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We’re Hiring! Program Design Lead: Refugee & Newcomer Livelihood Lab

By | Jobs, RADIUS Lab | No Comments

RADIUS is currently seeking a part-time Program Design Lead to support the Scoping phase of the Refugee and Newcomer Livelihood Lab. This position will be responsible for ethnographic research and interviews with refugees and newcomers, as well as interviewing and convening stakeholder groups to support mapping of problem space, existing actors and solutions, and opportunities for innovation, leading the design of the full program, and co-leading fundraising.

View the full job posting here. [CLOSED]

Interested candidates, submit a resume, cover letter, and references to ssmith[at]radiussfu.com by midnight Saturday, December 2, 2017.

 

Group Coaching in the RADIUS Fellowship

By | Fellows, Thought Leadership | No Comments

By Tamara Connell & Urszula Lipsztajn

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

We could all use a coach – someone to work alongside us, as we pursue professional growth. For a social innovator this can be even more important; the weight of trying to improve social, environmental and/or economic conditions can be heavy and exhausting.

Since the RADIUS Fellowship launched, the most promising local social innovators and changemakers have worked in four-month cohorts to build relationships with their peers, develop personally and professionally, and tap into the broader social innovation and social entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Coaching has been a part of the RADIUS Fellowship since the beginning. In 2017, we made available to the Fellows the most robust coaching offer yet. We began with Fellows individually identifying and describing personal development areas: what they wanted to work on; how this topic or challenge was currently affecting their lives; and what they would like to experience as different. With the support of their coach, Fellows co-created a coaching program individually tailored to their current and potential future ways of being in relation to their area of development. Once every three weeks, groups met to discuss progress and challenges related their specific coaching ‘assignment’ as was provided by the coach. Each Fellow not only got to receive coaching and feedback from their peers, but also become a critically important contributor to helping provide feedback, insights, and coaching questions to their peers.

Coaching is an optional – albeit very popular – component of the Fellowship. Of the 80% of Fellows who participated in the 2017 coaching offer, most found it to be very valuable. Several Fellows indicated that the coaching was among the most impactful components of the Fellowship program.

The group coaching is unique, and like most things at RADIUS, a bit unorthodox. We were nervous launching this new model, but it was a resounding success. Most participants reported that the group format helped them to build strong bonds with their group-mates, something that wouldn’t have happened with one-on-one coaching.

[The coaching offer] was greatly impactful for myself and was a wonderful, structured space to get to know some of our fellow peers. ” – 2017 Fellow

It was very valuable in building deeper relationships to other members in the cohort, and in deepening my understanding of potential challenges in reaching certain goals. I was offered many different exercises and ideas to further work on my goal, and am looking forward to working on this. ” – 2017 Fellow

The 2018 Fellowship, which is currently accepting applications, will include a robust group coaching offer much the same as what was prototyped in 2017, iterating slightly to capture learnings and hopefully be even more successful.

We’re thankful to all the 2017 RADIUS Fellows who joined us with open hearts and minds during the coaching program and shared their input during and afterwards.

We’re looking forward to offering coaching again in the 2018 RADIUS Fellowship.

Announcing the Fall 2017 Slingshot Accelerator Cohort

By | Accelerator, RADIUS Ventures, Slingshot Accelerator, Uncategorized | No Comments

After an extensive recruitment process we are thrilled to announce the ventures forming the 2017 Slingshot Accelerator cohort.

Dunya Media, The Good Stuff, Nomad Nutrition, OpthalightRicher Health and Cannabis Hemp Conference & Expo are six health-based ventures that, upon successful completion of the six-month Slingshot program and its investment readiness criteria, will receive an investment of $25,000 as part of the program.

The ventures—which range in scope from nutritious convenient meals and on-the-go shakes, to health education and communication in communities, to new diagnostic technology—were chosen for their focus on helping people live healthy lives, marking the launch of RADIUS Ventures’ two-year focus on health promotion.

The intense Slingshot Accelerator program develops ventures’ investment and market readiness, providing business and innovation acumen along with access to a strong network of mentors and peers. It also helps ventures develop financial, legal, and marketing and communication strategies. The cohort will also benefit from an expanded pool of services providers, technology interns, and other experts.

