Startup Intake

Intake Into The Hub

The next competition for seed funding for The Hub is scheduled for November 2020.

In this annual event, seed money is awarded to promising students and recent alumni, who want to create new businesses and launch new ideas. It is an entrepreneurial competition. Think "Dragons' Den" but without any need to give up equity. Think of you pitching your idea for some much needed startup funding. This year, you can win up to $7,000 (cash, plus Amazon credits).

  • Is your idea well formulated?
  • Do you know how you stack up against competitors?
  • Do you have a complete team to undertake your idea?
  • Is your idea doable within a relatively short time frame? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year?
  • Are you ready to commit time to building your idea?

You are free to work with us prior to the next competition, to have us help you shape your materials for submission. In fact, we encourage you to come to The Hub as early as you can - both to take advantage of our workshops and also to get our advice in advance of preparing your submission materials. The best time to come and see us is now.

Participants who are interested in creating a startup should know from the outset, that unlike the Dragons’ Den TV show and other incubators and accelerators, The Hub does not take an equity stake in your idea. It’s simply an intake to The Hub to get you started. That said, it is also not just pie in the sky. Your ability to do what you intend, your passion for your idea, and the capability of your team will prove vital. You will need to convince the judges that you indeed can do what you propose!

Please note: being chosen for intake to The Hub earns your team a seat in facility, along with funding – residency is required, meaning that funds may not be taken elsewhere, and the releasing of funds is linked to startup performance.

 

Eligibility

Founders:

  • must be University of Toronto students or recent alumni (up to 2 years from graduation); the core team must include a University of Toronto Scarborough student or recent alum.
  • may include students and recent alums from other universities or colleges as part of their core team, but moneys cannot be awarded to such founders directly.
  • must reveal and declare privately to The Hub whether other entrepreneurial funding has been received.
  • must be either full-time or part-time students, or recent graduates of their institution.
  • may include those who are taking a break from their studies, so long as the break has not exceeded 3 consecutive years.
  • may only be on one team of a startup.

 

Ineligibility

Founders:

  • who previously received or are currently receiving funding via the U of T Entrepreneurship community (includes The Bridge), or previously from The Hub, in excess of $1,000; such founders are disqualified from this competition.
  • who have received funding investment into their startup in excess of $50,000.
  • who have established revenue streams in excess of $25,000 annually.
  • who have taken a break from their program of study for more than 3 years.
  • who are not students or alumni of the University of Toronto; such founders may participate on a team, but cannot themselves receive awards.
  • who are proposing an idea that does not align with the mission of the University of Toronto.

 

Criteria and Requirements

Startups:

  • must focus on an idea that fits with the overall mission of the University of Toronto and The Hub.
  • can span a full range of possibilities. Previous startups in The Hub have manufactured car wax, converted organic waste to biodegradable plastic, provided food delivery, built freelance businesses, programmed apps, and a great range of other ideas.
  • may be either "for profit" or "not for profit" but they must be ideas that want to launch a idea as either a product or service of some kind.
  • may be either "scalable" or "sustainable" to qualify for support.
  • must present as part of the University's Startup Showcase in March.
  • must allow the University to promote them via social media channels and online communications, so long as it does not violate or threaten their unique startup advantage, i.e. such communications will not reveal its "secret sauce."
  • who previously received funding or are currently receiving funding via the U of T Entrepreneurship community, or The Hub, are disqualified from receiving further funding from The Hub.
  • receive funding via stipendiary awards issued to startup founders; the amount is up to $2,500 per undergraduate student, up to $3,500 per graduate student, and up to $3,500 per recent alumni, up to a maximum of $7,000 per startup.
  • must take residence in The Hub as a requirement of the award, meaning that a startup needs to take residence, meet with its coaches on a regular basis, and take part in events of The Hub, e.g. participate as part of its community.

Awards:

  • may be divided into more than one payment, and the full amount of the award may be reduced if a startup abandons their project or fails to make significant progress towards completion of key goals, as specified:
    • Registering their business
    • Branding their identity
    • Completion of Business Plan
    • Completion of Wireframe (if software) or Outline of Minimum Viable Product or Service (if not software)
    • Completion of Market Validation
    • Completion of Market Research
    • Attending key workshops and events.

All projects are to reach a completion of key goals by end of August 2021.

 

Specifically encouraged

Founders:

  • who increase The Hub's gender and cultural diversity. 
  • are new to entrepreneurship.

 

Process

  • Buy a free ticket on Eventbrite prior to November 1, 2020: * required
  • Having bought a ticket you should receive an email from The Hub (sent manually, not automatically) that asks for you to submit several documents
    • Email confirmation, *required
    • Hub Intake form, *required
    • Business Model Canvas, *** if available
    • Budget in brief, * required
    • A 1-minute video that highlights your entrepreneurial passion, submission details to follow
       
  • Once entered — send a copy of your slide deck by November 8, 2019 to thehub@utsc.utoronto.ca, * required
    • Please prepare 10 essential slides using PowerPoint that give an overview of your proposed startup; your submitted slides will be used for evaluation.
      • Elevator slide
      • Describing the Problem slide (storytelling)
      • Outlining the Value Proposition slide
      • Detailing How You Are Different
      • Competitive Context
      • The Business Model
      • Your Marketing Plan
      • Your Team and Skills
      • Your Timeframe
      • Closing side
    • Optional video component, up to 60 seconds on the problem and storytelling (tying the problem to your passion) - only one video component allowed.
    • Optional video component, up to 60 seconds on a technical aspect of your business, e.g. app or software working - only one video component allowed.
       
  • Once entered, and your documents received, you will be reviewed for acceptance* required
     
  • Attend the UTSC Startup Intake on November 16, * required
    • A presentation to the judging panel will be required
      • Length of the presentation will depend on the number of entrants, but currently we are asking all participants to prepare a 6-minute presentation.
    • A Q&A will follow your presentation
      • Length of the Q&A is anticipated to be a 2 to 3 minutes.
         
  • Your presentation, along with your Powerpoint submission, will be used to evaluate how committed you are to begin your startup, your intake into The Hub, and the degree of funding awarded.
     
  • It is anticipated that all qualified entrants will be accepted into the competition, however, The Hub reserves the right to review applications to create a list of finalists in the event there are more than 25 startups applying.

 

Subject to Change

The Hub reserves the right to change any and all of the criteria of this competition at any time, without advance notication, and also reserves the right to cancel the competition for any reason whatsoever should it be deemed, to The Hub's sole discretion, to be necessary.

Details posted here are subject to change.

 

Please check back here periodically for updates.

Last updated November 22, 2019