ICUBE: Home of Entrepreneurship at UTM
ICUBE is the campus incubator and innovation hub at the University of Toronto Mississauga. ICUBE, which has over 318 members, operates as a social entrepreneurship network for both early-stage and established start-ups by adopting a value-based strategy to encourage and train entrepreneurs who want to make a positive impact. ICUBE conducts events, mentorships, and contests to assist start-ups in creating a social effect to fulfill their objective of integrating responsible and sustainable innovation action.
“These events help ideas become a reality and keep start-ups in traction. We are incredibly grateful to the University of Toronto and the ICUBE team for supporting our work and the work of many entrepreneurs like us,” said Erike Reyes. Reyes, the CEO of Inwit, highlighted the importance of ICUBE events in supporting them to reach the final stages of the Sauga Pitch tournament.
ICUBE offers various programmes to support the growth and development of start-ups' concepts. Through a network of business professionals, the Venture Forward programme has assisted all firms in the community in achieving sustainable growth.
The 2019 programme graduates Jay V and Frank Wang joined the venture forward program with their start-up Anomaly Innovations, a platform for assisting start-ups in developing their applications. They were able to realize their full potential by keeping in mind the advice of industry leaders they met during the programme. “You can get stuck in a spot where it’s good but not great. Incremental changes versus innovation. Don’t get stuck in that,” V advises, drawing on expertise from venture forward, which has benefited in the development of their start-up.
ICUBE seeks to be a voice for underrepresented groups, highlighting the value of both inclusion and diversity in the workplace to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs. ICUBE seeks to highlight these characteristics by reflecting on the realities that underrepresented people endure.
A student's insight on ICUBE’s pitch competition 2020 during entrepreneurship week puts forward the importance of acknowledging the hardships faced by marginalized groups in entrepreneurship. “While talking to the entrepreneurs and listening to their inspiring stories of bringing change in the community. I realized that there is much more to a business than just being a profit-generating entity. It can be a means to solve problems for the community and change people’s lives if done with sincerity and passion,” explains the student who attended the pitch competition as a part of the International Women’s Day campaign. ICUBE helps students and entrepreneurs come face-to-face with these changes to inspire them to create more diverse and inclusive foundations in their respective start-ups.
ICUBE serves as a fantastic incubator for change-making start-ups, allowing them to explore their ideas while receiving enlightening assistance and mentorships that will help them grow and scale up their enterprises with a solid basis in responsible business practices.