The Slingshot Accelerator Investment Pool will act as a new source of pre-seed capital for these entrepreneurs, helping to kick-start their fundraising efforts while complementing the program’s capacity-building and network-development offerings.

These five ventures are lead by incredible teams, with inspiring products and services to help people live healthy lives. We couldn’t be more excited to work with them.

RADIUS warmly thanks all of the ventures who applied for the 2017 cohort; we look forward to staying in touch with you.

Share this announcement to join us in welcoming the 2017 Slingshot Cohort to RADIUS!

APPLY NOW TO JOIN THE SPRING 2018 CIVIC INNOVATION CHANGE LAB PROGRAM

By | Change Lab, RADIUS Edu | No Comments

We have a couple of spots remaining for Civic Innovation Change Lab. Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until full.

What is Civic Innovation Change Lab?

Change Lab programs have been running at SFU since 2011. These unique, once-in-a-degree studio programs are intensive opportunities to hone your skills at developing practical solutions to real-world challenges. The fall 2017 Health Change Lab Cohort is currently in session, and the spring 2018 Civic Innovation Change Lab is accepting applications on a rolling basis until all spots have been filled.

Civic Innovation Change Lab is the newest addition to the Change Lab portfolio. Civic Innovation refers to a method that improves the lives of citizens, the functions of cities, the practice of citizenship, or the state of community affairs. This course weaves together advanced knowledge in Civic Issues, Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, with the core practices of Dialogue, Design Thinking, and Business Model Development to allow students to become capable of producing impactful social innovations in cities.

Urban Economic Resilience

The 2018 cohort will focus on the theme of Urban Economic Resilience. The economy is more than just business: it represents the full breadth of livelihood strategies that our residents pursue on a daily basis. However, many urban livelihoods are increasingly vulnerable to a wide array of challenges such as automation and AI, gentrification, climate change, “Uberization”, and unjust social policies. This rapidly changing landscape is dramatically altering how people of all classes and backgrounds plan for and meet their basic needs, which in turn exacerbates issues such as gender and racial inequality, social isolation, generational ineqity, and the growing gap between the rich and poor.

Students projects will respond to these and explore community-orientated solutions that engage citizens and build local resilience. Topics and questions that students are encouraged to consider within the theme of Urban Economic Resilience include:

1)     The Future of Work:  What is the future of employment and business creation? What is the connection between vulnerability, stability, and the gig economy? How do we keep young people in the city? How do we create diverse and vibrant work opportunities for all residents?

2)     Economic Segregation and Isolation:  How do we better integrate vulnerable populations and those with barriers into the changing economy? How do we provide livelihood opportunities for people who may not fit within traditional work categories and structures?

3)     Entrepreneurial Resilience:  How do we protect the fabric of our commercial districts from threats like gentrification and climate change? How do we maintain the livelihood functions of neighborhood businesses for surrounding residents?

The Civic Innovation Change Lab is co-hosted by SFU BeedieRADIUS SFUCityStudio Vancouver, and SFU Semester in Dialogue. Local partners include the City of Vancouver and a network of leading community organizations. Change Lab is generously supported by Scott Shaw.

Schedule and Logistics

  • Studio days: Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30am-3:30pm at CityStudio Vancouver (1800 Spyglass Place, Vancouver).
  • Project coaching: Thursdays 2:30pm – 5:20pm at the RADIUS Social Innovation Lab (200-308 West Hasting Street, Vancouver).
  • Retreat: There is a day-long offsite retreat on January 8, expenses covered.
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
 

Studio day

(9:30am- 3:30pm)

@CityStudio Vancouver

 

Studio day

(9:30am- 3:30pm)

@CityStudio Vancouver

Project Coaching

(2:30pm- 5:20pm)

@RADIUS

What will you learn and do?

Participants work in teams to understand a Civic Innovation-related challenge as presented by City of Vancouver staff at CityStudio Vancouver, then develop and test an innovative, venture-based response. Teams will present to partner panels for feedback mid term, and be given the opportunity to connect with community and City partners and leaders to help build ideas connected to the realities of our communities, and possibly to see those ideas proceed in the real world. Sessions are a mix of hands on workshops, coaching by instructors and experts, limited content lectures, guest speakers, and open work time in your teams to advance your ideas.

