Volume 33
Nov / Dec 2016

Check our EVENTS page for updates


Your complete digital resource for keeping up with
everything that's going on this month at EPICentre
A Message from the Executive Director

This newsletter highlights a cornucopia of events and activities over the past two months.  We successfully hosted 80 representatives from government and academic entrepreneurial centres in October.  Then in November we moved on to host more than 100 guests at the inaugural RBC Business Model Canvas CompetitionFifteen teams from across Ontario presented their business ideas, and many local business people were involved as mentors and judges.

We were pleased to host a product development/sales summit for a local company last month.  We invite your company to approach us if your team needs temporary space to get innovation and new product or service ideas flowing.  These innovation 'hot spots' might also involve students and researchers - let's talk!!
I'd like to welcome Wen Teoh back as Venture Start Director as she returns from leave.  We are all grateful to Dave Kirby for his help with this position over the past ten months.
This will be our last newsletter of 2016.  The EPIC team wishes you a wonderful holiday season, and happiness and health in the New Year 2017!

-Dr. Francine Schlosser

RockMass Technologies wins first ever RBC EPIC Business Model Canvas Competition

(Photo by Shine 5 Productions )

On November 25th - 26th, EPICentre and the University of Windsor hosted the inaugural RBC EPIC Business Model Canvas Competition, a high-stakes contest that saw 15 teams of university students and recent graduates from across Ontario showcase their startups by utilizing the business model canvas approach for their product or service. Seven universities were represented  including:  Queens, Ryerson, Waterloo, University of Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier, OCAD University and  University  of Windsor.

RockMass Technologies, a team representing Queens University, took home the grand prize. EPICentre would also like to thank everyone who participated in the event, including all of the judges, business mentors, volunteers, sponsors and staff. 

Transatlantic Partnership with the University of Windsor gets underway at Oxford Brookes

(Photo by  Richard Cave)

Oxford Brookes gained some new students for a few days when a group of special guests arrived from across the Atlantic.

From October 31st - November 3rd, the university is running an exchange programme with the University of Windsor in Canada as part of its international strategy.

Students at Oxford Brookes department of biological and medical sciences spent the four days teaming up with their counterparts from the Odette School of Business and the nursing and law faculties at the University of Windsor.

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario visits EPICentre

(Photo by Shine 5 Productions )

On November 1st, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, made a visit to the University of Windsor and to the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) for a luncheon. Two students from each faculty selected by their Dean as well as two students who helped bring Syrian refugees to the University of Windsor joined Ms. Dowdeswell and University of Windsor President Dr. Alan Wildeman for the luncheon at EPICentre. In total, 22 students were on hand for this special visit.

Introducing Amis Touring

Amis is an app-powered, on-demand tour guide service for smart phones. It provides a simple platform for travelers to connect with local friends who know the region and can make the experience for the travelers more enjoyable and convenient. With Amis, a traveler receives a personalized and authentic experience anywhere in the world while building new connections.  

EPICentre startup participates in OSC Hackathon

On November 25th - 27th, Joshua Ndolo, George Oni and Nyiha Ngotho formed a team and participated in  RegHackTO 2016 , a hackathon hosted by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). The idea behind the event was to utilize a new technology named Blockchain to facilitate a solution to some problems that the OSC figured could be solved using this technology. Currently, Joshua and Nyiha are members of the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) where they have been working on their startup company  Amani : a digital platform for managing, tracking and protecting domestic and international trade transactions between SME's.

EPICentre Seeking Community Partners

EPICentre is looking for community partners to help fund a unique program meant to retain our young entrepreneurs in the Windsor-Essex community.  We'd like to demonstrate to youth entrepreneurs that it is possible to build and grow their business in Windsor, while still having regular access to customers, mentors, partners and investors in Toronto. EPIC has arranged for 'hot desk' space at the Ryerson DMZ , one of the largest business incubators in the world located in downtown Toronto. This space includes a temporary desk to work from, as well as increased access to mentoring and investors. We are looking for a partner that would fund travel grants for Windsor start-ups to go to Toronto to build their market. For $150 return flight, entrepreneurs can travel to Toronto early in the morning and return late the same day. For example, if an individual travels once every two weeks for a year, but lives and builds their business in Windsor, the travel cost is less than $4,000. The benefits are obvious. We welcome tangible financial help from the Windsor-Essex business community to support young entrepreneurs attempting this arrangement.


