Queen’s University and Launch Lab are excited to announce that applications for the fall 2018 cohort of GrindSpaceXL-Kingston (GSXL-K). GrindSpaceXL-Kingston is an intensive 12-week program that helps high-potential startups to improve customer traction, grow sales, and prepare for investment. Successful applicants will participate in highly interactive workshops and receive individualized mentoring and support from experienced entrepreneurs and advisors. The program, delivered one day per week starting on September 10th at Innovation Park (945 Princess Street, Suite 112) at Queen’s University in Kingston, is designed and led by seasoned entrepreneurs.
GSXL-K is open to incorporated companies headquartered and operating in Canada and commercializing technology-based products.
The cohort-based program offers early-stage ventures the opportunity to engage with other motivated entrepreneurs while working on deliverables laid out in a personalized development plan based on a needs assessment. Queen’s and Launch Lab also provide support to participating entrepreneurs and startups following graduation from GrindSpaceXL-Kingston, including facilitating access to funding opportunities and other resources, and making connections to partners and collaborators including Invest Ottawa and L-SPARK. Selected graduates have the opportunity to pitch their business to the Southeastern Ontario Angel Network (SOAN).
Since the 2014 pilot, 34 companies have graduated from the Kingston program.
“GrindSpaceXL-Kingston gave our company a huge advantage when it came to validating our business model and target market. The hands-on guidance from a variety of experienced mentors provided Mero an objective set of milestones to accomplish and opened doors to new opportunities simply by thinking about our business in new ways,” says Nathan Mah, CEO of Mero Technologies and a recent graduate of the program.
Mero Technologies is not alone in this sentiment. Many GSXL-K graduates have been able to make their first sale while participating in the program. Together with the all the resources available at Innovation Park, GrindSpaceXL-Kingston provides companies with a solid foundation for future growth.
“GSXL-K helped us to understand areas where we lacked knowledge and to develop strategies to manage our business, including marketing, sales, governance, intellectual property and media. Even 18 months later, as our business evolves, we are able to tackle challenges by implementing our learnings,” says Lisa Hallsworth, Co-Founder & CEO, Rillea Technologies Inc., and a graduate of the GrindSpaceXL-Kingston program in 2016.
Participants have access to numerous resources through their interactions with Queen’s University, including:
- Shared lab and office space at Innovation Park
- Prototyping facilities
- Business and customer development advice and connections, and intellectual property expertise, available through the Queen's Office of Partnerships and Innovation
- Legal services via the Queen’s Business Law Clinic
- Mentoring and coaching services provided by Launch Lab
Additionally, Secker Ross and Perry LLP meets with each company to identify areas of best practices regarding corporate governance, and provides feedback and recommendations regarding tax structuring and compliance matters.
GrindSpaceXL-Kingston is a key element in the suite of programs and services offered by Queen’s, Launch Lab, and SOAN under the InnovationXL banner. Supported by the National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), 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.