Supporting research-based innovation while continuing to provide value to partners.
First Fund, Canada’s largest pre-seed fund for technology startups, and Centre for Digital Media (CDM), which offers the internationally recognized, research informed and industry relevant professional Master of Digital Media (MDM) graduate degree program, are pleased to announce that they are partnering with Mitacs, a national, nonprofit organization that has been designing and delivering research and training programs in Canada for two decades. The partners are undertaking a jointly-funded $533,000 research project that aims to strengthen the Canadian startup ecosystem by providing startups access to top-tier Doctoral, Masters, and Undergraduate level students through fully-funded Mitacs internships. As part of the joint initiative, 40 Mitacs internship units will be distributed among multiple Canadian startups.
As part of the new project, First Fund will provide its Canadian portfolio companies exclusive access to pre-approved and pre-funded Mitacs internship units, allowing companies to shorten the traditionally lengthy application and approval process. Centre for Digital Media will provide administration of the grant with support from Simon Fraser University (SFU) and access to highly qualified student candidates from both the MDM program and its partner institutions.
“First Fund’s mission is to support early-stage entrepreneurship, and there’s no better place to do it than in our home country of Canada,” said Samarth Chandola, Founder of First Fund. “This multi-institution partnership will offer immense value to our portfolio of startups, and is a great example of how government, academia, and private players can come together to help foster innovation and funding for young startups in Canada.”
“The core differentiator of the multidisciplinary MDM program is the emphasis on experiential learning through real-world industry projects and student-led ventures,” said Dr. Dave Fracchia, CDM/SFU Faculty. “Our collaboration with First Fund and Mitacs gives students the opportunity to gain valuable digital media experience and contribute to the growing Canadian startup ecosystem.”
“Mitacs is delighted to partner with First Fund and CDM to drive Canadian innovation by connecting highly qualified talent with startups and entrepreneurs to address real-world challenges,” said Dr. John Hepburn, Mitacs CEO and Scientific Director. “We are pleased to provide interns with opportunities in digital media that lead to advancing Canada’s economy and our country’s position on the global innovation stage.”
About First Fund
First Fund is Canada’s most-active pre-seed investment fund, and aims to address the existing gap in early-stage funding. The Fund promotes the birth of new startups by investing as early as the pitch-deck stage to get new startups off the ground. First Fund seeks to give promising entrepreneurs a shot at success in their startup ideas to allow them to get started on the journey while offering access to a strategic network of resources and future funding partners.
For more information, please visit thefirst.vc.
About Centre for Digital Media
Centre for Digital Media houses the Master of Digital Media program, a world-class, professional graduate program located in Vancouver, Canada, inspired by cutting-edge research and industry innovation.
The Master of Digital Media (MDM) is Canada’s first professional graduate program in digital media. Offered at the Centre for Digital Media in Vancouver BC, and conferred by The University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and the British Columbia Institute of Technology, this intensive program with internship engages students in real world projects and coursework that provides valuable leadership experience, training, and top industry connections.
The MDM Program is a 12-month, plus internship, full-time professional Master's degree program. The program's curriculum is uniquely designed to meet new and expanding digital media markets. Guided by top-level faculty and industry mentors, students work closely with clients and peers on team-based, industry-supported projects. Graduates have the know-how and confidence to work at the highest level in the industry as creators, producers, innovators, or entrepreneurs.
For more information, please visit thecdm.ca.
Founded in 1999, Mitacs is working with 70 universities, 6,000 companies, and both federal and provincial governments to build partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada. Since its inception, Mitacs has backed over 20,000 research projects and trained more than 33,000 career-skills participants, while supporting over 3,600 international research collaborations.
For more information, please visit mitacs.ca.