Attention Post-Secondary Students: Apply to the 2017 RBC EPIC Business Model Canvas Competition for a chance to compete for $10,000!

The University of Windsor’s Entrepreneurship Practice & Innovation Centre (EPICentre) will be hosting the second annual RBC EPIC Business Model Canvas Competition (RBC EPIC BMCC) on November 17th – 18th, 2017!

The RBC EPIC BMCC invites student entrepreneurs to learn about business models, business model validation, and the business model canvas and then demonstrate their understanding through a video submission of their own entrepreneurial experiences that exhibit these concepts. Semi-finalists will then be chosen to participate in live presentations at the University of Windsor based on the content of their video submissions. Please go to our Resources page for information on submissions.

This competition has a number of large sponsors, including Royal Bank Foundation (RBC) and Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), leading to several large cash prizes, including a top prize of $10,000 for your venture. First place will also receive, among other prizes, an automatic qualifying entry to Canada’s Business Model Competition in Halifax. Non-cash prizes for top winners also include consulting services from KMPG, incubation space at the University of Windsor, national advertising from PostMedia, and much more! All entries outside of the Windsor area may qualify for up to $1,000 towards travel and accommodations during the competition.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Teams should consist of 2-5 members, and each member must have been enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution in 2017
  • At least 50% of the team should be composed of high-level, decision-making positions for the venture they are representing, such as President, CEO, COO, etc
  • Teams should own at least 20% of the venture they are representing
  • Teams in their entirety must control at least 51% of the voting rights for the venture they are representing

Video Submission Requirements

Video must be no more than 8 minutes, and must address the following points (in no particular order):

  • Describe your problem-solution fit
  • Describe your minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Highlight your value proposition
  • Use business model canvas (BMC) to explain your business model
  • Explain your customer discovery and validation process (e.g. surveys, interviews)
  • Explain any pivots, if relevant
  • Introduce your team


***Applications are due October 16, 2017***


Walking to Success

Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor in partnership with Leadership Windsor-Essex presents Walking to Success, a unique walking experience that will introduce you to interesting career options you might not have thought of before!

Tours available in the following areas Heath/Science, Technology, Arts & Design and Engineering.

This FREE event is open to youth 14 to 18 years of age. Limited spots available.

LGBTQ Youth Entrepreneur Consultation & Networking Session

The Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC), in collaboration with provincial partners and supporters, has received funding through the Ontario150 Partnership Program to develop and launch an LGBTQ Youth Entrepreneur Mentorship Program in Ontario – called the OUT For Business Initiative.  The initiative will focus on building a foundation of new partnerships to support and empower LGBTQ youth entrepreneurs across the province, through consultations, mentorship program development, and an LGBTQ Youth Entrepreneurs Summit. The overall objective is to empower Ontario LGBTQ youth by providing them the support and guidance to help them establish or grow their own businesses.

As part of the program, CGLCC is hosting a series of consultation and networking sessions across Ontario, and will be in Windsor on March 29.  One of the goals of the consultation sessions is to identify current challenges faced specifically by LGBTQ youth when starting or growing their own business.  Outcomes from the consultation sessions will help shape the development and future roll-out of the OUT For Business Initiative in Ontario.

Wed, 29 March 2017
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Windsor Pride Community Education & Resource Centre
422 Pelissier St.
Windsor, Ontario


Apply for RBC EPIC Founders Program and get PAID to work on your startup!!!

Apply for our RBC EPIC Founders Program and get PAID to work on your startup!!!

EPICentre is officially taking applications for the 2017 RBC EPIC Founders Program. Students or alumni of any post-secondary institution from any discipline can apply and those selected will receive up to $6,000 over the course of three months to work on their startup company!

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Student or recent graduate of any post-secondary institution (Alumni graduation post 2010)
  • Under 29 years of age
  • Business must be physically based in Windsor-Essex
  • Must have a feasible (validated) business idea, at the beta and/or pre-revenue stage
  • Not working full-time elsewhere
  • Must dedicate 35 hrs/week on business
  • Must be available 8:30am – 4:30pm, Monday-Friday in May until July, 2017 (excluding holidays), and occasional nights and weekends
  • Must be eligible to work in Canada

Founders will pitch their startup idea for a prize of $3,500. It is mandatory that you pitch your idea on August 2nd, 2017.


Apply Today! EPICentre Inaugural Business Model Canvas Competition


The University of Windsor’s business incubator, EPICentre, will be hosting its inaugural business model canvas competition on November 25th – 26th, 2016.