Personal learning and leadership:

Ideal Change Lab students come in with keen curiosity and a willingness to explore and deepen their own leadership skills. Individual reflection and journaling are part of the course. Participants will be challenged to both give and receive feedback from peers and instructors. Openness, vulnerability, and the ability to listen deeply are highly valued.

The workload:

Commensurate with 9 credits, you should expect this to be an intensive experience. Many students have described the program as the most transformative of their undergraduate degree – but you have to be interested in and committed to:

  • developing and testing real ideas,
  • getting out of the classroom and talking to people, and
  • taking responsibility for the direction of your learning during the term.

There isn’t a lot of mandatory reading or information to memorize – you work with us to figure out what you need to learn to effectively advance your project.

The content:

Some of the topics you will learn about are social entrepreneurship, systems thinking, civic issues, public and user engagement, dialogue, business model development, personal development, effective teams, and more.

The specific credits that you are awarded are:

  • BUS 453 (Sustainable Innovation) – 3 credits
  • BUS 494 (Iteration and Prototyping) – 3 credits
  • DIAL 461 (Field Placement in Dialogue & Engagement) – 3 credits

The cohort

You do not need any past business or civic innovation experience to thrive in this course. Expect your changemaking peers to bring a variety of perspectives from departments and faculties across the university, a breadth of experience from their own lives, and a shared passion for social and environmental issues.

While we value experience in social change, leadership and project creation of all sorts, we also encourage anyone excited about the description here to consider applying.

Pre-requisites (may be waived at discretion of instructors in extenuating circumstances):

  • 60 credits
  • 2.67 GPA
  • Some relevant work or volunteer experience

How to apply to Civic Innovation Change Lab 2018

If the above description motivates you to apply, please send one email to civic-change-lab@sfu.ca with the following documents:

  • A 300-word letter of motivation describing your interest in this program;
  • An unofficial copy of your transcripts; and
  • A copy of your resume/CV.

RADIUS welcomes new Slingshot Program Activator Tosan Omatsola!

By | RADIUS Ventures, Slingshot Accelerator | No Comments

RADIUS is thrilled to welcome the newest addition to our Ventures team, Slingshot Program Activator Tosan Omatsola!

Tosan is Managing Director at Kaptepia Capital, a boutique ventures and advisory enterprise focused on innovative solutions to complex issues in the natural resources and infrastructure segments. Tosan recently joined the RADIUS team by way of our Mentor Network, and has worked at BP and Ivanhoe Capital in various functional and executive capacities in global project development, ventures and capital markets. His passion is tackling and solving complex systems/problems whilst promoting human societal advancement through socioeconomically sustainable ventures and solutions. Tosan has degrees in Geological Engineering (BSc) and Geology (MSC) and is currently pursuing a Global Executive MBA at IE Business School. When not trying to tackle the world’s problems, Tosan enjoys spending time with friends, science, philosophy, art, music, architecture and design, winter and summer sports and cooking (alot)!

Welcome Tosan – the team is excited to have you on board!

RADIUS announces multi year partnership with Sto:lo Community Futures

By | First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator, Media Releases | No Comments
Today it was announced that Stó:lō Community Futures (SCF) has formalized a partnership between SCF and Simon Fraser University (SFU)’s Beedie School of Business, to collaborate on the growth and development of the rapidly expanding Indigenous economy in S’ólh Téméxw, the Stó:lō Traditional Territory. This is consistent with many of SCF’s key business strategies and is an expression of SFU’s mandate under its RBC First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program (FPEAP).
Supported by the Royal Bank of Canada Foundation, the RBC First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program is managed and delivered by RADIUS SFU. The FPEAP is designed to provide support and services to Indigenous entrepreneurs aspiring to become the next generation of leading innovators. In collaboration with local Indigenous partners, its incubation programming offers technical assistance as well as strong research and evaluation processes.
To learn more about this exciting development, check out the press release.

