Once again – YEDI is named “Best Business Support Organization” at the Canadian SME Awards

2021 was a transformative year for YEDI, similar to many businesses, we had to adapt and pivot to meet the needs of the changing Canadian business ecosystem. We’ve created our hybrid learning environment to allow entrepreneurs the opportunity to join our classes in-person or online. We have also rebranded, our new look and messaging better matches our organization’s mission. YEDI is committed to making high-level education accessible to entrepreneurs from any sector and any stage in their entrepreneurial journey.

At YEDI, professors, instructors, and facilitators actively collaborate to pursue meaningful change that benefits everyone. The result is an economy rooted in innovation, leveraging the latest technology to inspire creativity and imagination to grow and thrive. We are deeply grateful for the recognition of Canadian SME in our continuous pursuit of bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and access to high-level education. 

When asked what advice he would give to entrepreneurs during this time of recovery, YEDI President, Marat Ressin had this to say:

“As Canadians begin to rebuild, my advice is to find meaningful problems in our changing society and bring forth innovative solutions. When your business is driven by the mission to help others, society will partner in your success. Speaking of partnerships, I think the best and fastest way to jump into the market is by developing strong relationships with organizations that may play a significant role in the execution of your business model. A new reality presents an abundance of opportunities and YEDI is committed to supporting Canadian entrepreneurs along the way.”

We hope to proceed with our mission and help passionate entrepreneurs continue to change the world for the better.

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New Diploma Program!

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our new diploma program commencing September 2022. This Diploma program is approved as a vocational program under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005

In a time where many are thinking about the next steps in their career, this practical hands-on program was developed to equip entrepreneurs, small business owners and their employees with the tools and knowledge they need to operate successful growing businesses. 

One of our goals for the new year has been to make higher education accessible for Canadians. As a Canadian charity, YEDI is committed to ensuring this world-class program is attainable to Canadian entrepreneurs who are eager to launch and grow their ventures. YEDI has secured funding to ensure innovative Canadian entrepreneurs and small business owners may participate in this program tuition free

Introducing the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Diploma program!

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YEDI’s First Hybrid Classroom!

8 years ago, we launched our first program with the opening remarks of Dr. Middleton and Dr. Ressin. We are so excited to announce that yesterday, once again, Dr. Middleton and Dr. Ressin were able to host our first hybrid program. YEDI has adapted to this new reality by integrating a new hybrid learning environment, revolutionizing the traditional classroom and using cutting edge technologies that offers seamless interaction between those in person and those online. We are following all current COVID-19 regulations to ensure a safe and positive learning environment.

2014 – First YEDI Program
2021 – First Hybrid Program

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YEDI Ranked Among World Top Business Accelerators by UBI Global

York Entrepreneurship Development Institute has once again been ranked among the World Top Business Accelerators by UBI Global. This means that, as assessed by UBI Global, YEDI has demonstrated exceptional achievements in value creation for client start-ups, value for the local ecosystem, and overall attractiveness as an accelerator. 

“The secret of our success is a great team, amazing partners and ambitious goals,” said YEDI President, Dr. Marat Ressin, who accepted the award on YEDI’s behalf at the World Incubation Summit. 

Within 6 years, YEDI has helped over 550 entrepreneurs from all over the world grow and achieve their business objectives by providing education, mentorship, and resources. YEDI alumni have proven to be innovative and resilient, leading to the highest survival rate in the industry of 87% post-program completion. 

Since its inception, YEDI has been committed to the goal of educating and supporting entrepreneurs both at home in Canada and around the world. In 2019, the YEDI VC Fund became an officially designated VC fund by the Government of Canada under its Start-Up Visa Immigration Program, allowing international ventures to grow and flourish in Canada along with YEDI’s guidance. 

In partnership with the Schulich Executive Education Centre at the Schulich School of Business, YEDI continues to develop its educational programs, creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs to obtain knowledge from world-renowned and experienced instructors and key industry leaders. 

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YEDI brings its International Start-Up Program to Kazakhstan

YEDI continues to develop its international connections, with the next destination being Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest economy. Today we are happy to announce our newly-established partnership with Suleyman Demirel University, which actively participates in educational projects globally. In partnership with the university and with support of the local municipality, YEDI will bring its International Start-Up Program to Almaty in February 2020 to help local and international start-ups launch and grow their business to North America. We’re looking forward to the Canada-Kazakhstan partnership growing.