The main goal of the RBC EPIC Business Model Canvas Competition (BMCC) is to educate entrepreneurs and provide them with tools to help launch more successful ventures. The BMCC invites Ontario student entrepreneurs to learn about business model validation and submit an outline of their experiences utilizing it in their own start-up business venture. Semi-finalists will then be chosen to participate in live presentations based on the content of their video submissions.

This competition has a number of large sponsors, including The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), leading to several large cash prizes, including a top prize of $10,000 for your venture. First place will also receive, among other prizes, an automatic qualifying entry to Canada’s Business Model Competition in Halifax. Non-cash prizes for top winners also include consulting services from KMPG, incubation space at the University of Windsor, national advertising, and much more! All entries outside of the Windsor area qualify for up to $1,000 towards travel and accommodations during the competition.

The DEADLINE TO APPLY is October 17th:

ATTN Essex County Youth! Free Entrepreneurship Program!

Our FREE award-winning Youth Small Business Program is coming to Leamington in SEPTEMBER 2016!

Are you a youth under 30 and interested in starting your own small business? APPLY NOW and/or help us find awesome local youth (under 30) who want to start or grow their own business by sharing this with potential students and local community agencies, networks and organizations. (See below for eligibility).

Are you a local business professional looking to give back to you community? Become a YOUTH COACH and help us launch some local youth entrepreneurs by sharing your businesses skills, professional experience and guidance in 3 evening sessions over the course of the program

The Ultimate Summer Weekend Adventure!


The YKNOT Windsor-Essex Millennial Power‬ event series continues with the Ultimate Summer Weekend Adventure with Craft Heads Brewing Company & Windsor Adventure Inc.!

Join us this Friday, August 12th from 7-10pm for the official kickoff of Craft Heads Brewing Company’s new Windsor 180 root beer!

Craft Heads has turned a childhood favourite 180 degrees upside down. Brewed with an array of herbs and spices, this malt based root beer will turn non-craft beer drinkers into craft beer lovers!

$1 from each pint will support YKNOT Windsor-Essex and is ONLY available at Craft Heads Brewery!



Enjoy a weekend of tandem adventures from Windsor Adventure Inc. August 12-14th when ‪#‎YQG‬ Millennials will receive their 2nd hour FREE when you rent a tandem kayak or tandem bicycle. (Hint, hint: BRING A FRIEND!)


WEtech Alliance Director of Social Innovation Cathy Mombourquette (l) and Entrepreneur-in-Residence Deborah Livneh celebrate their recent Windsor Adventure Inc. tandem kayak trip.

Youth Opportunities Fund – Session for youth aged 12-29

IdeaLabSent on behalf of the Ontario Trillium Foundation

I am reaching out to you to share information about the Youth Opportunities Fund, an exciting initiative which provides funds to youth-led grassroots groups and collaborative initiatives that focus on creating systems change for youth facing multiple barriers. If you are interested in learning more about the two YOF funding streams (Grassroots Innovation and Strategic Collaborations) and/or how to apply for a grant, please click here.

The YOF Team will be coming to Windsor to facilitate a half-day session for interested young people (12-29) on August 18th, 2016 from 4 to 8 pm at Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women. All of the details can be found in the flyer attached as a PDF in this e-mail. In terms of the session, it will be interactive for 3 to 4 hours and we are looking to gather young people who are interested in creating change in their communities. After an initial introduction to the YOF and what it is all about, the session will focus on whatever the youth identify as being issues they see in the community and how they envision dealing with them.

Depending on the participants in the room, we may make separate groups where those who have an idea or model are able to refine that idea so that they are able to clearly state who they want to support and why, and how their project would provide the supports that are needed. Others may focus on more initial stages of project development, again about how they could respond to the issues they are seeing in their community.

If you could please share this invitation in your networks and promote the event to any young people who may be interested, it would be greatly appreciated! To register, please click here or click on the link from the PDF flyer. Please note that in the Eventbrite there are multiple dates and locations, so when registering ensure that right location and date is chosen. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me or you can call me at 416-963-4560.

Thank you again for all that you do to support young people in Windsor and Essex County!

Young Entrepreneurs of #YQG: Win Your Way to the 2016 Business Excellence Awards

The Annual Business Excellence Awards is the premier business event of the year recognizing professional individuals and companies who have set standards and demonstrated achievements that have contributed to the prosperity and business development in Windsor and Essex County. This year marks the 26th year of celebrating local business excellence and we want you to be a part of this milestone event.

