Award-winning entrepreneur training program celebrates inaugural year and expands

Sep 24, 2020

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Dr. Elena Groppa, alumnus of i2I

Mitacs and the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University (SFU Beedie) have renewed a partnership to offer the Invention to Innovation (i2I) program for graduate students.

Over seven months, i2I Skills Training equips participants with the frameworks, perspectives, and techniques to develop an innovation mindset and commercialize their inventions while overcoming marketplace challenges.

Created by SFU Beedie, the program recently won international recognition after AACSB International — the world’s largest business education network — highlighted the new program among its annual Innovations That Inspire.

Building upon the successful i2I curriculum, which Beedie founded in 2015 as a for-credit graduate certificate, Mitacs and SFU Beedie piloted a non-credit i2I Skills Training program in 2019. Skills Training is a hybrid online model that allows entrepreneurial-minded graduate students across Canada to make a real-world impact with their scientific inventions.

The program’s first cohort comprised 16 participants, including current and former Mitacs interns based in British Columbia, who concluded the course in May after pitching their ventures to a panel of judges. Now, i2I Skills Training will be offered to participants in both Pacific and Eastern time zones thanks to a collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Queen’s University, which will act as the delivery partner for the East cohort.

Participants in the program attested to the transformational experience of i2I Skills Training, with 100% recommending it to their peers. Most notable was the vast increase in confidence in the cohort in their ability to create a commercialization strategy to take their inventions from lab to market.

Read more at the Mitacs website.