RADIUS & RECODE present Daniela Papi-Thornton in Vancouver – September 21, 2017

By | Events | No Comments

In partnership with McConnell‘s RECODE program and SFU Innovates, RADIUS SFU is hosting systems change leader and educator Daniela Papi-Thornton for a pair of workshops on September 21st at two of SFU’s downtown campuses.

Former Deputy Director of the Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford’s Saïd Business School, Daniela is an outspoken voice in the fields of social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial education. If you’ve caught her most recent TedX Talk, you’re probably as excited as we are that, as part of a cross-Canada tour, Daniela is offering two sessions on Systems Change Leadership for the Vancouver community:  

Attend a Systems Change Leadership workshop with Daniela

For students, changemakers and innovators | Systems change leadership is a critical capacity to develop as a social innovator or entrepreneur. This talk will provide insight and guidance useful for changemakers and innovators seeking to drive systems change.
Join us at for this free event at the Segal Graduate School of Business (Room 1400) from 5-6:00pm. RSVP.

For social impact educators | Educators interested in incorporating systems change leadership into their classes, accelerators, or social entrepreneurship offerings are invited to join this workshop. Daniela will introduce system change leadership tools including the Impact Gaps Canvas and will explore ways to incorporate this work into existing programs.
Join us for this free event at RADIUS SFU from 6:30-8pm on Sept 21. RSVP.

The Impact Gaps Canvas is used by schools around the world as part of Oxford University’s Map the System Challenge. For schools interested in joining the Map the System Challenge, Daniela will also share more information on how to get involved.

RADIUS SFU is excited to be partnering with McConnell’s RECODE program to bring this opportunity to the Vancouver community. Both events are free, but space is limited so please RSVP to join an event.

 

We’re Hiring! SFU Change Lab – INSTRUCTOR

By | Change Lab, RADIUS Edu | No Comments

SFU Change Lab INSTRUCTOR

Applications are now closed. Thank you for your interest.

RADIUS SFU is seeking an experienced, energetic program instructor for the Spring 2018 Semester. This position will hold primary responsibility for delivery of the Spring 2018 SFU Civic Innovation Change Lab program (a partnership of RADIUS SFU @ the Beedie School of Business, CityStudio Vancouver & SFU Centre for Dialogue) for 20 students.

The instructor will also be expected to attend several planning meetings, and shadow portions of the Fall 2017 Change Lab program, as part of preparation.

DURATION

Sept. 2017 – April 30th, 2018.

  • 3 days per week on average, for 13 week semester from January-April 2018, and
  • Approx. 6 planning meetings and/or shadowing sessions in Fall 2017.

LOCATION

Spring 2018 sessions will be split between:

  • CityStudio Vancouver (1800 Spyglass Place, Vancouver), and
  • RADIUS SFU, Charles Chang Innovation Centre (308 W Hastings, Vancouver).

COMPENSATION

$18,000- $21,000 commensurate with experience

ABOUT THE PARTNERS

Based at the Beedie School of Business, RADIUS SFU is Simon Fraser University’s social innovation lab and venture incubator. RADIUS operates a variety of programs in support of a vibrant social entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem at SFU and in Metro Vancouver, including the Change Lab program for SFU students.

Change Lab is a full term, cross-disciplinary and experiential studio program where students work with community to understand a social problem and develop a social venture response. In Spring 2018 the program is being run in conjunction with CityStudio.

http://www.radiussfu.com/

CityStudio Vancouver  is an experimentation and innovation hub for the City of Vancouver where City staff, experts and students from 6 universities and colleges co-create projects that support city programs. Since 2011, CityStudio has engaged over 3000 students, 113 faculty and 60 City of Vancouver staff, contributing 156 projects and over 75,000 hours of skills training and public sector innovation towards Vancouver’s Greenest City, Engaged City and Healthy City Strategies. These projects offer unconventional solutions to improve our city.

We are building the next generation of changemakers and active city builders.  Our 10 year vision is to create City Hall in the model of a “Teaching Hospital” with universities and other cities in the practice of collaborative city building.

http://citystudiovancouver.com/

Civic Innovation Change Lab, Spring 2018

A partnership between RADIUS SFU @ the Beedie School of Business, CityStudio Vancouver & SFU Centre for Dialogue

This position is responsible for leading the Spring 2018 term of the SFU Change Lab, titled “Civic Innovation Change Lab”.  Civic Innovation refers to a method that improves the lives of citizens, the functions of cities, the practice of citizenship, or the state of community affairs. This course brings together bright, innovative students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to collaborate with the City of Vancouver on civic problems and experiments.