EPICentre, Genesis Centre and WEtech Alliance have teamed up to give 3 local young entrepreneurs the chance to win their way the “Business Oscars” of Windsor-Essex. All you have to do is answer one of the questions below and send us a short video with your answer. We ask that you keep videos under two (2) minutes long and no need for special effects…unless you want to! Contest judges are looking for unique and innovative answers that touch on the local business community, entrepreneurship, mentorship, and business excellence. Entrepreneurs and students residing in Windsor-Essex between the ages of 19 and 30 are eligible. All entries must be submitted to by Wednesday, March 23rd at 11:59PM.

Please include your full name and contact information. Contest winners will be announced on April 1st, 2016. Winning entries will be posted on social media outlets. This year’s award show takes place April 20th 2016 at Caesars Windsor. (Approx. value $150)

  1. You just won the “New Business of the Year” Business Excellence Awards. Give us your best acceptance speech?
  2. What local business/professional inspires you and why?
  3. Why do you think it’s important to celebrate local business excellence?

Prize: Winners will receive one (1) complimentary ticket to the BEAs set for April 20th, 2016 at Caesars Windsor (Approx. value $150). A total of three (3) prizes are available. All winners will be seated together at the BEAs at the EPICentre private table.

For updates on the 26th Business Excellence Awards, follow @BEAwards2016 on Twitter!

EPICentre Now Taking Applications for 2016 RBC EPIC Founders Program


EPICentre is now officially taking applications for the 2016 RBC EPIC Founders Program. Apply today!

2016 Weston Youth Innovation Award Competition Now Open!


The Ontario Science Centre recognizes youth who use science and technology to make the world a better place

TORONTO (November 24, 2015) – Calling all Canadian innovators between the ages of 14 and 18! The Ontario Science Centre wants to recognize you for making the world a better place through science and technology. Nominations are now open for the prestigious Weston Youth Innovation Award. Now in its eighth year, the annual award recognizes and supports young Canadians who apply science and technology creatively with the goal of making a positive difference locally or even globally.

“As an important contributor to the province’s innovation ecosystem, the Ontario Science Centre is proud to encourage young Canadians in this area,” said Catherine Paisley, Ontario Science Centre Vice-President, Science Education. “The Weston Youth Innovation Award is a prestigious honour that provides a platform for these talented young innovators to showcase their work to the broader public, to not just tell their story but also to inspire others.”

Alex Deans, an 18-year-old from Windsor, ON, was awarded the Weston Youth Innovation Award in 2015 for creating the iAid, a navigation device for the visually impaired. “The best part of science is using it to make other people’s lives better,” said Deans. “It’s an honour to have my efforts recognized by the Ontario Science Centre. This award will allow me to further develop the iAid and ensure it’s available for those who would most benefit from it.”

“The quality of the candidates over the last eight years has been truly inspiring,” said Sabrina Greupner, the Ontario Science Centre’s Manager of the Weston Family Innovation Centre and Cisco Science Fellow for Innovative Learning Technologies. “The innovative ideas and creative work of these young Canadians point to a future where science and technology will continue to make many positive contributions to society.”

Open to all Canadians aged 14 to 18, this year’s recipient will receive a $2,000 prize, travel expenses to attend the award ceremony in Toronto and an Ontario Science Centre membership. In addition, the recipient will be featured in a video animation by the Science Centre’s award-winning graphics team that will be broadcast online and in the Weston Family Innovation Centre, the news hub of the Science Centre where more than one million visitors are welcomed each year.

Do you know an innovative youth who might qualify for the Weston Youth Innovation Award? Please contact

Youth are invited to put their names forward, and teachers and community leaders are asked to encourage potential candidates to apply.

Nominations must be received by Friday, March 4, 2016. An external jury will make a selection in April 2016 and the winner will be announced on the website by June 3, 2016.

Detailed information about the Weston Youth Innovation Award and past winners can be found at

The Weston Youth Innovation Award was established in 2008 to encourage and recognize young Canadian innovators and was named in recognition of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation’s $15 million lead gift to the Ontario Science Centre’s Agents of Change initiative. This national award builds on the Foundation’s longstanding tradition of support to educational initiatives for Canadian youth.

