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Annual Report

Bringing our entrepreneurial spirit to the world

Summer institute participants and mentors

Budding entrepreneurs at UNB’s Summer Institute now have the ability to access world-class mentorship and enjoy global networking opportunities.

The three-month startup accelerator, part of the J. Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management and Entrepreneurship, now counts itself among an exclusive group of programs with the Global Accelerator Network.

The Summer Institute is just the third Canadian program to join the global network, which was created in 2010 alongside the White House’s Startup America Initiative to increase the success rate among young entrepreneurs, and provide support and collaboration to business accelerators around the world.

Dhirendra Shukla, J. Herbert Smith ACOA chair, leads the Summer Institute. He says being a part of the network opens up exciting new possibilities for startups in Atlantic Canada, such as the ability to make the right connections to scale growth and to directly reach customers.

“The benefits of being part of the network put UNB’s Summer Institute and the J. Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management and Entrepreneurship on the global stage,” Dr. Shukla says. “It’s a very exciting time for us. With access to expertise from successful accelerators in the network, we can further improve programs to elevate our entrepreneurs into future business leaders.”

Sylvette Fortin, toy and puppet maker, and creator of Petite Forêt

The Summer Institute program launched its third cohort in May 2016, bringing together first-time entrepreneurs of different ages, backgrounds and industries. This year also sees the introduction of the Spark program, a specialized stream focused on technology and sustainability.

Previous Summer Institute participants include Wear Your Label, a clothing company that over the past year has received international media attention and appeared at New York Fashion Week.

The Summer Institute is just one of many entrepreneurial programs designed by the Smith Centre. Others include an experiential learning-based diploma and master’s program, and grant programs such as the Technology Commercialization Program, which provides student groups and individuals with seed money to advance their technology-based products or services.