Helping Students Start Innovative Companies April 24, 2014 RICCentre New Youth Jobs Programs Fostering Entrepreneurs Ontario is launching five programs to help young people start companies and create jobs. Part of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, these programs will provide young entrepreneurs with business skills, capital to start and grow a small business and the opportunity to gain experience and expertise through R&D internships: Ontario is providing $5 million to the On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) program and $20 million to the Campus Linked Accelerators (CLA) program to help students develop entrepreneurial skills and transfer academic expertise and knowledge to the marketplace. Ontario is investing $9 million in the SmartStart Seed Fund to help young entrepreneurs build technology companies. The fund is open to 18 to 29 year olds affiliated with a CLA or OCEA program, as well as start-ups linked either to an Ontario campus or Ontario’s network of Regional Innovation Centres. The province is providing $7 million to the Youth Business Acceleration Program to equip young entrepreneurs with skills needed to start and grow successful technology businesses, including entrepreneurship education, market intelligence services and mentorship. Ontario is investing $10 million in Talent Edge, a program that bridges the gap between academia and the workforce. It provides opportunities for post-secondary students, PhD fellows and recent graduates to work on collaborative R&D projects between their academic institution and industry. The Youth Jobs Strategy is part of the government’s economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario’s greatest strengths — its people and strategic partnerships.