What We Offer
The Science Discovery Zone's model is based on evidence-based innovation. Membership at the SDZ can take place in one of three streams: Participate, Ideate, or Incubate.
In the Participate stream you do not need an idea or a problem to solve.
The main focus is to learn about the startup/innovation world, how to solve problems, expose yourself to different skills, and to meet like-minded people.
Here are some of the resources tailored to the participate steam:
- Social events
- Technical workshops (Laser Cutting, 3D Printing, and more)
- Transferable Skills workshops (Pitching, Design Thinking, and more)
- Our Research Lecture series
- Our Curiosity series (intended to help answer questions and spark innovative ideas)
- A collaborative and multi-disciplinary community to connect with regularly
- Internship program (new as of Fall 2019!)
In the Ideate stream, members have found an idea/problem that they are passionate to solve and want to start applying their knowledge to make it a reality.
Here is what our safe and supportive environment provides you:
- Ideation tools and support, including workbooks and idea invalidation sessions
- Peer working groups arranged around common interests
- Our new internship program
- Academic and business mentorship
- Networking events
- Access to our fabrication, chemistry, and biology laboratories (fees may apply)
In the Incubate stream, you either come in with a startup or your idea has matured to become one. At this stage, we act as more of a traditional incubator and provide you with resources to help your company grow in its early stages. This stream requires previous work to be completed before joining the SDZ such as talking to your customer, market research, and initial prototyping.
This is how the SDZ helps you accelerate your growth:
- Workshops and seminars on common startup concerns, including legal issues, marketing/communications, and business administration
- Access to interns through our new intern pilot program
- Access to designated desk space (for a fee)
- Access to the Ryerson libraries, Clausehound, Hubspot, etc.
- Regular information about potential funding opportunities
How do you get involved through the streams above?
If you're interested in joining the Participate or Ideate stream please book an, Introduction to the SDZ meeting where we'll discuss more about our membership and what it means to be part of the community. To book now, simply fill out the form linked here, external link.
Interested in joining the Incubate stream? In addition to submitting the form linked here, external link you will be asked to pitch your idea at an SDZ pitch night (set once a month). We will reach out to you once we recieve your form.
Innovators benefit from the perspective, knowledge and connections of others. Our teams are assigned a coach who will work with them to help their projects move forward. Our coaches are all experienced innovators, entrepreneurs or community leaders with a proven track record in running successful ventures.
Often, the support innovators find most valuable is from peers who are facing similar challenges. Our co-working space and cross-zone events provide opportunities for ventures to network and collaborate with peers in the Science Discovery Zone and other Ryerson incubator Zones. This allows for a supportive environment where innovators can share in their success and challenges!
Subject Matter Experts
Innovators who want to make deep impact need access to deep knowledge. Science Discovery Zone ventures can access subject matter experts from across the university who have dedicated their lives to particular areas of research. Our ventures also have access to Ryerson-based resources such as legal advice and Startup School for business information.
Who you know helps you grow, so the SocialVentures Zone offers introductions to community and industry networks. Through our partnerships with groups and our growing network of community-based entrepreneurs and organizations, we can introduce you to some of the right people to propel your venture forward.
Workshops and Resources
Regular training and supports help innovators stay sharp, build their skill base and answer key questions. With our partners in Ryerson’s Startup School and sessions we offer at the Zone itself, we help ventures as they prepare their business for startup success. Our connection with Ryerson’s Legal Innovation Zone also helps our ventures get legal advice when they need it from a resource that understands the startup world.
Sometimes, you need a creative space in which to work, meet and create. Our co-working space is located just a block from Dundas Square in the downtown core of Canada’s largest city, at its most entrepreneurial university. Our space allows entrepreneurs to co-mingle, share ideas, and support each other. We provide members access to presentation equipment as well as bookable semi-private meeting and presentation space.
Access to startup funding opportunities
Becoming an entrepreneur doesn’t come easy and sometimes a small amount of funding at the right time can make all the difference. We provide access to special funding sources and can also leverage additional opportunities from our growing network.