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Ownr Career Launcher for Creative Entrepreneurs

Ownr and CEAD logos in white against orange and pink gradient background


The Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers is excited to partner with Ownr to create an exclusive opportunity for OCAD U students and recent alumni that will provide seed funding to help launch a business through the Ownr Career Launcher for Creative Entrepreneurs

We are dedicated to supporting creative enterprises and all the possible forms they can take. Perhaps you’re a freelancer taking on clients, a studio artist looking to sell your work, a group forming a collective or agency, looking to commercialize a thesis project, or building a proof-of-concept product that will validate an idea, this opportunity is for you! 

Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the chance to pitch your idea and you could receive up to $4,000 to help launch your business. Please note, this is a multi-stage application process. Please view the timeline below for more details.


OCAD U and Ownr are committed to promoting access to this opportunity for equity-seeking groups that are under-represented as creative entrepreneurs. We encourage applications from individuals of equity-seeking communities including racialized and Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, women and persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities / expressions.  Applicants are invited to voluntarily self-identify with any of these communities in their application.


Expression of Interest Deadline – Dec. 19, 2020
Long-listed individuals are invited to develop a plan – January 2021
Finalists will be selected to prepare a pitch – February 2021
Pitch Competition takes place and winners announced – March 2021

Note: There will be workshops to guide you at each stage and the ability to book one-on-one sessions for additional support.


  • First place will receive $4,000 CAD
  • Second place will receive $3,000 CAD
  • Third place will receive $2,000 CAD
  • An honourable mention will receive $1,000 CAD

All finalists will be featured on Ownr’s and OCAD U CEAD’s social media accounts


Ownr simplifies the process of registering or incorporating a business and makes it easy, accessible, and affordable. By combining technology, seamless customer service, and the resources business owners need, Ownr enables entrepreneurs to start, manage, and grow their business. Ownr has helped over 25,000 Canadians launch their dreams since 2017. Ownr is operated by RBC Ventures Inc., a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. 


  • Current OCAD U students in their final year of study, or recent alumni from any program of study who have graduated in 2018 or later
  • If your business idea involves personnel from outside OCAD U, then the founder or co-founder must meet the above qualification
  • Ideal applicants have not yet legally registered or incorporated their business
  • Your idea or business has not yet received more than $10,000 in funding or revenue at the time of application

* Not sure if your idea qualifies for this opportunity? Email with the subject “Ownr Career Launcher for Creative Entrepreneurs"


  • Name, contact information, program of study, and confirmation of your eligibility regarding the qualifications above
  • If applicable, the business name and/or website, and the names and affiliations of any collaborators
  • A 250 word (max.) description of your business idea and why you are passionate about it, including any successful milestones to date and/or any challenges you face in realizing the business idea.


December 19, 2020 at 11:59 PM