The program relies upon an arc of learning based in Dialogue, Design Thinking, and Business Model Development, supported by knowledge of Civic Issues and Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship to allow students to become capable of producing impactful social innovations in cities. The curriculum delivery model is applied and experiential. The instructor will be responsible for delivering the core experience for the cohort throughout the term, and will be supported by supplemental modules delivered by others. Training and support will be provided.

Sessions are a mix of hands on workshops, coaching by instructors and experts, content delivery by the instructor, guest speakers, and open work time in teams to advance ideas. Participants work in teams to understand a Civic Innovation related challenge as presented by City of Vancouver staff at CityStudio, then develop and test an innovative, venture-based response. Teams will present to partner panels for feedback mid term, and be given the opportunity to connect with community and City partners and leaders to help build ideas connected to the realities of our communities, and possibly to see those ideas proceed in the real world. The experiential learning cycle is core to the course pedagogy, emphasizing iterative cycles of learning, action and reflection.

  • The course runs Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:30am – 3:30pm with additional project coaching sessions Thursday afternoons from 1:30pm – 4:30pm.
  • Portions of weekly studio time are open work periods for students, allowing instructors to utilize some class time for preparation and other course related work.

Term Length Challenge

The central framework for skills development and learning is a team based social venture design project, seeking to demonstrate how entrepreneurial approaches to civic challenges may unlock new possibilities. The instructor will be primarily responsible for ensuring students receive adequate and individualized project coaching for this work, but external mentors may be recruited as well.

Who we are looking for:

  • Confidence with design thinking and business model development aspects of course.
  • Experience as an instructor and with experience in, or keenly interested in, new ways of teaching in an experiential and studio-based environment.
  • Motivated by creating impact through the learning of students, and responding to their needs. Comfortable with student energy and activity in studio environment.
  • Equal parts confident, curious and collaborative.
  • Highly organized, detail oriented and self-directed.
  • High standard in time management, organization and communication.
  • Responsible, reliable and able to work in a dynamic and creative team environment.
  • Energetic, open-hearted and kind.
  • Comfortable with responding quickly to changing tasks and priorities.
  • Experience in Civic Innovation and/or Civic Engagement is an additional asset.
  • Masters degree or higher preferred

Responsibilities and Deliverables

  • Attendance at specific Fall 2017 Health Change Lab class sessions at SFU Surrey and/or RADIUS SFU to get a feel for how the program is run.
  • Participate in Civic Innovation Change Lab planning sessions during fall 2017.
  • Finalize design and delivery components in advance of the start of Spring 2018 Civic Innovation Change Lab.
  • Deliver curricular and experiential components of program (with support from additional speakers/presenters/facilitators for certain components).
  • Coach 20 students in 5 teams on social venture development projects over the term.
  • Liaise with external partners to support project development, with support of CityStudio and RADIUS SFU.
  • Provide 1-1 mentoring, and read and respond to individual student reflection journals.
  • Assist students with preparing for public presentations of outcomes.
  • Organize course documentation.
  • Complete grading and feedback, with support of CityStudio and RADIUS SFU staff.

Supervision and Communications

  • The Instructor will report to a RADIUS SFU team member responsible for the program.
  • Communications and requests from RADIUS SFU and CityStudio staff will be given priority and responded to within a working day.
  • The Instructor is expected to participate in monthly team meetings and events as feasible.

Application Details

  • Please include full name and “Change Lab Instructor Application” in subject of the email and submit cover letter, teaching portfolio or examples, and resume to: tconnell@radiussfu.com
  • Applications are now closed. Thank you for your interest.

Meet RADIUS Ventures’ Program Delivery Partners!

By | RADIUS Ventures, Slingshot Accelerator | No Comments

As a core part of the Slingshot Accelerator program, we provide ventures with the opportunity to connect and work with best-in-class Program Delivery Partners. Read on to meet Junxion Strategy, Manning Elliott, and Miller Titerle + Company and learn about their offering, commitment and support.

