Monthly Archives

September 2015

Apply now to the RADIUS Ventures Slingshot Accelerator Program

By | Accelerator, RADIUS Ventures | One Comment

Scaling your Impact Venture
December 2015 – May 2016, Vancouver BC

RADIUS is an innovation lab and venture incubator at SFU’s Beedie School of Business.  We have a specific focus on working with Radical Doers to create positive impact through innovation and entrepreneurship.  

RADIUS Slingshot is supported by and delivered with support from Business Development Bank of Canada, Vancity Credit Union, and Fasken Martineau LLP.

Thank you to all applicants. The application period is now closed.
Application form

WILL YOUR IMPACT VENTURE BE PART OF THE NEXT SLINGSHOT COHORT?

RADIUS seeks impact ventures that are:

  1. in the early growth stage (starting at $50,000 to $200,000 in annual revenue), and
  2. looking for support in becoming investment ready and market ready.

In particular, we seek ventures that are actively pursuing growth capital, new market entry, and/or new product launch.  

Entrepreneurs will benefit from:

  • one-on-one support from our seasoned entrepreneurs-in-residence (Donovan Woollard and Mike Rowlands)
  • weekly co-learning sessions in a peer-driven environment,
  • subsidized office space in Vancouver’s Gastown neighborhood for six months.  
  • access to an extensive mentor network, and connections with downstream investors and lenders.  

Qualifying ventures will be selected for ongoing collaboration, investment, and co-entrepreneurship.

WHO

Radical Doers. You do things differently. You may or may not think of yourself as a social entrepreneur, but through your venture you are purposefully building a better world for yourself and those around you.

Up to three core team members (including lead entrepreneur) for each venture.  

WHAT YOU COME WITH

  • A venture ready to scale in the next six months
  • A venture that addresses a meaningful social or environmental challenge as part of its core product or service offering
  • No sectors are excluded, but the following are particularly welcome to apply:
    • Sustainable food systems;
    • Education;
    • Health;
    • Ventures launched by SFU alumni

In certain cases, we will accept start-up ventures that are ready to start generating revenues in the next six months.  

WHAT YOU LEAVE WITH

The confidence and clarity to quickly scale your venture.

  • A complete and customer-tested Business Model Canvas
  • Prioritized sales channels, customer types, and revenue opportunities
  • New and lasting connections with like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors
  • Connections to lenders and early stage investors  
  • Frameworks and processes you will continue to use going forward

PROGRAM STRUCTURE

The RADIUS Slingshot cohort consists of the following:

  • Weekly cohort sessions with all program participants, Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, and mentors
  • Bi-weekly one-on-one sessions with a dedicated Entrepreneur-in-Residence
  • Free access to legal support (up to 5 hours per venture), Amazon Web Services, and Quickbooks.

SCHEDULE

Applications due October 15th. Program starts week of December 1st and continues weekly for six months. Core team must be available for all meetings in Vancouver (in-person or by online communication).  

COST

RADIUS invests its time and resources in the success of its Slingshot ventures and shares in their success.  Thanks to the support of BDC and Vancity, there is no upfront fee for this program.  Instead, we charge a performance fees based upon incremental success (revenue growth, funds raised, etc.) up to 2x program delivery cost.  

QUESTIONS? Email RADIUS Ventures Director Donovan Woollard at dwoollard[at]radiussfu.com.

RADIUS Fellow Zoya Jiwa launches “As We Are” to navigate health conditions with style and courage

By | Fellows, Funding | No Comments

This summer, RADIUS Fellow and SFU student Zoya Jiwa was awarded Social Innovation seed funding from RADIUS and Embark for her new project, As We Are. Here Zoya shares the story of how As We Are came to be.

When the cold, damp weather arrived last winter, I struggled to find clothes that were warm, comfortable, and stylish. Every morning, in addition to dressing for Vancouver’s sporadic weather patterns, I had to consider my equally unpredictable pain.

Zoya - resizedAlongside an autoimmune disease called Lupus (SLE), I live with an interesting condition called Fibromyalgia (FM), which is characterized by intense pain in muscles and soft tissues (musculoskeletal pain). Essentially, any pressure to tender points including my arms, abdomen, shoulders, and thighs feels like pressing on bruises: painful and uncomfortable.  For these reasons, I am not a fan of wearing tight shirts, skinny jeans, or multiple heavy layers.  

One chilly morning, I opened my closet to discover that I owned more pajama pants than real pants. After having a good laugh, I decided that it was time to rebuild my wardrobe. Comfort often took priority over personal style, but I hoped that certain clothes could offer the best of both. I chose to invest in a few simple, high-quality pieces that reflected my personality. At local clothing stores, I found softer materials, relaxed-fit pants with elastic waistbands, and light accessories that added sparkle to my outfit. Not only did these clothes reduce the pressure on my muscles and soft tissues, but they also made me feel confident. Suddenly, I was excited to define and embrace a truly personal style.

As We Are - walking

When I asked my friends who also live with health conditions if they dressed to accommodate to their daily challenges and to feel better, and they all said yes, each with a story to share. Although we do not all have the same diseases, we experience similar symptoms, medication side effects, and emotional moments. I saw an opportunity for us to connect our individual stories to a greater community of empowerment and impact.

This is where As We Are emerged.

As We Are

Guided by values of community, creativity, and confidence, As We Are is a style website for people who are living with health conditions. It combines peer mentorship and storytelling to support individuals experiencing symptoms and side effects of diseases, disabilities, and chronic pain. This is a space where comfort meets style, where functional fashion thrives, and where courage shines.  We seek to feature personal styles and stories that are relatable, that make us smile, and that remind our readers that they are not alone in their challenges. While focus is usually placed on living a vibrant life ‘when you are feeling better,’ this is a space to celebrate and embrace who we are, as we are, in this moment.”

