Entrepreneurs and members of Red River College faculty enjoyed a catered lunch & learn presentation about the funding opportunities provided by Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization that builds partnerships between industry and post-secondary institutions to support industrial and social innovation in Canada with the ultimate goal of commercializing academic research.
Brent Wennekes, Director of Business Development (Manitoba) at Mitacs, described how their Accelerate program pairs entrepreneurs and companies working across all sectors of the economy with student research opportunities. Mr. Wennekes provided details about the funding model and the application process, which include a $7,500 contribution from a business in exchange for a $15,000 research award from Mitacs to support a research student intern for four months. Mitacs funding has spearheaded many of the four-month projects delivered at the ACE Project Space.
Mitacs funding recipient and CEO of ioAirFlow, Matt Schaubroeck, described his experience of having leveraged Mitacs funding while working a full-time job to kickstart his new venture. Mr. Schaubroek’s company is building an AI-supported solution using a network of temperature sensors to provide building owners and tenants with the data they need to increase energy efficiency. The research student embedded at the ACE Project Space as part of the ioAirFlow project was integral in building a marketable solution that won stage time at the Falling Walls Lab pitch contest in Berlin.
Stephen Lawrence, ACE Project Space Coordinator, shared the opportunity and process that lend to entrepreneurs the application development skills of fourth term students at the ACE Project Space with support from Mitacs. Mr. Lawrence described how the mutually beneficial relationship provides students with valuable real life project experience while providing entrepreneurs with the ability to bring their ideas to fruition.