Apply for the Slingshot Accelerator Today! 

Slingshot Accelerator Marcom Partner: Junxion Strategy

With offices in Vancouver and London, Junxion Strategy is an international impact consultancy that works to catalyse progress on social and environmental sustainability. They inspire conscious leadership and nurture trusted organizations, consulting on strategy and planning, branding and communications, and impact measurement and reporting.

Mike Rowlands is President & CEO of Junxion Strategy and is RADIUS Ventures’ Entrepreneur in Residence. His goal is to ensure that the social entrepreneurs in RADIUS accelerators  STAY entrepreneurial 10+ years after the program. “Early stage social ventures are most ripe to blend strategy, brand, and impact measurement; it’s much harder to do this in a larger organization,” shared Mike.

An entrepreneur himself, Mike leads Junxion, works with RADIUS, and is Director of the Social Venture Network. He also serves as an Executive Producer of the annual Social Venture Institute and sits on the Board of Directors of the Hollyhock Institute, and is a B Corp Ambassador, helping to accelerate the growth of that community of responsible businesses.

Junxion has spent 20 years supporting mission-minded founders, pioneers of corporate social responsibility, non-profit executives, and philanthropists. By working at all levels, from “the big guys” to early stage companies, Junxion shares varied perspectives and ways of working, for the benefit of their clients.

Junxion is excited to see RADIUS focusing on accelerating ventures that are helping people live healthy lives. More than 40% of Junxion’s clients have worked in the healthcare sector. “Healthcare is the most complex of sectors,” shared Mike Rowlands, “ new ventures need to understand their place in the rapid rollout of new technologies, the sheer scale, the multiple union and labour relationships, the role of human behaviour, and the inability to forecast supply and demand.” Good thing you’ll have Mike on your side!

As part of the Slingshot Accelerator Program, participants will have a chance to work with Junxion Strategy on developing their brand, strategy, and marketing and communications.

Apply for the Slingshot Accelerator Today! 

Slingshot Accelerator Accounting Partner: Manning Elliott

We are excited to have Manning Elliott join our Program Delivery Partners this year, with Adam Denny leading the initiative on behalf of the firm!

Manning Elliott was founded in 1952 and consists of over 150 dedicated chartered professional accountants and business advisors with years of experience and success working with small businesses, growing public companies, and not-for-profit organizations. The firm has worked with thousands of early stage ventures that are looking to structure their business for growth and operations.

Adam Denny specializes in private company assurance and advisory services in a wide range of industries, including retail, manufacturing, distribution and transportation sectors. He has also worked extensively with not-for-profit as well as environmental and sustainability organizations, and has been involved in the preparation and presentation of course material for Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia with respect to accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations.

“We’re excited to work with companies that are innovative and solving real problems”, relays Adam about their participation in the RADIUS Slingshot Accelerator. The firm is also rallying some of their youngest and brightest employees to get involved, build their networks, and build their understanding of early stage businesses. Adam says that it’s the opportunity to “meet and support individuals with an entrepreneurial mindset that are helping to improve people’s way of life,” that drove him and Manning Elliott to get involved.

As part of the Slingshot Accelerator Program, ventures will have access and the ability to meet 1-1 with Adam and his colleagues and ensure that accounting processes and systems are setup correctly. “We also have relationships with other financial services organizations that early stage ventures may need access to down the road,” shared Adam. From the basic accounting questions, to software, to tax-planning questions – Manning Elliott will be able to support ventures with answering their questions. Want to ensure you get off on the right foot?

Apply for the Slingshot Accelerator Today! 

Slingshot Accelerator Legal Partner: Miller Titerle + Company

Miller Titerle is committed to changing the way people think about business lawyers and the legal industry. Founded seven years ago, the firm is taking their own approach and challenging the legal status quo – and they are helping people do good things while they’re at it!

