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UTEST cited among Toronto’s top 10 tech accelerators

MI_utestUTEST, the tech accelerator co-directed by MaRS Innovation and the University of Toronto, was named to BlogTO‘s Top 10 list of technology accelerators on November 8, 2015.

The list was published just weeks before the announcement of the fourth UTEST cohort, and included recognition of TrendMD and Whirlscape as notable startups among the graduated UTEST companies.

Here’s the excerpt:

UTEST, a collaboration between U of T and MaRs Innovation, is in its fourth year of operation with 15 teams. The program is one year in length and is only available to current students, recent grads and university faculty. UTest invests $30,000 in its companies in return for 5% equity. Two notable alumni are scholarly content recommendation engine TrendMD and mobile keyboard creator Whirlscape.

The article also mentions Slyce as a breakout company from the INCubes accelerator; the company acquired York University technology through a license deal negotiated by MaRS Innovation prior to their IPO.

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UTEST program bends career road for Granata Decision Systems’ founders

TGranata Decision System logo Nov 2013ORONTO (January 21, 2015) — MaRS Innovation and the University of Toronto (U of T) are pleased to announce that the founders of Granata Decision Systems Inc., a graduate of the University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) start-up incubator program, have joined Google Inc.

This story was covered in TechVibes.

Dr. Craig Boutilier is a professor in U of T’s Department of Computer Science. He and Tyler Lu, a graduating PhD student in the same department, co-founded Granata Decision Systems in 2012 to develop their advanced decision-support technologies. Granata’s software platform provided real-time optimization and scenario analysis capabilities for large-scale, data-driven marketing problems and group/organizational decision-making. The company was part of the UTEST program’s first cohort.

“This is a significant milestone for the UTEST program and the wider MaRS Innovation portfolio,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO. “We co-created the UTEST program with U of T to foster entrepreneurship in a meaningful way while encouraging students and professors to translate their academic ideas into commercial realities. We hope Craig and Tyler’s success will motivate other researchers and students to consider working with MI and participate in UTEST and our other commercialization programs.”

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University of Toronto’s entrepreneurship programs to share over $3 million from province’s Campus-Linked Accelerator Program

UTEST among the four U of T entrepreneurship programs to be funded through Ontario’s CLA program

utestThe University of Toronto will receive $3,056,000 in funding over two years from the Ontario government to increase its training and support for student entrepreneurship.

The funding is part of the Campus-Linked Accelerator Program (CLA), announced today by Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation, and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

“Fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among students is a key component of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, through programs that help transfer their ideas and skills to the marketplace while creating rewarding careers,” said Minister Moridi. “By partnering with colleges and universities to support entrepreneurship, we are ensuring our province’s business leaders of tomorrow are getting the support they need to succeed today.”

With this funding, U of T will continue to build on its long track record of success in this area by expanding the entrepreneurship opportunities it offers to students, primarily through its four principal accelerators: The Creative Destruction Lab (Rotman School of Management), The Hatchery (Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering), The Impact Centre (Faculty of Arts & Science), and UTEST (The Innovation and Partnerships Office, produced in partnership with MaRS Innovation).

The CLA program provides critical funding that enhances the support U of T and MaRS Innovation offer to our current UTEST companies,” said Kurtis Scissons, co-director of UTEST. “It also allows UTEST to expand to work with a greater number of student entrepreneurs in computer software, and is a catalyst for other UT CLA’s to combine their entrepreneurship efforts in a synergistic, complimentary way.”

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