About The Imagination Catalyst

We provide business development guidance and support for professional artists as well as maker-based, design-focused start-up entrepreneurs. Our goal is to apply design thinking to make lives better, create richer cultural experiences and bring leading-edge innovations to market.

You are:

Imagination Catalyst - StudentYou are a current student.

Do you dream of working for yourself after graduation? Are you interested in commercializing your major research project? Would you like to develop some business skills to ensure the success of your future professional practice?

Whether you’re just curious about self-employment or determined to build a successful business, we can help.

Enroll in the Minor in Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation.

Join the Grind. OCAD University’s student entrepreneurship club hosts an annual business boot camp for artists and designers, as well as lots of networking opportunities.

Visit the Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers to learn about freelance work opportunities while you study, and cool student entrepreneurship programs such as NEXT36, Summer Company and Studio Y.

Check out OCAD U’s Student Gallery for opportunities to show and sell your work.

Book a meeting with an Imagination Catalyst business advisor to talk about your business idea and the steps you can take to grow your business.

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Imagination Catalyst - EntrepreneurYou are committed to starting a new business.

You've come to the right place!

If you are starting a scaleable business, check out the Imagination Catalyst Incubator.

Whether or not an incubator is a good fit, you can book a meeting anytime with an Imagination Catalyst business advisor. We will help you develop a business model, point you in the direction of market research resources and share information about startup funding. Your business advisor has the experience to refer you to resources on and off-campus to help you achieve your goals.

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Imagination Catalyst - TeacherYou are a faculty member interested in commercializing your research.

Contact OCAD U’s Research Office to disclose your research findings and to discuss commercialization strategies.

An Imagination Catalyst business advisor would also be happy to meet with you to discuss applications for your technology and the business development process. We will jointly advise you about commercialization resources and funding opportunities.

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Imagination Catalyst - Professional ArtistYou are an OCAD U alumnus or creative-sector professional.

Do you wish it were easier to manage your professional practice? Could you use a refresher course to help market your services more effectively? Do you need design talent for your expanding team?

OCAD U’s Office of Continuing Studies offers a business certificate for creative sector professionals in addition to its many studio and technical courses. Register today to brush up your creative business skills.

If you’re interested in adding a designer to your team, the Talent Network is the place to find an OCAD U student or alumnus with exactly the skills you need.

The Imagination Catalyst business incubator also accepts startup applications from OCAD U alumni and creative-sector entrepreneurs who need the services of a maker-friendly, design-driven incubator.

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Funders and Partners

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