GrindSpaceXL gives you the skills and mentorship to help turn your early-stage technology venture into a great company. If you have a passionate startup team with an exciting business idea and prototype or beta ready, apply today to join our next cohort for an intensive 12-week program.
Over 40 companies have graduated from GrindSpaceXL to date in Eastern Ontario, and the program continues to receive praise from participants for helping them to refine their business models and improve sales effectiveness. Join our growing alumni community!
The program is open to incorporated companies commercializing technology-based products or services that are headquartered and operating in Canada.
(May 6, 2016)
GrindSpaceXL-Kingston cohorts are hosted at Innovation Park at Queen’s University (945 Princess Street), a technology development hub and innovation community that offers shared work, lab and meeting spaces. During GrindSpaceXL and following graduation, program partners provide intellectual property and financial expertise, and market intelligence and help companies to access resources, attract customers and become investor-ready.
GrindSpaceXL helps move your company from prototype to product to revenue. To help you make this leap from a promising venture to a great company, GrindSpaceXL offers a 12-week program that delivers:
- Targeted and intensive entrepreneurship training, including business model development and B2B sales
- Extended one-on-one mentorship from entrepreneurs who have built leading-edge companies
- Specialized advisors who help companies become investor-ready
- Opportunities to hone and deliver your pitch to advisors and investors
- Accelerated business development within a structured environment
Before you apply, make sure your company meets these criteria:
- Applicants must be an incorporated company, headquartered and operating in Canada.
- Your company’s core product or service must be technology-based.
- Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they are free to use or develop the intellectual property with no third-party rights.
- You must be able to fully participate in all GrindSpaceXL activities on site in Kingston.
- You should be prepared to commit a minimum of 10 to 12 hours per week for GrindSpaceXL activities and preparation, while continuing to develop your business.
- You must commit to providing status reports and certain business metrics to support program development and evaluation.
GrindSpaceXL-Kingston is part of InnovationXL, a collaboration among Queen’s University, PARTEQ Innovations, and Launch Lab which provides programs and services to accelerate the growth and retention of high potential startups and SMEs. InnovationXL forms part of a broader collaboration with Invest Ottawa and L-SPARK, a B2B SaaS incubator and accelerator, to strengthen the regional innovation ecosystem in Eastern Ontario.
The GrindSpaceXL curriculum is customized to meet the specific needs of each cohort of companies in the program. A structured learning plan is divided into units covering specific areas of expertise and company development. Sessions are led by experienced entrepreneurs and subject matter experts. Interaction with your fellow GrindSpaceXL participants will also enhance your learning.
This intensive program uses real-world examples that can be applied to your business from day one. The curriculum consists of short interactive workshops, divided into four broad areas:
- Customer discovery and market validation
- Go-to-market strategy and sales effectiveness
- Essential skills for success and sustainability
- Financing and exit
GrindSpaceXL-Kingston is a cohort-based program, that offers a high degree of customization and individual support. Companies begin with an individual needs assessment. Then they work with the InnovationXL team to prepare their customized GrindSpaceXL Development Plan.
The Development Plan identifies key deliverables for each company and assigns mentors to help the company achieve them. Participants work toward these business deliverables while progressing through the GrindSpaceXL curriculum along with their colleagues in the cohort. There are regular checkpoints to assess progress. GrindSpaceXL culminates in a company showcase and pitch day.
The GrindSpaceXL program is facilitated by its co-creators, Elza Seregelyi and Andrew Jackson. GrindSpaceXL Kingston participants also benefit from the diverse expertise and networks of the InnovationXL team.
Participation in GrindSpaceXL helps companies prepare for financing and investment. Experienced mentors help participants understand their financing needs. Queen’s, PARTEQ and Launch Lab provide support to participating entrepreneurs and startups following graduation from GrindSpaceXL-Kingston, including facilitating access to funding opportunities. Selected graduates have the opportunity to pitch their business to the Southeastern Ontario Angel Network.
We make this offer only to quality companies. And successful GrindSpaceXL candidates know this comes with a price. Not in financial terms, but in the level of commitment you must make to the GrindSpaceXL program. It’s a reciprocal commitment between you and a program that will transform your company.
To be part of a GrindSpaceXL cohort of promising companies means to be part of a collaborative experience that is bigger than the sum of its parts. Your mentors and your peers will keep you motivated and focused on your company’s mission.
What you learn at GrindSpaceXL will be grounded in relevant, leading-edge experience. You won’t feel like you are in a classroom. The GrindSpaceXL curriculum is customized to the specific needs of each cohort, so you will never feel like you are spinning your wheels.
Instead, you will feel like you are benefiting directly from real-life lessons learned by our team of mentors. Our mentors will share their experiences generously, and you will retain the freedom to make your own choices.
The only choice you can’t make is to take things at half-speed. Participants are expected to participate fully in all activities. Keeping pace with assigned readings, completing tasks and hitting business milestones is not negotiable.
GrindSpaceXL Kingston cohorts are hosted by Innovation Park at Queen’s University (945 Princess Street), as part of InnovationXL, a collaboration among Queen’s University, PARTEQ Innovations, and Launch Lab. This technology development hub and innovation community provides programs and services to accelerate the growth and retention of high potential startups and SMEs. It also offers convenient work, lab and meeting spaces. Program partners provide specialized advisors who will help companies become investor-ready, by providing intellectual property and financial expertise, and market intelligence.
Queen’s University works with local and regional partners to foster a robust innovation ecosystem and a vibrant and sustainable community. Industry Partnerships at Queen’s facilitates interaction with and collaboration among the university, industry and various partners. The Industry Partnerships team works closely with startups, accelerates access to university resources and talent, and provides matchmaking services to help early stage companies make valuable connections. Innovation Park at Queen’s University is a physical research, development and commercialization hub for dynamic interfaces between the university, industry, including technology entrepreneurs and startups, not-for-profit partners and government. The Queen’s Innovation Connector encourages students across all faculties to combine their knowledge and skills to bring innovative ideas, inventions and products to market and launch social initiatives that bring benefit to our community and world.
PARTEQ Innovations manages the technology transfer activities at Queen’s University and partner institutions. PARTEQ has extensive knowledge and expertise in technology assessment and market analysis, intellectual property protection and management, and raising capital.
Launch Lab is a team of entrepreneurs, investors, ex-CEOs, and professional analysts who help companies grow and bring innovative, technology-based products to the marketplace. Launch Lab supports tech based companies in Southeastern Ontario which are in four main industries: information technology, life sciences and healthcare, cleantech, and advanced manufacturing. Launch Lab is part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) and the Southeastern Ontario Angel Network (SOAN).
The National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) is Canada’s premier innovation assistance program for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). IRAP is delivering the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP) which provides matching funding over a five year period to a limited number of outstanding accelerators and incubators that meet strict eligibility and selection criteria. Contributions support incremental activities that expand the overall service offerings to early-stage firms and entrepreneurs, and promote a higher output of SMEs that are investment-ready and able to develop into sustainable, high-growth businesses.
Visit IRAP at www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/irap
Previous GrindSpaceXL Cohorts
Winter 2014 Fall 2014 Fall 2013 Spring 2013 Fall 2012
GrindSpaceXL Program Overview
GrindSpaceXL is a demanding program. It includes weekly education sessions, peer-to-peer sharing, and meetings with advisors and entrepreneurs in residence. In four intense months, you will gain essential knowledge and skills to help turn your early stage technology venture into a great company.