The Imagination Catalyst business incubator

OCAD University’s free, one-year business incubator program supports up to 25 startups. Join a motivated group of fellow entrepreneurs who are creating, building, designing, making and inventing innovative products, services and companies.


Core facilities and services

  • Bright, modern, well-equipped 3,000 sq. ft. co-working space in downtown Toronto
  • Shared maker-studios, workshops, prototyping equipment and expertise
  • Customized learning opportunities
  • Experienced business advisors
  • Extensive mentor network
  • Connections to professional service providers including legal assistance from Cassels Brock
  • The Imagination Catalyst Fund, a pre-revenue seed fund supported by Relay Ventures
  • Access to government funding available only to companies affiliated with an Ontario campus-linked accelerator
  • Learning alongside other entrepreneurs tackling similar business development challenges (often cited as the most valuable part of our program)

The Imagination Catalyst business incubator supports a highly diverse group of companies all committed to design-driven innovation. The entrepreneurs participating in the incubator tackle challenges simultaneously and form a vital support network for each other.

“The Imagination Catalyst space, in combination with access to the OCAD U talent pool, has been very impactful to the growth of my company.”
-Jenise Lee, Founder & CEO CertClean
“The greatest benefit of the Imagination Catalyst program is the network.”
-Trung Pham, Founder & CEO AXIS Labs
"The Imagination Catalyst advisors are really helpful and supportive of us. Our team loves working with so many other innovative companies."
-Megan Savage, Yirego

Apply to the Imagination Catalyst business incubator

 

Apply to the Imagination Catalyst business incubator whenever you like. Our team reviews applications on a quarterly basis. If you meet our selection criteria, we’ll invite you in for an interview so we can be certain you and our incubator are a perfect fit.

 

Selection criteria

  • Concept strength and uniqueness
  • Business model
  • Scalability
  • Team commitment
  • Need for the services of a maker-friendly, design-driven incubator

The Imagination Catalyst business incubator can accommodate 25 companies. At least one founder in each company must commit to working on the business full time. Because there are often more applicants than spaces available, we prioritize companies with greater traction, potential to scale and/or fit with our specialized services for design-driven innovators.

 

Contact us

For more information about the Imagination Catalyst business incubator, or if would like to meet with an advisor before applying, contact Ahmed ElBedawy.

 

Annual graduating class pitch competition

Each spring, we invite OCAD U graduating students to apply to the Imagination Catalyst business incubator. If you are chosen to participate in the incubator, you will also have an opportunity to compete in the Cassels Brock Pitch Competition for $5,000 in seed funding.

Are you graduating in 2017? Contact a business advisor today to discuss your business idea. Deadline to apply is midnight May 14th.

Funders and Partners

Province of Ontario Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs Ontario Centres of Excellence Relay Ventures Cassel Brock