Certificate Program


Applications are currently closed.

Program Start Date:

March 2024


Weekly Sessions


YEDI accepts 15 entrepreneurs per cohort. An Expert Committee comprised of industry experts and partners will be responsible for evaluating applications based on set criteria.


  • Applicant is the founder; co-founder(s) will be considered
  • Any adult age or background
  • A unique and innovative idea that is in raw, seed, early, or growth stage
  • Applicant(s) is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident


Accepted students undergo a free, intensive 16-week program, including formal academic lectures by YEDI instructors, workshop-based training in entrepreneurship, and mentorship by key industry leaders. At the end of the incubator, entrepreneurs will have a professionally developed business plan, an executive summary, and a proper business model that is ready to pitch and potentially bring to the market. Upon successful program completion, participants receive a formal certification from YEDI.


YEDI is sector agnostic and will consider start-ups from any industry.


All sessions are conducted at the YEDI campus and/or online.

Curriculum Components


Selected entrepreneurs participate in sessions facilitated by YEDI professors and instructors, providing a solid foundation in business theory and economics. Theory examined includes: entrepreneurship, marketing and sales strategy, business development and growth, finance, and communication skills. Successful entrepreneurs quickly need to learn where they lack expertise and require a network of support. Entrepreneurs participate in sessions that will prepare them for real-life application of theory to achieve inspiration, ideation, and implementation. Topics include: visioning, environmental scanning, finance and fundraising. All sessions take place once per week.

  • Week 1. Entrepreneurial Leadership. Building a Successful Team.
  • Week 2. Visioning and Environmental Scanning
  • Week 3. Business, Strategic Planning and Modelling. Defining a Business Model
  • Week 4. Business Model Canvas, Operations of SMEs
  • Week 5. Market Testing and Go-To-Market Strategy
  • Week 6. Business Planning and Modelling (Personal Session)
  • Week 7. “Friendrising”: Networking and Pitching Skills
  • Week 8. Financial Projections: A Monetary Interpretation of the Strategy and Operational Plan. Sources of Funds
  • Week 9. Marketing and Sales Strategy
  • Week 10. Financial Projections (Personal Session)
  • Week 11. Marketing and Promotion in a Digital Era
  • Week 12. Building an Organizational Structure. Major Powers in a Corporation
  • Week 13. Business Communications: Customer Service and the Executive Summary
  • Week 14. Raising Money and Relationships with Investors
  • Week 15. Pitch Rehearsal Session (Personal Session)

Venture Fair

Entrepreneurs need as many opportunities as possible to showcase their companies. Upon successful completion of the accelerator program, YEDI participants will present their ventures to the Institute’s funder audience.

The Venture Fair provides a concrete opportunity for participants to showcase their business plan, models, and milestones to an investor audience, as well as create industry partnerships that will take their venture to the next step in development and success.

Peer Clusters & Milestones

Entrepreneurs often benefit by sharing best practices, challenges, and accomplishments with one another. The YEDI Director coordinates regular entrepreneur cluster meetings to facilitate constructive feedback, group exercises, and peer-support. Participants are also expected to complete bi-weekly milestone deliverables that are assigned to guide the business development process. Each milestone and achieved goal will form a component of the final proof-of-concept, with which the entrepreneur will graduate the program.


Entrepreneurs will be matched with subject matter experts across diverse industries. The YEDI Program Coordinator will ensure that volunteer mentors from pertinent sectors are available for valuable insight, problem-solving, and networking opportunities.


Upon program completion, graduates are eligible to apply for seed funding and/or VC funding through YEDI’s Venture Capital fund.

Funding is intended for early-stage opportunities in the start-up validation stage, when the scientific, technical and commercial merit, as well as the feasibility of the applicant’s product or service has been determined.

Communications Support

A business will not survive in a competitive market if it lacks customer service, people management skills, and is unable to relate well to clients, vendors, and staff. Students will take in both a lecture and a seminar involving key components of business communication skills. Our partner National Communication Coaching Association of Canada (NCCA) helps entrepreneurs with their business branding, writing, communication tactics and pitch presentations.


There are no fees associated with the program.

YEDI is scouting for innovative ideas at any stage of their cycle. “Innovation” strives to both solve an issue, as well as alter the system that initially gave rise to such issue. Startups from any field will be considered. See “Eligibility” for details.

Applications are first pre-screened by experts. Secondly, they are reviewed by the Selection Committee, which is composed of a special panel of judges from varied backgrounds and sets of expertise, based on a set rubric that aligns with YEDI values. Selected candidates are then shortlisted and interviewed by the program advisors. Those who succeed this phase then proceed to be inducted to the program.

See our Privacy Policy for the terms and conditions for program applicants.

We believe that good ideas can be born at any age, to anyone. YEDI’s program is not limited to students. All adult ages are welcome to apply.

If an idea was founded by more than one person whose added value is irreplaceable for the venture, YEDI will consider more than one applicant.

Please ensure your eligibility at the top of this page. Applications will only be accepted online via the application form.

If the portal is not accepting your application after two attempts, send an alert to apply@yedi.ca.

Have more questions about this program?

Contact us at info@yedi.ca