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The Hub receives funding boost for innovation and entrepreneurship

U of T President Meric Gertler and UTSC Interim Principal Bruce Kidd visit The Hub. The centre will receive a funding boost from the province's CLA program for training and support of student entrepreneurship. (Photo by Ken Jones)

The Hub at UTSC will be able to provide greater support to innovative and entrepreneurial student projects thanks to a financial boost from the province. 

The centre will receive $110,000 over two years as part of the province’s Campus-Linked Accelerators (CLA) program for training and support of student entrepreneurship.

“This funding will greatly benefit our students in further developing their innovative ideas into real products,” says Gray Graffam, director of The Hub. “It also strengthens our connection with MaRS, a non-profit regional innovation centre and our partner in the CLA program.”

In addition to supporting ten projects already underway, Graffam says the funding will bring guest speakers to campus and support contests that foster innovation and entrepreneurism.

The Hub is a space on campus where students can collaborate on developing creative ideas from innovative social media sites and mobile apps to new businesses, technologies and social innovations.

“The Hub plays an important role for students in terms of fulfilling their creative and entrepreneurial talents,” says UTSC Dean Rick Halpern. “This contribution will strengthen the impact of its initiatives and provide greater resources for our students who are already developing unique and innovative projects.”

Matt Olan, a fourth-year computer science student at UTSC, is currently developing an open-source project examining novel ways to back up and protect network files. He’s excited to see this investment support innovative student projects with entrepreneurial potential.

“The Hub allowed me to meet and collaborate with peers who could help develop this idea I had,” says Olan. “Hopefully this funding will encourage other students to develop their own creative ideas into tangible products.”

The funding given to The Hub is part of a $3 million boost U of T received last week from the CLA program that will help establish an office of entrepreneurship, among other initiatives. More than $6.8 million in funding was recently handed out by the province through the program.

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