A QUICK LOOK: YOUTH PROGRAM
YEDI accepts 30 entrepreneurs (ages 15-29) per 4-month cohort. A committee comprised of industry experts and partners will be responsible for evaluating applications based on set criteria.
Entrepreneurs need as many opportunities as possible to showcase their companies. Upon successful completion of the program, YEDI students will present their businesses or not-for-profit projects at the exclusive Venture Fair, pitching for an opportunity to receive grants for their ventures. Selected participants will be awarded one of five $2000 grants or one of three $5000 grants.
The Venture Fair provides a concrete opportunity for participants to showcase their business to an investor audience, as well as create industry partnerships that will take their venture to the next level in development and success.
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, business modeling 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 held once per week.
Entrepreneurs need as many opportunities as possible to showcase their companies. Upon successful completion of the accelerator program, YEDI entrepreneurs will present their businesses and non-profits at the exclusive Venture Fair and pitch for the opportunity to receive funding, as well as potential financing from other venture capital firms and direct investment by banks.
Participants are expected to complete monthly 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 from the program.
Entrepreneurs will participate in monthly roundtable mentor sessions across diverse industries. YEDI aims to bring mentors from pertinent sectors for their valuable insight, problem-solving, and networking opportunities.
University students enrolled in the program may receive university credit upon successful completion of the program.
Program graduates are eligible for up to $5000* in seed funding upon successful program completion (*5 grants of $2000 and 3 grants of $5000 available).
This 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.
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 participate in sessions 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.
- Applicant is the founder; co-founder(s) will be considered;
- Ages 15-29;
- A unique and innovative idea that is in raw, seed, early, or growth stage;
- Applicant(s) resides in or is able to commute to Toronto, ON for program.