The Centre for Digital Media is happy to announce our new Entrepreneur in Residence program. Supported by funding from the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), the program will help MDM alumni-created startup companies as well as early-stage startups (including MDM students doing a Venture Internship) to grow their companies by matching them with mentors.
The Master of Digital Media program gives students the knowledge and skills to succeed as entrepreneurs and has provided an environment that has helped foster 11 startup companies, including V7 Entertainment, CatStatic and Shailah Interactive.
The new Entrepreneur in Residence program is meant to help companies get out of the startup phase and into the next level of development. Providing structured mentorship will help the companies continue on beyond the MDM program and increase their probability of growth.
Mentors will provide guidance; give introductions to potential advisors, investors and business partners; and provide direction on preparing investor presentations, business plans and marketing materials.
The end goal is to have companies develop a documented growth strategy and business plan and ultimately help position the companies for success—whether that's by securing investments, allowing for new growth in sales and employees or providing access to new markets and partnership opportunities.
The program kicked off this fall with Joel Calvo coming on board. Joel is currently on the Board of Directors on the Vancouver Economic Commission and a Lecturer and Mentor to Israeli based entrepreneurs for the Merage Institute in California.
Joel has a successful track record as CEO for small privately-held companies to subsidiaries of large publicly-held organizations. He also has a long history in the financial services industries and has invested and worked with a variety of startups to secure funding and grow their businesses in diverse sectors.
Dennis Chenard, CDM’s Director of Industry Relations, had this to say:
We are very excited about the CDM's Entrepreneur in Residence program. The students, alumni and their start-ups will all benefit from the additional mentorship this opportunity provides. It’s not only a great addition to the MDM experience but potentially an even greater benefit to the future of BC's economy. This would not be possible without the support from NRC-IRAP and from our advisors who are taking these start-ups to the next level.
We’re excited about the future of the program and look forward to the continued success of our MDM alumni entrepreneurs!