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Published on November 22, 2010 | by Online Editor     Photography by

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Students could earn up to $8000 through new fund

JAMIE BERTOLINI-

Humber College has created a new project aimed at helping graduates who are interested in starting their own businesses.

Photograph by Michael Hatton

Photograph by Michael Hatton

The New Venture Seed Fund will help the college’s grads or near-grads by supporting them with up to $8,000.

According to a flyer handed out to students the money will help pay for costs associated with things like “prototype development, detailed market research, product testing, professional advertising materials, and major equipment or facilities rental.”

Michael Hatton, Vice President, Academic at Humber College says the idea for this type of project came from a meeting he had with a group of program advisors and faculty members.

“Out of [the meeting] came the question of how we could provide support for people to start new businesses,” he says.

“That group gave rise to the idea of having a small fund that would provide grants available to graduating students who demonstrated the solid business plans for a new business start.”

Students wishing to apply must provide a detailed business strategy including the resources they will need for their venture and the costs associated with them.

“Our hope is to offer several grants this coming winter with the idea that students will get their new ventures off the ground, be successful and hire more students and graduates,” said Hatton.

This year, full-time students who have or will complete their studies between April 30, 2010 and April 30, 2011, will be eligible to apply.

Up to eight awards will be granted this year to students who have a good quality business plan, good academic record, and a project with potential for sustainability.

Professor, and Program Coordinator of Humber College’s Electronics Engineering program, Randy Gallant is one of the faculty members who attended the meetings introducing this project.

“One of the things they’re going to look at as far as judging criteria is: ‘can this be a viable business?'” he says.

Gallant said that if the panel believes the project will not be sustainable, they won’t fund it.

According to Gallant the bottom line is what will the earning potential be. “Whether it be an actual product that is being brought to market, or a company being started, or services being offered, is it something that can make money?”

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) also enacted a similar program in November, 2009.

According to SAIT’s website, the “LAUNCH” program “is a business plan competition for new SAIT graduates and recent alumni interested in starting up their own technology, science, or knowledge-based business.”

The three chosen business ventures will win part of the combined total of $170,000.

Applications for Humber’s New Venture Seed Fund must be dropped off in the Vice President, Academic’s office in room D161 by 4 pm on Dec. 7, 2010.

Students will be notified if they have earned the grant by Jan. 10.

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