Upcoming EPIC Events for the Winter Semester

EPICentre will be hosting a wide array of events during the Winter 2017 term. In January, we will continue our Startup Mashup events, allowing students across campus to meet one another and work on startups together. These will continue monthly until the end of term. We will continue our EPIC Marketing Workshop Series for Startups, with focuses on Social Media Marketing, Sales, and Sport Marketing hosted in both January and February.
Do you have a new idea but aren't sure how to progress it into a business? Join our Test Your Business Idea workshops, held in January and March.
March brings us once again to the EPIC Blue Sky Competition, where students are asked to create multidisciplinary teams and pitch solutions to problems. This is the third year for this event, and students can win up to $1000 and a trip to Toronto! March is also the month for International Women's Day, and EPICentre will be hosting the EPIC Women at the Nexus of Health Innovation and Commercialization panel.
These are only a few of our free entrepreneurial events hosted by EPICentre. Be sure to visit our Events Page to sign up as space will be limited! If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to email Nicole Anderson, Program Director: nsleiman@uwindsor.ca

Windsor-Essex Small Business Centre

Basics of Starting a Small Business

Do you have an idea and want to start your own small business, but you aren't sure where to start? Attend one of these FREE seminars to find out information about:
  • How to register your business
  • Business structure
  • Government support programs
  • Other available services and programs
You will receive a FREE Start-up Package and step-by-step guidance.

Basics of Writing a Business Plan

A good business plan is your road map to success!  A business plan is also required when applying for any type of small business financing. Attend one of these FREE seminars to learn how to develop a business plan that will work for you!  This session will cover:
  • Required elements of a business plan
  • Breaking down a business plan into manageable pieces
  • Where to gather relevant information for a business plan
  • How to professionally arrange your ideas and research
  • What to do with the plan when it's completed

Advance online registration required for all events


UWIN_3D Print Club creating opportunities for students

The UWIN_3D Print Club has been in operation since the beginning of April 2016. During this time, they have held various workshops and events that focused on best practices and basic usage in 3D modeling, 3D Scanning and 3D printing. Some highlights  included learning how to make club rings and basic 3D characters, as well as scanning objects and translating them into printable files.

More recently, the club has become fully ratified as a UWSA Club. This was an important step for the club's longevity as well as to further define the club's presence on campus. To our knowledge, UWIN_3D Print is the first club to offer 3D printing services to the entire student body! They have also ventured off campus for special events and partnerships such as their 3D Selfie Booth which was funded in part by Hackforge and was held during the WAVES Festival downtown, as well as their current partnership with the Chimczuk Museum to print off 25 3D puzzle mammoth skeletons for use in their kids educational programming during the new Ice-Age Mammals exhibit that runs from now  until  the end of December.

Stu Clark Investment Competition

Sixteen grad student teams will compete for over 
$50,000 in prizes ($20,000 for first place) in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Additionally, the University of Manitoba guarantees a minimum of $1,000 to each team.

Event Features:
  • Business Plan Competition
  • Idea Pitch
  • Logo Competition
Online applications & Executive Summary are due January 27th, 2017.

For more information, please contact Amy Briscoe, Program Coordinator: amy.briscoe@umanitoba.ca / 204.474.8635

It's time to re-imagine food security in Windsor-Essex

United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County is inviting community organizations to submit their proposals to improve food security for residents in Windsor and Essex County.

The first phase of the application process begins November 14, 2016. Organizations have until January 31,  2017  to submit funding proposals that will ensure vulnerable people in Windsor and Essex can buy, grow, cook, and eat the healthy foods they want.

Building on the successes of the last six years, United Way's community investments focus on addressing root causes of critical issues in our community by moving people from poverty to possibility, helping kids be all they can be, and building strong communities.

Organizations interested in applying for funding can also attend one of two information sessions at United Way located at 300 Giles Boulevard East, Windsor on:
  • Dec 14 at 5:00PM
  • Jan 9 at 5:00PM

IDeA UWindsor Competition 
The University of Windsor in partnership with the Council of Ontario Universities and the Government of Ontario, is excited to announce the Innovative Designs for Accessibility ( IDeA ) student competition for the 2016-2017 academic year. They  are seeking to challenge the creative and innovative minds of undergraduate students to identify accessibility related-barriers and create inclusive, practical, cost-effective and unique solutions to them.

The developed solutions should address one (or several) barriers to accessibility identified by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA), which are:
  • Organizational/Systemic
  • Architectural/Physical
  • Information and Communications
  • Technology
  • Attitudinal 
  • IDeA UWindsor Competition: February 21, 2017
  • IDeA Ontario Competition: April 1, 2017
To apply, visit the IDeA UWindsor Website for more information: http://www.uwindsor.ca/ohrea/70/idea-uwindsor-competition

Produced by the Entrepreneurship, Practice & Innovation Centre (EPICentre) at the University of Windsor