Turning AI research into a startup has its many challenges and opportunities, UTEST was there right in the beginning with the knowledge and foresight to help us start on the right path to startup success.

 Helen Kontozopoulos, co-founder, ODAIA.ai

Program Timeline

June

  • Orientation & Kickoff: At this event the new UTEST cohort receives a detailed overview of the program and access to services and perks.
  • Collision Conference: University of Toronto is a proud sponsor of this world-renowned conference. Startups can network and attend a myriad of sessions led by a roster of top speakers. 
  • MaRS Startup Intensive Education Programs: Delivered through hybrid synchronous and asynchronous modes, courses include Entrepreneurship 101, Customer Discovery, B2B Sales for Founders, Business Model Canvas, Pitching to Investors, Finance Fundamentals, Marketing and Communications.

July & August 

  • MaRS Startup Intensive Education Programs: Delivered through hybrid synchronous and asynchronous modes, courses include Entrepreneurship 101, Customer Discovery, B2B Sales for Founders, Business Model Canvas, Pitching to Investors, Finance Fundamentals, Marketing and Communications.
  • One-on-One Mentorship Meetings: Startups receive coaching on goal setting, connecting and networking externally and through UofT and TIAP channels, business models, tech transfer, grant funding opportunities and more.
  • Speaker Series: Startups attend seminars lead by industry experts on capitalization tables, SR&ED credit programs, data governance, intellectual property, market research and more. 
  • Professional Services: Legal advice and services provided by Fasken; Betakit Office Hours offer an opportunity for startups to discuss story opportunities, potential coverage, and other items of note one-on-one with a BetaKit editor; access to HR and Marketing professionals.

September & October

  • MaRS Startup Intensive Education Programs: Delivered through hybrid synchronous and asynchronous modes, courses include Entrepreneurship 101, Customer Discovery, B2B Sales for Founders, Business Model Canvas, Pitching to Investors, Finance Fundamentals,
  • One-on-One Mentorship Meetings: These meetings are a continuation of tailored mentoring and pitch revision for UTEST cohort companies.
  • UTEST & Rotman MBA Collaboration: Select companies participate in Rotman MBA Venture Capital Strategy course. MBA students work with startups to provide them with a range of solutions, from go-to-market strategies to financial projections.  
  • IP Education Program: This program will connect theory with real-world examples, participants will be given the tools to recognize when they create something of value and the steps required to protect it.

November

  • Silicon Valley Bank & Life Sciences Ontario Networking Event: These two sponsor organizations team-up to host a networking night for UTEST companies looking to seek mentorship and advice from experienced professionals from the life science industry. 

December

  • UTEST Pitch Day: UTEST cohort companies will pitch to a range of potential investors, mentors and other stakeholders. TEST will invest up to $150,000 in selected companies in the form of a SAFE. Access to follow-on investments of up to $500,000 through TIAP.

January & February 

  • UTEST investments are identified, and agreements are initiated.
  • Revision of previous cohorts:  Alumni companies are reviewed regularly in order to identify any gaps or areas of help that UTEST can provide.
  • Access to workspace: Those companies that require it can now access a dedicated workspace. 

March

  • University of Toronto Entrepreneurship Week: The University of Toronto’s entrepreneurial community and campus accelerators celebrate the positive impact that innovation and startup activity can have on our economy, health, and the planet.
  • RBC Innovation & Entrepreneurship Prize: Many UTEST companies compete in UofT’s largest startup pitch competition of the year, offering $50,000+ in prizes to recognize, reward, and accelerate the University of Toronto’s most innovative startups.

April & May 

  • UTEST Opens Applications: Apply online to the UTEST program. Applications close in early June. 
  • Continued access to mentors, networking, professional services and fundraising opportunities.
Photo taken at Molly Shoichet’s laboratory.

What you get

  1. An intensive entrepreneurial education program provided by MaRS
  2. Access to a large network of mentors, coaching and support
  3. Access to top professional services experts, investors and tech entrepreneurs
  4. An opportunity to present to investors on our Pitch Day and other assistance raising capital 
  5. A chance to qualify for UTEST investment of $150,000 in the form of a SAFE.
  6. Select companies may also qualify for a follow-on investment of up to $500,000 through TIAP  

Apply

Eligibility

Applications are open to companies with one or more founders affiliated with the University of Toronto, who are:

  • Current University of Toronto students
  • Current University of Toronto faculty members
  • Recent University of Toronto graduates (within two years)
  • Since 2020 UTEST has accepted applications from UofT-affiliated hospitals. Please ensure an invention disclosure form has been submitted to your host institution’s technology transfer office and they are aware of your UTEST application

Investment Criteria

Over the course of the program, and on a competitive basis, the UTEST investment is eligible based on the following criteria:

  • Disruptive and protectable Intellectual Property
  • Research, technology and/or innovations created at the University of Toronto and disclosed to the Innovations and Partnerships Office as per the University of Toronto Inventions Policy