establish their social ventures. MAKO loves seeing such initiative emerging as they contribute significantly to building GTA’s entrepreneurial community, to the improvement of society, social innovations, and to strengthening our environment.

Article Author: MAKO Design + Invent

Article Author: MAKO Design + Invent

Company Team

MAKO Design + Invent is a full-service consumer product development firm servicing both high-growth corporate manufacturers and invention startups. With a 25-person team across 3 offices (Austin, England, Toronto), MAKO has complete in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering design and prototyping services. To assist our start-up inventor clients, we also have a subsidiary branch called Mako Invent that, in addition to above, helps start-ups with patenting, strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. For our corporate clients, MAKO Design develops world-class consumer electronics designs through our industrial, mechanical, and electrical design teams.

From design to manufacturing your prototype, research the players involved

If you are hiring a professional design and development firm to create your product, do some research before selecting the firm. This also applies to the manufacturing stage of your product. You may need to work with multiple manufacturers for various parts of your product. Does the factory incorporate alternative sources of energy such as solar or wind into the manufacturing process? Are outputs and waste managed responsibly? Does it take steps to offset the CO2 produced during manufacturing?

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