Schulich ExecEd Hosts Accelerate Newmarket EventPosted on March 27, 2023
On March 21, 2023, Schulich ExecEd joined Treefrog, the Schulich Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the Accelerate Newmarket program, a cross-sector collaboration dedicated to founders and startup entrepreneurs across Ontario.
The program strives to help participants learn and develop skills to stay relevant in the ever-shifting business world and includes support for early-stage startups and a community with which to share concerns, problems, and innovations.
This event took place at the Nadal Management Centre in the heart of downtown Toronto, where Schulich ExecEd hosted more than 150 attendees who gathered to share their businesses, new pitches and ideas, and solutions around community issues such as the housing crisis in the York Region.
“[This partnership] has created greater access to entrepreneurial training and mentorship for businesses across multiple sectors. I think this was evident in the pitches we saw tonight, ranging from technology platforms to consumer-packaged goods businesses,” said David Kwok, Associate Director of Entrepreneurship at the York University Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation.
Laurie Baker, Executive Director of Treefrog, added: “This [open house event] brought together our current and past cohorts, along with our partners, and so many from the startup and investment ecosystem. We’re really proud of the achievements of our participants and this was a chance to showcase them.”
“Accelerate Newmarket is a great example of how the education sector can collaborate with the private sector and the not-for-profit sector to deliver tangible benefits to the business community,” said Chris Emmanuel, President and CEO of the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce. “Our future success depends on a thriving startup community. We’ve developed and successfully run this program for 2 years and are now heading into our third. This is a testament to the work of all three partners. The Newmarket Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with YorkU and the Treefrog Accelerator in supporting the creation of the companies and jobs of the future.”
In addition to skills development, select participants have the opportunity to dive deeper into specialized management topics in the form of a Schulich ExecEd Mini-MBA for founders. This accelerated curriculum provides busy entrepreneurs with current skills and academically rigorous knowledge that are directly applicable to scaling their businesses across multiple sectors.
An essential part of the curriculum is the Action Learning Project (ALP), where participants apply program learnings to real-life situations. Several of these projects tackle relevant community issues, such as the housing crisis within the York Region, aiming to find methods of making purchasing homes more affordable. The ALP equips them with the valuable tools and experiences they need to grow their businesses and offer novel solutions that directly impact surrounding communities.
“It was fantastic meeting the founders in our Mini-MBA program. These bright lights see untapped opportunities and ooze passion and optimism. I know the structure of the Accelerate Newmarket program gives them skills to be better leaders for today and tomorrow,” shared Megan Mitchell, Program Lead of the Schulich ExecEd Mini-MBA.
The Schulich Mini-MBA proved to be eye-opening for the founders that participated, with participant Mythri Murthy sharing that the curriculum persuaded her to take a hard and analytical look at her business and answer critical questions.
Now finishing its second year of operations funded by the Ontario Skills Development Fund, Accelerate Newmarket has trained and upskilled 300 entrepreneurs representing over 180 startups.
“We are so proud of this collection of Founders, witnessing their drive to build, grow and bring their dreams to life,” said Chris Carder, Executive Director of Schulich’s Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. “The whole team of Trainers and Mentors from the Schulich Startups Community have been thrilled to be partners in this program and can’t wait to see where these ambitious entrepreneurs head next!”
About Schulich ExecEd’s role in this joint program, Schulich ExecEd Executive Director Rami Mayer said: “The Accelerate Newmarket program is a source of great pride for us at Schulich ExecEd. Together with our community and Business School partners, we are making a real difference for start-up businesses in the York Region. The combination of business skills training, ongoing mentorship and personalized support is proving to be a potent method of supporting these start-ups and we must commend the Ontario government for recognizing the value of this program and what it will do to set these entrepreneurs up for success. Over half the participants in our program have been from underrepresented groups, which is our focus and matches the demographic profile of the surrounding communities in which we at Schulich and York University are headquartered; in the years to come, we hope to celebrate the success of these business owners.”