OCAD University

OCAD University hosts Toronto SheEO Program

(Toronto—Feb. 27, 2014) OCAD University is excited to host SheEO this spring. The four-day intensive program supports young women entrepreneurs through mentorship, guidance and seed money from established female entrepreneurs.

“I believe many young women who are developing startup businesses are looking to connect with mentors with a female perspective,” says Petra Kassun-Mutch, executive director of the Imagination Catalyst, OCAD U’s entrepreneurship and commercialization hub. “Many of the participants at the Toronto SheEO program will be from OCAD U, but we’re welcoming everyone.”

The Imagination Catalyst is a student and alumni-centred entrepreneurship incubator designed to bring together OCAD U's innovation research activities and expand industry collaboration in applied research and commercialization.

SheEO was founded by Vicki Saunders, a successful “serial entrepreneur” who rallied 10 women angel investors to provide seed money to support the next generation of women-led ventures. Each has invested $5,000 to create a pool of capital to support 10 up-and-coming women entrepreneurs. The $50,000 grant capital to kick start these ventures is distributed at the end of the program by a process determined by the cohort.

"We know that women have more than 50% of the world’s wealth and make 75% of buying decisions; SheEO is committed to bringing together successful women to support the next generation of ventures so we can build new models, a new mindset and new solutions for a better world," says Saunders.

Piloted in 2013, SheEO gained traction throughout North America for its unique approach and its focus on supporting women entrepreneurs on their own terms. SheEO will also be running a number of cohorts in the United States this year.

The program will run at least four times this year; this first edition in collaboration with OCAD U will be the only one held in Toronto in 2014. The deadline to apply is March 1st, successful applicants will be announced April 1st. The Toronto program will take place over four days in April and May.

About SheEO
The vision for SheEO is to build a network of “next generation” of creators, makers and entrepreneurs supported by and funded by successful women and men who recognize the need for new models, new mindsets and new solutions to build a better world. SheEO is a program for women-led ventures, designed to surface clarity around the impact they want to have in the world. We believe that the most powerful leaders are ones who know what they want, know what they are good at and know what they need to surround themselves with to build a great team. www.sheeo.ca

The Imagination Catalyst at OCAD U
The Imagination Catalyst (www.ocadu.ca/imaginationcatalyst) is OCAD University’s centre for entrepreneurship and commercialization. The incubator supports and develops entrepreneurial talent among OCAD U faculty, graduate students and alumni. The Catalyst helps launch new companies or products that help drive the local economy and contribute to Ontario’s and Canada’s collective well-being. The Imagination Catalyst is OCAD U’s gateway to the start-up community in Toronto, Ontario and internationally.

OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” The university, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information please contact:

Christine Crosbie, Media Relations and Strategic Communications Officer
OCAD University
416-977-6000, Ext. 4890; ccrosbie@ocadu.ca



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