The mythology of the successful tech startup usually involves a novel idea, a brilliant dropout and a grubby garage.
But Joseph Orozco, executive director of The Entrepreneurship Hatchery at the University of Toronto, says the reality is often much different.
“Not all entrepreneurs are brilliant misfits toiling away over stale pizza and cold coffee in makeshift spaces,” Orozco writes in a recent Globe and Mail op-ed.
“Many are researchers whose insight is to translate a scientific discovery into a product or service that meets a market need. And while academic laboratories may be ideal for hatching new ideas, they are often ill-equipped to nurture the resulting business through to maturity.”
That's why U of T – among the North American leaders in producing research-based startups – is brimming with incubators and accelerators catering to different types of startups at various stages in their development.
They include the Hatchery, which this spring will move into the new Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship building on U of T’s downtown Toronto campus.
The new, state-of-the-art facility will provide space for budding entrepreneurs to build prototypes, demonstrate them to potential partners and funders, and network with more experienced startup founders.
“More than ever before, I hear from students that they want to take their careers into their own hands,” Orozco writes.
“I believe we have an obligation to give the next generation a quality place to start up: a bright, warm, clean space to spark fresh ideas and design their own futures.”