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YEDI’s Academic Expansion

After being recognized as the #1 university linked business accelerator in the world, YEDI was contacted by several Canadian and international universities who expressed interest in having YEDI programming at their respective schools. Currently, YEDI is working with 5 Canadian universities and 10 international universities to make this a reality in the near future.

Most notably, Russian University of Economics, which is the country’s oldest and largest economics university, created a new department within their university to add YEDI’s programming. The department of Global Finance and Small Business Development by York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (Canada), will deliver YEDI’s content to both local and international entrepreneurs.

YEDI believes that academia has no borders and is proud to envision a future where business leaders from both Canada and Russia who complete YEDI’s programming will better understand each other and help each other flourish in a global economy.

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Congratulatory Announcement by FedDev at YEDI

On April 27th, 2018, Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament for York Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), celebrated YEDI’s recent ranking by UBI Global as the #1 University Linked Accelerator in the World.

In just four short years, YEDI has pioneered an innovative methodology for business acceleration, which combined with strong partnerships and talented mentors, has propelled them to become the leading acceleration program in the world!

The celebration event was attended by Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament (York Centre), on behalf of the Honourable Minister Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), along with YEDI alumni, community partners, and supporters, to mark the international recognition of YEDI’s program delivery.  In 2017, FedDev Ontario made a non-repayable contribution of almost $2 million towards the delivery of YEDI’s Incubator Track program, one of the Institute’s successful programs delivered to 45 entrepreneurs in York Region and the City of Toronto.

UBI Global is a Swedish-based data and advisory firm specializing in mapping, highlighting, and connecting the world of business incubation. According to UBI Global, a top university-linked acceleration program is a business accelerator connected to an institution of higher education that achieves outstanding impact and performance relative to its global peers. The program outperforms its global peers with regard to the value it provides to its innovation ecosystem and its client startups, as well as the attractiveness of the program itself.

This year’s rankings showcased the growth and improvement of Canada’s incubation and acceleration landscape with many of the top programs being from Canada.

As YEDI embarks on its fifth year, it is looking forward to welcoming international entrepreneurs, growing the Incubator Track, and expanding the YEDI Business Acceleration campuses.

“Congratulations to the York Entrepreneurship Development Institute on being ranked the #1 University-linked Business Accelerator in the World by UBI Global for 2017/2018! This accomplishment brings great pride to the southern Ontario region and Canada.”

– Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament (York Centre)

“The successful delivery of incubator track and accelerator programs is vital in supporting the growth of high-potential, early-stage businesses and positively impacts the startup ecosystem in Canada. I am pleased to see the success YEDI is having in providing Canadian entrepreneurs with innovative tools and skill development, along with opportunities to engage investors, enhances their ability to scale-up and expand into new markets.”

-The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario





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YEDI Global Start-Up Mission to Israel March 4-30, 2018

We are delighted to share that YEDI will lead a global start-up mission to Israel for 20 Canadian entrepreneurs March 4-30, 2018. This exciting opportunity, in partnership with Canadian and Israeli institutions, will allow participants to immerse themselves in Israel’s diverse and unique start-up ecosystem in order to grow their businesses and foster global connections. Selected entrepreneurs will participate in an intensive, free four-week global entrepreneurship development program led by top business leaders and start-up founders. Throughout the program, participants will meet with top leaders of Israel’s start-up ecosystem, visit global companies, unique start-ups; and meet with government officials responsible for the growth and development of SMEs.


With the help of our Canadian and Israeli partners, the program is made available at no-cost to selected entrepreneurs. This includes full tuition, co-working space-time, flights, accommodations, meals and site visits.


March 4 – 18 – Intensive two-week program

March 19 – 30 – Workspace at WeWork Israel for further business development


  • Applicant is Canadian citizen or permanent resident between the ages of 18-29 with an incorporated business;

The applicant is looking to:

  • Immerse themselves in a selected global market through an exploratory visit which includes academic programming in partnership with local top-ranked universities;
  • Develop strong business relationships that are only possible through sustained face-to-face interaction;
  • Gain first-hand knowledge of the opportunity within that market; and
  • Achieve tangible business goals in the selected global market outside of Canada and the U.S.A, such as: sales, investment, and strategic partnerships


Apply by January 10, 2018

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YEDI officially designated under the Start-Up Visa Immigration Program

On May 6, YEDI became an officially designated organization by the Government of Canada under its Start Up Visa Immigration Program. This important milestone will enable YEDI to support international entrepreneurs who look to Canada as a new home for both themselves and their ventures.

