Are You Prepared?

On October 16th, in the UTSC Library Makerspace (a free resource for staff, students, and faculty at the school), The Hub at UTSC held a start-up preparation event as part of its series of events leading up to the Pitch Competition!

Hub mentor, Luki Danu discussed different types of entrepreneurs (intrapreneur, side-preneur, freelancers), emphasizing that you should avoid becoming a “want-repreneur” – someone with a great idea that never takes action to make the dream happen. Luki gave tips on how to find a niche and make your product/service stand out from the competition. He really focused on the cultivation and refinement of entrepreneurial ideas and how to form those ideas into a concise business pitch.

The most important of these tips is that feedback is essential, so make sure you run it by as many people as possible! And don’t forget that mentors and peers at The Hub more than happy to listen to your ideas and give feedback on anything pertaining to your entrepreneurial ambitions!

Gray Graffam, The Hub’s Director, added that success is not an objective concept, as everyone has their own goals, and success is just a matter of reaching them. Gray also shared a great method for narrowing down a target market by imagining a person, giving them both physical and personal traits, and then finding out how many people like that are actually out there to buy your service – a research technique known as Persona Research.

A huge and somewhat tricky part of all this is research, fortunately the UofT Library is here to help. Sarah Shuja, the UTSC Entrepreneurial Resources Librarian, gave a brief explanation of what the library offers, including a seminar series which teaches how to access and evaluate industry reports, databases, and more, while adding to your co-curricular record.

Once again, food was provided and there was an excellent opportunity for mingling and networking! There was such a wide range of people and teams to collaborate with. Ideas ranged from the most useful and fashionable backpack to affordable cannabis oil to music therapy and anything in between!

Our next event is on Tuesday, October 30rd, and will include a makerspace orientation required to utilise the facilities! Be sure to check out our upcoming events and don’t forget to submit the required materials by November 1st to part-take in the main event, the Pitch Competition on November 10th!

                        — story by Amanda Taylor, Social Media Specialist, The Hub

Here’s What You Might Have Missed at Our Latest Workshop!

On Thursday, October 4th, The Hub at UTSC held an event all about social entrepreneurship. The event started off with the director of The Hub, Professor Gray Graffam, giving a presentation on what exactly a social entrepreneur does, followed by a quick Q and A with social entrepreneur and 1st year UTSC student, Sam Demma.

Sam became a social entrepreneur because he has a passion for keeping the environment healthy and inspiring others to make a change in the world. He is a co-founder of Pickwaste, a company that hosts events where people gather to make a difference by picking up waste in Pickering and Scarborough.

Shortly after the learning what it means to be a social entrepreneur, attendees were given a chance to come up with ideas of their own. They were encouraged to form groups based on a shared passion (such as healthcare) and given a large whiteboard to brainstorm ideas of their own. The groups then worked together, bouncing ideas off each other, to narrow down their more generalized topic to a specific concept for a potential business.
To help the groups come up with ideas, Business Advisor at The Hub, Donovan Dill gave a short explanation of some strategies for social enterprise. One participant commented that he enjoyed the challenge of coming up with solutions to new problems.

A favourite part of the event for multiple students was when we all took a short break for dinner. Not only was the food delicious (and free), but the opportunity for networking was really fun! Current members of The Hub were there to answer questions and get to know, potential members were sharing ideas with each other, and, of course, Gray and Donovan were there as well to get to know more about The Hub and the many opportunities it offers. At any given time during the meal, everyone was engaged in some kind of conversation, ranging from personal conversations about school to entrepreneurial ideas and anything in between!

If any of this speaks to you, be sure to sign up for our upcoming pitch contest for a chance to receive up to $7, 000 in seed money for your start-up, or check out our other amazing, FREE events at The Hub (click here!)

                        — story by Amanda Taylor, Social Media Specialist, The Hub