For the third consecutive year, the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) and Canadian innovative children’s toy and entertainment company Spin Master Ltd. have teamed up to launch the Spin Master Innovation Fund (SMIF), with up to $50,000 in start-up financing, a hand-matched mentor from CYBF’s industry-leading mentoring program and a trip to the Spin Master offices in Toronto to attend a two-day Innovation Launch Pad Workshop, with exclusive access to senior Spin Master executives. Applications open today and will offer qualified 18-39 year olds the opportunity to kick-start their innovative start-up business and are invited to apply online before May 21, 2013.
“The partnership between CYBF and Spin Master has helped us jump-start innovative young entrepreneurs from coast-to-coast,” says Tessa Mintz, Vice President, Volunteers and Programs, CYBF. “Spin Master Ltd. is a pioneering Canadian business that has grown from a great idea shared by three young, brilliant Canadians to become a global leader in its industry. The Spin Master Innovation Fund furthers the spirit of Canadian innovation by identifying highly driven young people and enabling them to become the future job creators who will strengthen and grow the Canadian economy for years to come.”
“The success of the Spin Master Innovation Fund has allowed us to give back to young entrepreneurs all across Canada,” says Spin Master’s President and co-CEO, Ronnen Harary. “With the impressive recipients that have already come through the Spin Master Innovation Fund, we are excited to see the high quality of candidates and the creativity, passion and outstanding character that is sure to be delivered this year.”
“Without the help of the Spin Master Innovation Fund, we would never have been able to get our business off the ground,” said Awane Moufide Jones, founder and CEO of Merchlar, an award-winning digital marketing agency based in Montréal, QC, and Spin Master Innovation Fund 2011 recipient. “The Fund provided us with the most intense learning I have ever experienced as an entrepreneur and the essential financing we needed. I would highly recommend the program to young business people who want a program that thinks outside of the box and places real value on real world education.”
After attending the Spin Master Innovation Launch Pad Workshop in 2011, Awane Moufide Jones and his business partner Eric St. Pierre quickly received their first grant from the Research Council of Canada, launched their first successful Augmented Reality (AR) project through the discovery of a whole new technology, and released their first app with Dejardins. Now with 20 jobs created in offices in Montréal and New York, Merchlar is launching their own AR software kit, thanks to the Research and Development team led by Hazem Rushdi Mohamed, and have just won a Favourite Website Award (FWA) for their AR app.
To highlight the many similar examples of business success from among the Spin Master Innovation Fund alumni, and champion Canada’s young innovators, CYBF recently launched “Where Are They Now?” – a social media campaign that follows the path to success for a series of program participants.