Over the past three months, I have had the honour of featuring the incredibly moving personal stories and styles of some extraordinary people. Whether you are living with a health condition or not, I invite you to read through the ten Style Strategies we have featured.

A big thank-you to goes out to RADIUS for supporting As We Are in its early stages. It means a great deal to have this social innovation community that is excited to be part of our next steps forward.

Connect with As We Are on Facebook and on Instagram: @aswearestyle.

 

New Local Economic Development Lab Cohort Up and Running

By | RADIUS Lab | No Comments

Our newly named Local Economic Development Lab, a partnership with Ecotrust Canada, welcomes four new graduate student team members. Over the next eight months, Anna Migicovsky, Daniel Mundeva, Priyanka Roy, and Chris Puzio will work with community partners to support innovative projects in the Downtown Eastside. We’re delighted to partner with Potluck Cafe’s Recipes for Success program, the Carnegie Community Centre, the Binners’ Project, and the DTES Street Market in undertaking this work.

Anna Migicovsky

Anna is thrilled to be joining the Local Economic Development Lab to design, test and advance ideas for a new economy in Vancouver’s inner city.  With a background in Environmental Science and Cultural Anthropology, she has always been drawn to learning about complex social and environmental issues happening in the world around her.

Growing up in Vancouver, Anna spent a lot of her childhood in nature (camping, kayaking, hiking, skiing) as well as surrounded by a robust community of like-minded individuals. She has been fortunate to live abroad and travel extensively, experiencing different cultures and methods of social interaction and inclusion. This has fueled her passion for creating positive change in our society.

After having worked in both non-profit and for-profit ventures, she decided to pursue a Masters in Business Administration with the aim to bridge the gap between business and social impact. As a MBA Candidate at Beedie School of Business at SFU, she is eager to bring her skills and experience to find long-term sustainable solutions.

In her spare time, Anna can be found playing Ultimate Frisbee or at her pottery studio where she is allowed to get messy and play with mud.

Daniel Mundeva

Daniel Mundeva is Masters of Arts student at Simon Fraser University. His greatest passion is people, development and the environment. He strongly believes that creating a society where everyone feels valued, supported and respected is crucial to ensure social and economic stability.

Coming from a developing country and humble background, Daniel understands not only the experiences and struggles of marginalized people but also their potential to succeed when given the opportunity. His experiences span from community development to environment sustainability, with his works being conducted in three different continents. He is joining the Local Economic Development Lab team as an intern to support the improvement and expansion of the Downtown Eastside Street Market. In his position, he hopes to improve the breakeven of the market and strengthen relations amongst all stakeholders, namely, vendors, shoppers, community members, City of Vancouver officials, and law enforcement units.

He is an avid hiker (having hiked the Westcoast trail on the Vancouver Island and also having summited Mount Kilimanjaro three times) and a recreational biker.

Chris Puzio

Chris is beyond excited to join the team at Local Economic Development Lab and to begin working with the Carnegie Community Center project this Fall.  He is currently enrolled in the Masters of Urban Studies program at SFU where his research interests include community and social planning.  He knows working with the Carnegie Community Centre Project will give him firsthand experience in seeing social innovation policy in practice, and that’s exciting!  He’s had some experience working with the DTES community and he is glad to return and to work in a much greater capacity than he did previously.  He is sure some amazing ideas and projects will emerge over the next 8 months that will have a positive impact on the community, and again, that’s exciting! He is also very excited for the learning experiences and collaboration that will take place over the next 8 months inside and outside of the Local Economic Development Lab.

He’s mentioned he’s excited at least 4 times in this short bio – he’s really excited to get this project started, meet and collaborate with great people, and hopefully work with delicious food and create positive change for a community!

Priyanka Roy

With a background in Architecture and currently finishing her masters in Urban Planning at UBC, Priyanka has always been deeply interested in working with communities. She has prior experience working as a social planner at the municipal level and has also worked with several non-profits based in the DTES. She is currently working with the Local Economic Development Lab on the Binners’ Project. She lives in Vancouver, loves riding her bike and has a pet turtle.

Slow Streets: Reflecting on our Observations from February to June 2015

By | Funding, RADIUS Edu | No Comments

Slow Streets was recently awarded Social Innovation seed funding from RADIUS and Embark

studyLast February, Slow Streets members including Simon Jay, Darren Proulx, Sam Baron, Chris Puzio, and Terry Sidhu responded to a proposal for a transportation analysis in North Burnaby along Hastings Street. The Social Innovation Seed Fund was brought to our attention shortly after and our team quickly applied in order to fund roles such as art work and report design.

Our process begins with a lot of leg work or “sweat equity” as all 5 members take time to observe the quality and environment of the street. The observations are based off of a book written by Jan Gehl, “How to Study Public Life.” Our team is able to record items such as the percentage of people shopping, walking by, boarding the bus, sitting and talking, and others. We use this information as a base to see whether a street is truly enjoyable, safe, attractive, and good for business.

hastingsThis process is rigorous to the point of gaining a sample size that we as a team can work with. During this process we illuminate the effects of having one form of transportation dominate the street. Slow Streets believes in more equitable models where those who choose to walk, cycle, transit, or drive are given equal access to the road. In our process, we examined the effect of an HOV lane that is directly adjacent to the sidewalk, and the effect of having the astonishingly high 33,000 vehicles passing through a street, not a highway. We are in the process of completing our report now and look to publish this fall.