Windsor-Essex: National Girls Learning Code Day


Women’s Enterprise Skills Training

201-647 Ouellette Avenue
Windsor, ON
Saturday, 7 November 2015 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EST)
This is a beginner level workshop for girls 8-13 years old and their parent/guardian/aunt/older sibling.
Bring a special girl in your life to this workshop on National Girls Learning Code Day and learn to create a website together from scratch!
Note: this workshop is BYOL so each parent or guardian/youth pair is required to bring one laptop on the day of the workshop as well as their own lunch.

The Workshop:

This workshop experience offers girls the opportunity to learn how to use creativity to build an online web presence! The workshop will focus on the use of Mozilla Thimble, an easy-to-use online web making platform that allows for live previewing while coding. Girls will learn HTML and CSS basics by hacking pre-existing text, links, images, and videos on various templates, and then use their skills to create their very own fun business website from scratch (think ice-cream store, pet store, or any other fun real-world workplace!). Fundamental concepts of code, such as divs, classes and ids will enforce organization and prepare the girls to continue creating – at home and at school. Thimble also allows for easy sharing, so their awesome content can be shared with you and anyone with a link!

What is Girls Learning Code?

Founded by the same women who introduced Ladies Learning Code in 2011, Girls Learning Code is less about “code” and more about changing the world – through teamwork, creativity, and, of course, technology.

What Makes Girls Learning Code Different?

Girls Learning Code has been designed specifically with girls in mind, by the team who founded Ladies Learning Code. When developing plans and curriculum for workshops, we keep in mind a recurrent theme in research on gender and technology: girls approach the computer as a “tool” useful primarily for what it can do; boys more often view the computer as a “toy” or an extension of the self. Thus, the theme of workshops are “Changing the World” and how technology can be used as the means, not the end.

What parents say about Girls Learning Code:

“My daughter went to the camp without a clear understanding of what a tech camp for girls was but was pleasantly surprised by the experience. She enjoyed every single day at the camp and showed great enthusiasm about the topic she and her group chose to present. I would not hesitate to send her to another tech camp with LLC whenever the opportunity arises.”
“My daughter wasn’t sold on the idea of attending a “technology camp” for March Break. By the second day she was raving about how much fun she was having AND how much she was learning. What a great combination!”
“I learned about Girls Learning Code from the Toronto Star. I looked into it and I thought it was such a great opportunity for my daughter to be exposed in the field of technology. I was really happy that she went to Girls Learning Code because she was introduced to different programming languages, exposed to companies like Google and Mozilla and had to work with different girls she’s never met before. I wish my older daughter who is now in first year university had the same opportunity as her sister.”
“This was a great initiative that is needed to encourage females to become leaders in computer technology field. It was inspiring for my daughter to visit Google, to see a modern office space, to see a bilingual women in a leading position at Google. This camp provided a perspective to girls that they not only can play and use technology, they can design, create and become leaders in technology.”
“My daughter had a blast, the other campers were a great bunch of girls, they learned, grew and had fun. The venue was well chosen, the balance of activities was good. The extra little touches of caring were noticeable and appreciated. The camp was down to earth and unpretentious but the counselors took their jobs seriously. A+. I will recommend to other parents.”


To register, click HERE.

Nominate a Student Entrepreneur Today!


The Enactus Canada Student Entrepreneur National Competition is a great opportunity for young Canadian entrepreneurs to network, compete and showcase their business to industry leaders across Canada.   There are also ten prizes of $1,000 for successful nominees from across Canada, and our grand prize of $10,000 presented at the Enactus National Exposition in Toronto, this May 2016!  The Grand prize winner will get to hoist the illustrious John Dobson trophy – while benefiting from extensive media exposure, and accessing national business leaders.

Our past participants have expanded their businesses globally, received high level media attention and been exposed to top Canadian investors. Indeed, the rewards are many.

The Enactus Canada Student Entrepreneur National Competition is the only national competition to focus solely on full-time Canadian post-secondary student entrepreneurs, who are simultaneously operating their own businesses.

Find out more more about the Student Entrepreneur National Competition and nominate a young business leader in your community today!

Get more details HERE!

Apply to be on Next Gen Den!


Auditions are now open for our next season of CBC’s Next Gen Den! Are you a young entrepreneur with an early-stage or startup business? To be eligible, entrepreneurs must be 40 years old or younger, looking for investment of $100,000 and under.

Apply Now!

EPICentre August Startup Mashup

Register HERE!

Starup August copy