Startup support

Memorial centre to create entrepreneurial ecosystem in N.L.


A team of student ambassadors took part in the
official launch of the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship.

March 17, 2017

Memorial University has a new entrepreneurship centre that aims to support early-stage entrepreneurs to develop and launch their own businesses.

The Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship (MCE) — a campus-wide centre led by a partnership between the Faculty of Business Administration and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science — was created to promote entrepreneurship, support students, faculty and staff in developing their startup business ideas, and contribute to developing an attractive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Student startups

Isaac Adejuwon is a student entrepreneur at Memorial who has already benefitted from the new centre. He says he is “so grateful” for the support he has received from MCE.

“I had no idea of what a pitch, a business model or venture capitalist was,” said Mr. Adejuwon.

“MCE helped me to pick up the skills I needed to run a startup in a very short period of time. I am exploring the entrepreneurship path and I’m enjoying it so much. Every day brings a new challenge and opportunity, which I find really exciting and fun.”

‘Interdisciplinary collaboration’

The centre offers individual coaching and mentorships, entrepreneurial work terms, startup funding programs, a student ambassador team, events and networking opportunities.

pull-quote-MCE-startup-support-1“By fostering innovation among our students from the moment they enter our doors, Memorial University plays a critical leadership role in developing the entrepreneurs who will contribute to the future of this province, country and beyond,” said President Kachanoski.

“Through the MCE, we can engage and support innovative thinkers to help them develop their ideas into local enterprises that encourage economic growth. It is also an incredible example of interdisciplinary collaboration and I applaud our business and engineering faculties for their own innovative approach in establishing this centre.”

Entrepreneurial culture

The centre will play a key role in developing academic capacity that aims to increase understanding of vibrant entrepreneurship within the Memorial community, to improve the economic success of new business ventures, and to foster a stronger entrepreneurial culture at Memorial and throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

It will also support university- and community-led research to better understand the unique challenges and opportunities of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the province.

pull-quote-MCE-startup-support-2Funding of $486,816 was provided by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and $486,816 by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation (TCII). The John Dobson Foundation and other private donors also provided financial support.

“I congratulate Memorial University on the official launch of the Memorial C‎entre for Entrepreneurship,” said Seamus O’Regan, member of Parliament, St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, on behalf of Navdeep Bains, minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development and minister responsible for ACOA.

pull-quote-MCE-startup-support-3“The centre will help foster and promote business and innovation, on campus and throughout the province. Through investments like this one, the Government of Canada is supporting a culture of innovators and entrepreneurs that will help businesses grow.”

“The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is pleased to support the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship as we remain committed to growing a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in our province,” said Christopher Mitchelmore, minister, Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation. “The launch of this new centre will help advance our Business Innovation Agenda, which is one of more than 50 initiatives in The Way Forward: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador, to be released in the coming months.”

For more information about the MCE, please visit the website.

Jackey Locke and Susan White