The Startup Garage is an initiative of the University of Ottawa's Innovation Support Services to foster and support youth entrepreneurship in the Ottawa area.
The program offers youth-led ventures the opportunity to accelerate their business by working full time over the course of three months during the summer. Startup Garage provides each participating company with four essential tools: cash, office space, mentorship and support.
The program is delivered through the generous support of the University of Ottawa, Capital Entrepreneurs, the Ontario Centres of Excellence, Invest Ottawa, Gowling WLG and Logan Katz LLP
Who is Eligible?
•Entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 29 are eligible to apply to the program.
• If the company has more than 1 founder, then the co-founder who is between the ages of 18 and 29 must be the main applicant on the application form. The other co-founders do not have to be between the ages of 18 and 29.
• The applicant must reside in Ottawa or Eastern Ontario.
• The applicant must be physically present in Ottawa from May through August.
What is the Process?
Think about your business. (Useful tools include the Business Model Canvas and the instructional videos from the Kauffman Foundation).
Come talk to us we love hearing from our potential applicants.
Get your potential customers to validate your idea as early as possible.
Fill out the online application form by the February 2nd deadline. No applications will be accepted after the deadline, no exceptions.
Your application is reviewed and ranked by a group of external reviewers with strong startup & business backgrounds. Up to 5 individuals may review your application. The review and rankings are confidential. The individuals reviewing your application may make their comments available to you.
Once the review is complete, the top ranked applicants will be asked to interview for their final positions in the program. If you are not invited to join the program, you will be informed that you have not been selected.
What is Startup Garage looking for in my application?
• Startup Garage is looking for companies that need help taking their business to the next level, whether this means building a great product, launching a beta product, ramping up sales, expanding to new markets or gaining the appropriate traction to secure additional funds.
• Individual applicants are discouraged; teams are encouraged! Teams that have strong domain expertise, coupled with business and technical backgrounds as well as a clear understanding of the “hustle” it takes to be an entrepreneur have a distinct advantage.
• Your company’s product should be tailored to a specific need, significant enough to warrant that a customer pay for it. Speak to your potential customers before completing the application form!
• Your company’s product should be innovative and have a clear differentiating factor with respect to other currently available solutions that answer the same need.
• The number of customers willing to buy your product (i.e. the market) should also be large enough to allow the company to grow.
• Every company invited to participate in the program will receive a minimum of $1,500 in reimbursement of operating expenses.
• Startup Garage will provide up to two $7,500 stipends to founders or co-founders who are affiliated with the University of Ottawa as students or recent graduates.
• Applicants affiliated with Carleton University, Algonquin College and La Cité Collégiale are not guaranteed to obtain the stipends. The affiliated institution must agree to provide a portion of the stipend for the stipend to be available. .