Toronto’s OCAD University Launches ‘Imagination Catalyst,’ an Incubator for Student Startups

Toronto’s OCAD University has announced the launch of Imagination Catalyst, a student-focused incubator and accelerator for entrepreneurship and innovation. Led by Canadian technologist and entrepreneur Steve Billinger, Imagination Catalyst will “aggregate OCAD U’s existing innovation, research and commercialization activities.” 

“Through the Imagination Catalyst, students and recent graduates will engage in experiential learning while contributing to productivity, the integration of design, digital media, creative thinking and design capability across key verticals of the Ontario economy,” said OCAD U President, Dr. Sara Diamond. “We’re fortunate to be able to pair Steve’s expertise with our talented and highly motivated students and alumni. Under his guidance, they will be able to hone their entrepreneurial skills while receiving unprecedented access to private sector partners and our expanding mentorship network.”

OCAD University’s Imagination Catalyst fosters experiential learning opportunities, creates a vehicle for young entrepreneurs and creative business start-ups, including the acceleration of commercialization ideas from applied academic research, coordinates university-Industry research and development collaborations across key economic drivers in digital media, and provides networking opportunities for entrepreneurs.

It consists of a series of work space hot desks, project offices and digital studio spaces with access to high-speed infrastructure, production, testing and prototyping facilities that form part of the Digital Media Research and Innovation Institute.

OCAD, known as “Canada’s university of imagination,” was founded in 1876. The post-secondy education institution focuses on knowledge and invention within the art and design space.