Wood Centre startups receive $5,000 in funding through oilseed entrepreneurship fund | Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics

Wood Centre startups receive $5,000 in funding through oilseed entrepreneurship fund

Posted on Monday, June 28th, 2021

wood centre entrepreneurs

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.


Greenberg’s startup Grand Finishing Systems Inc. is a manufacturer and marketer of sustainable surface finishing solutions. The company is seeking to establish itself as the North American leader in eco-conscious finishing products.

“This award is an opportunity to expand my business’ reach and product development,” says Greenberg. “As a bootstrapped business where every dollar counts, this award adds options and flexibility to my budget to bring Canadian-made products to the market.”

Greenberg paired his passion in cleantech with his education in business to launch his startup.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to bring my two worlds together to build a business that can take a product from the fields to store shelves, with Canadian contributions at each step along the way,” said Greenberg.


Mastronardi’s startup the Happy Era creates energizing, delicious and ready-to-eat baked goods from whole foods. The company creates products that contribute to Ontario’s goal of reaching a circular economy, including the use of Ontario-sourced soybeans, and upcycle food that would otherwise be wasted.

“This award is an investment in the future of Canada’s circular economy,” says Mastronardi. “Being an entrepreneur in the Oilseed industry means I get to collaborate with other entrepreneurs close to home.”

Creating a circular economy is at the forefront of everything Mastronardi does.

“It’s been a focus in my undergraduate degree, my masters’ thesis in the Food Research Lab, and in my experience with the Wood Centre’s Hub Incubator. These touchpoints have made sustainability second nature to me,” added Mastronardi.


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.

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