Two UofG entrepreneurs and graduates of the Wood Centre’s incubator program will receive $5,000 in funding as part of their startups focus on advancing the Canadian oilseed sector.
Jonah Greenberg’s (BComm ’13) startup Grand Finishing Systems and Domenique Mastronardi (BEng ’21) of the Happy Era will receive the funds through the Oilseed Innovation Partners (OIP) entrepreneurship fund.
The Oilseed Innovation Partners Entrepreneurship Fund was established through a legacy gift from the Oilseed Innovation Partners (OIP), a non-profit organization originally established to create new bioscience opportunities for Canadian oilseeds. The fund supports Wood Centre startups interested in developing a process, product or technology associated with a Canadian oilseed variety.
“We are excited to see what this award is doing to help young entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector,” says dean of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) Rene van Acker. “There is such tremendous opportunity and a real need to encourage a culture of building new businesses."
The fund was created in 2019 by U of G professor Rich Moccia and Jeff Schmaltz, CEO of OIP when the organization ended its operations The funding is supported further by OAC and Lang.
“The objective of the OIP Legacy fund contribution was to help foster and support innovation in our student entrepreneurs, and to de-risk some of the start-up challenges,” says Dr. Rich Moccia. “The two award winners this year are shining examples of the creativity of our students, and the importance in partnering with them on their journey.”
The $100,000 fund is distributed to startups over a ten-year period.
Lang’s Wood Centre offers a variety of entrepreneurial supports for U of G students.
“The goal of the Wood Centre is to provide mentorship and business training for student entrepreneurs across the University of Guelph,” says Lang School dean Lysa Porth. “Through world-class mentorship and funding opportunities like the support provided by OIP, we are helping U of G students bring their innovative ideas to life.”
Lang’s John F. Wood Centre for Business and Student Enterprise offers a wide range of programs and funding opportunities for student and alumni entrepreneurs cross the University of Guelph. Their Hub Incubator Program has launched over one hundred successful startups to date.