We value personal connections and encourage hopeful applicants to review our International Start-Up training programs which allow entrepreneurs to become familiarized with Canada’s business landscape and meet with organizations supporting small business growth and development. Upon program completion, entrepreneurs will have the tools and expertise necessary to pitch and potentially bring their ventures to the Canadian market. Participation in the program will allow both participants and organizations to have a better understanding of each other and increase applicant’s chances of obtaining a letter of support.

To learn more about the Start-Up Visa immigration program, please visit


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Celebrating the launch of a second YEDI Business Acceleration Campus!

We are delighted to announce the opening of YEDI’s second Business Acceleration Campus. On May 1, YEDI opened the doors to its new facility located on the second floor of the IMPROVE Centre in the City of Vaughan. The new Campus features 50,000 sq. ft. of office space, shared co-working space, boardrooms and a 250 seat auditorium. Ventures looking for a dynamic, resourceful and vibrant co-working space are invited to submit an application. 


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FedDev Ontario Announces Investment In YEDI

On Friday April 28th Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament for York Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario announced an investment in the York Entrepreneurship Development Institute to support the delivery of our Incubator Track program. MP Levitt also celebrated the graduation of 15 entrepreneurs who participated in the first cohort of the program and also met entrepreneurs of the second cohort, which was launched on March 16, 2017.

“The Government of Canada recognizes the vital importance of skills development and growing new companies in making Canada a global centre for innovation. This investment in the York Entrepreneurship Development Institute will help 45 entrepreneurs to gain the necessary skills and access to capital, with a goal of creating innovative companies and jobs of the future.”– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

With this non-repayable contribution through FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation initiative, we are providing much needed seed funding to support entrepreneurs in further commercializing their ideas and launching high-potential, early-stage businesses. During the ceremony, each of the 15 graduating ventures received a non-repayable, equity-free grant of $30,000.

“The York Entrepreneurship Development Institute is a key resource for entrepreneurs from any industry or sector. With the FedDev Ontario funding, the Institute will provide entrepreneurs with comprehensive training and mentorship to teach them the business skills they need to turn their innovative ideas into real solutions.”

– Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament for York Centre

We would like to thank FedDev Ontario for their generous investment, and thank all those who joined us on Friday for this wonderful announcement. As entrepreneurs establish and grow their businesses with help from this program, it is expected that up to 70 new full-time jobs will be created. Congratulations to all our newly funded entrepreneurs!  We wish you continued success and are looking forward to sharing your results.

“We are extremely proud of the program and community of successful entrepreneurs we have created over the past few years. So far our hard-working graduates have one of the best survival rates of Canadian start-ups, and we believe that with this additional funding to help seed their ventures, they will be even more successful, and have long-term prosperity.”

– Dr. Marat Ressin, President, York Entrepreneurship Development Institute

MP Michael Levitt and Dr. Marat Ressin presenting Matrix Thompson with seed funding for his venture

Left to Right: Maria Konikov, YEDI Director of Operations; Andrea Orazi, Program graduate and Founder of The Chufa Co; MP Michael Levitt; Dr. Marat Ressin, YEDI President; Dr. Alan Middleton, Executive Director, Schulich Executive Education Centre

Fall 2016 Cohort Graduates

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YEDI President Dr. Marat Ressin Receives Award for Excellence In Innovation

A prestigious distinction that will honour immigrants recognized as nation builders will highlight the work of YEDI President, Dr. Marat Ressin during the 2016 Pioneers for Change Award Gala.

On June 9, Dr. Marat Ressin will receive an award for Excellence in Innovation.
The awards gala this year will focuses on “immigrants working to build a Canada where every immigrant succeeds” with a lens on seven different categories.

“I am delighted that Dean Mukherjee-Reed and Dr. Ressin have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to Canadian society. Both are respected and prolific researchers and strong contributors to the global impact of York University,” said Mamdouh Shoukri, president and vice-chancellor. As president of one of York’s most ground-breaking institutes, Dr. Ressin’s expertise in the development of small businesses, not-for-profit organizations and real estate make him uniquely qualified to guide our student entrepreneurs to success.”

The Pioneers for Change Award Gala was launched in 1993 by Skills for Change, an organization that works to drive forward a shift in immigration and workplace trends.
Pioneers for Change award recipients are, according to Skills for Change, “incredible people who have made a significant and lasting contribution to Canada” and “who inspire newcomers to work toward their own success and follow their vision”.
More than 120 individuals have been recognized as Pioneers for Change since the first awards gala.
For more on the gala, visit

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