Business Innovation and Growth Program 2016-2017

Accelerating Canadian SMEs through Innovation and Productivity Services at Centennial College


The Centennial College Centre of Entrepreneurship, with support from the National Research Council of Canada-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC- IRAP), is launching the Business Innovation and Growth Program 2016-2017 pilot project. The program has no fee and is aimed at assisting in enhancing the innovation capacity of Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and is specifically targeted towards eligible small and medium businesses in the Greater Toronto Area. 

There are many factors impacting a business’s capacity to innovate, including those based on product, processes, management, strategy and those related to marketing. In this pilot program we have chosen to focus on business model design, innovation, planning, market planning and technology development support for mobile applications to deliver new or enhanced service.


This free program is for you if:

  1. You are looking for growth through development and commercialization of innovative, technology-driven new or improved products, services or processes in Canada;
  2. You are operating in the Greater Toronto Area;
  3. You employ 2 to 499 employees; and
  4. You are looking to grow your business from the program eventually resulting in higher profits / employment.

Application Process

Applications are accepted and processed as received, and will continue to be accepted until September 30, 2016, or until program spaces are filled; whichever comes first. Those wishing to take part in this program can apply online.

The Program

The program will be delivered in phases, beginning October 10, 2016. A program calendar will be made available to businesses selected for the program.
The program provides for business model design, innovation, planning & market planning, and technology application development support to selected businesses through one of the following three program streams. 

Program streams

  1. Lean Canvas Training and Development - For developing a roadmap for early stage enterprises: This is experiential program will help with business model design, validation and business planning, as well as the initial strategy to identify a business problem or opportunity, in order to create a roadmap and validated business model for faster growth.

    The program will cover group learning through structured modules, followed by one-on-one sessions. The structured modules will cover Business Canvas overview, validation (research), positioning/unique value proposition (UVP), marketing channels, operational key metrics and cost /revenue estimation.

    Worksheets will be provided to assist with initial application of knowledge to businesses in an interactive group setting and later refined in bi-weekly, one-on-one meetings, over the course of three months.

    At the end of this program, the business will have a specific lean canvas, business-specific validation conclusion, a business-specific unique value proposition, and financial projection.
  2. Market Plan Development - For introducing innovative new or improved products, services or processes: Through a consultative and facilitated process with experienced experts, we will assist the business to develop an innovative business model, develop a marketing strategy and action plan for accelerated growth. The program stream will cover review of the business needs to address the problem or the opportunity, existing structure, strategy, data and activities, validation, as well as assist in primary/ secondary research, market segment definitions, development of positioning and the unique value proposition, along with marketing plan and key metric definition.

    At the end of this program, the business will have an actionable marketing plan addressing the problem or the opportunity.
  3. Mobile Application Development - For improving service or product delivery and experience: This program will assist the business in developing a mobile application in order to support the organizational or market performance improvements. The process involves information gathering, analysis, design, coding, testing and deployment. Experienced in this service area, Centennial College’s Wearable Interactive and Mobile Technology Access Centre in Health (WIMTACH) is an active participant in this market, developing mobile apps on a regular basis.

    At the end of the program, you will be provided with development documentation and information on publishing the application through distribution stores.

About Centennial College

Centennial College is Ontario’s first public College, established in 1966 and primarily serves the eastern portion of the Greater Toronto area through four campuses and seven satellite locations. The College is best known for record of exemplary teaching, innovative programming and extensive partnership building.
Four campuses and eight schools produce future leaders in business, communications, media and design, community and health studies, engineering technology and applied science, hospitality, tourism and culture, and transportation.

Centennial College is one of Canada’s top research colleges and is leader in College applied research since 1997. Over the years College has developed innovation portfolios in the areas of aerospace, energy, health and children’s media building track record of over fifty years at the School of Business and 28 years at the Centre of Entrepreneurship (COE), and developing new initiatives such as Accelerator for Centennial Community Entrepreneurs and leaders (ACCEL). To date, our entrepreneurial programs assisted in the formation of over 3600 businesses.

The College has several major research, innovation and entrepreneurship programs under way, including the Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research. The College operates the Wearable Interactive and Mobile Technology Access Centre in Health (WIMTACH).

About Centre of Entrepreneurship

Centre of Entrepreneurship (COE) has always strived to improve and continuously upgraded training content and process to support clients with their self-employment goals. COE uses an innovative approach to the business planning process and re-designed its training delivery to incorporate this methodology based on lean methodologies. Many of COE’s clients are main-street entrepreneurs. While lean start-up methodologies have mostly focused on technology-based start-ups, COE has successfully adapted this for their main-street businesses clients. The lean methodology has helped our clients explore multiple customer segments, validate their offering more effectively with the recommended research and interviewing process, link their positioning statement and unique value proposition to the results of this validation, and develop paths to customers that bring results in a short period.

COE has unique expertise in training Independent Producers in film and television to set up successful businesses. This incubator – the only one of its kind in Canada-started in 2006 and has assisted 35 entrepreneurs each year to commercialize their business ideas with knowledge, mentoring, advising and project funding. COE has now undertaken this new initiative targeted at small business for fostering innovation and growth.

For inquiries, please contact:

Lalit Guglani
Centre for Entrepreneurship 
416-289-5128, ext. 3416 

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