RIO Accelerator Guelph Market Validation - Call for Applications

Updated Information

Deadline approaching. See below for details.


The Research Innovation Office (RIO) with support from the Food from Thought Initiative


Is your research the foundation for the next big business success story?

Designed by the Research Innovation Office specifically for faculty, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows with an Agri-food or Bio-tech business idea founded on University of Guelph Research, the next cohort of the Accelerator Guelph Market Validation program will begin in Fall 2019.

Accelerator Guelph is the University of Guelph's business incubator specifically designed for entrepreneurial academics who want to get their startup company to market faster! Since launching the program in 2018, 12 business ideas have been incubated, many becoming incorporated companies after completing the Market Validation program. Moreover, eight AG teams have furthered their projects by winning Gryphon’s LAAIR funding grants totaling $457,500.

Join our second cohort and test your idea to see if you have a sustainable business concept and to develop transferable intrapreneurship skills that will improve your day-to-day work. The AG program requires teams to commit to attending bi-weekly workshops and frequent mentorship meetings. Participating teams will learn how to validate product concepts using competitive market research to create solid value propositions and scalable business models. Exposure to business management best practices will breakdown the process of “creating your start-up company” into manageable steps to keep you focused, on track and working toward a solid business plan.

Tell us about your business idea and how your research and technology has a potentially competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Spaces are limited – apply now!

Overview of Market Validation – October 2019 to February 2020

Focus: Validate that customers really want your product and create a business plan!

Your team will:

  • Gain market insight and validate the idea/vision of what you want to build.
  • Develop and understand the organizational requirements that will set your business on track.
  • Test hypotheses and work through the first iteration of the business model canvas.
  • Find early adopters who want to test your Minimum Viable Product and provide valuable feedback.
  • Test variations of your Minimum Viable Product (key features and value proposition) to validate your target market and understand the basic features that will satisfy your target customers.

Additional Details

Cohort Size: Maximum six teams

Program Size: 15+ teams for networking and co-mentorship

Schedule: Wednesday morning programming begins October 2019 and ending February 2020

Venue: On campus

Cost: Free to qualified University of Guelph employees/academics (value is $10,000 per team)


  • 3-hour workshops every second week for 3 months
  • 2-3 hour working sessions every second week (alternate week from workshop)
  • Three 1-hour mentoring sessions with New Venture Creation staff
  • 3 to 5 hours of independent work per week
  • Each participating team will be required to sign an agreement stating that they will fulfill the commitments outlined above


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

Internal Deadline

Written Application: Submit your written application to Dana McCauley (email

Interview Times and Acceptance: “First come first served” following written application submission.

Selection Process: Teams are accepted following the interview process.

Participant List Finalized: Thursday, August 15, 2019


File AG.MV_.Application.2019.docx115.6 KB
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