This is Miller Titerle’s second year as a Program Delivery Partner, with partner, David Ford, leading the charge. David has more than 20 years experience working with startups and early stage ventures to support corporate formation, help secure financing and preparing for exit. He specializes in technology companies and  passionate about working with ventures with a social purpose. “I’m excited about working with ventures that have interesting solutions that solve real problems”, shared David, “I enjoy working with entrepreneurs, particularly those that are working to do some god work in the world.”

David encourages early stage entrepreneurs to work with lawyers earlier rather than later. “It’s about ensuring that you have the protections and structures in place so you can avoid things blowing up two years down the road.” Thanks David – we agree! But not just risk mitigation, it’s also about setting yourself up for long term success. “Involving professionals early and beginning to develop relationships with lawyers and accountants is important,” advises David. “Have them work together, a little bit of cooperation early on can go a long way.”

This year we are excited to be able to provide ventures with that coordinated and collaborative approach to legal and accounting. The goal will be to keep things simple and clean, and ensure that all of the ventures are set up for success.

Apply for the Slingshot Accelerator Today! 

Slingshot ventures will have the opportunity to tap into the passion and business expertise of our Program Delivery Partners, which provide in-kind services to the ventures directly as well as facilitate a series of sessions and workshops throughout the duration of the program.

To access all of the benefits of the RADIUS Slingshot Accelerator, including the $25K equity investment for every venture, early stage ventures that help people live healthy lives should apply before June 30th 2017.

The RADIUS Slingshot Accelerator supports early stage impact ventures. Through Slingshot’s unique combination of cohort based learning, individualized mentorship and equity investment – we support you in becoming investment, market and growth ready. Interested in becoming a Program Delivery Partner? We’d love to chat. Feel free to reach us at ventures@radiussfu.com

Welcome to the RADIUS team, Zoya & Marissa!

By | Community | No Comments

We’re growing! 

RADIUS is thrilled to welcome two new wonderful members to our team: Marissa Lawrence (left), First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program Manager, and Zoya Jiwa (right), Program Coordinator – SFU Programs & Fellowship.

Welcome aboard Zoya and Marissa! Read about them in their own words below:

Marissa Lawrence

Marissa comes to RADIUS with a rich background of designing and convening community-bridging intercultural dialogue and education programming on topics ranging from democratic engagement, economic opportunity, to reconciliation. Over the past few years, Marissa worked with Reconciliation Canada where at a senior management level, developed and maintained strategic partnerships with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, organizations and businesses and managed the design and delivery of national public programming. She has a passion for developing and nurturing community connections and new relationships and thrives in meaningful community engagement.

With a background in communications, dialogue and mindful facilitation, Marissa is inspired to incorporate the process of action-oriented dialogue into all facets of her work.

Zoya Jiwa

Zoya’s journey with RADIUS began in 2015 as a participant of the inaugural RADIUS Fellowship in Radical Doing, where she launched As We Are: an online fashion blog and community that shares the stories of people who are facing health challenges with courage and with style. Through her personal experiences with chronic illness, Zoya recognized that focus is often placed on living a vibrant life “when you are feeling better.” In response, has she created a positive and inspiring platform that encourages people to celebrate and embrace who they are, as they are, in this moment.

With interests in human-centred design, social systems thinking, and community program development, Zoya is excited to support early stage changemakers in developing their ideas that foster more just, sustainable, resilient communities.

Alongside her involvement with RADIUS and As We Are, Zoya is wrapping up her undergraduate degree at SFU, holding a major in Sociology and certificates in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Community Development. Zoya is a three time TEDx speaker, the recipient of the 2015 SFU Terry Fox Gold Medal and Prize, and the recipient of the 2016 YWCA Metro-Vancouver Young Woman of Distinction Award.

Announcing the RADIUS Slingshot Accelerator Investment Pool!

By | Investment, RADIUS Ventures, Slingshot Accelerator | 2 Comments

RADIUS Ventures is excited to announce the Slingshot Accelerator Investment Pool – making RADIUS the only social accelerator in Canada to offer direct redeemable equity investments in every venture that successfully completes the Slingshot Accelerator program.

The investment pool, which is made possible in part through the support of the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship, will act as a new source of pre-seed capital for entrepreneurs, helping to kick-start their fundraising efforts while complementing the Slingshot Accelerator program’s capacity building and network development offerings.

ENHANCING VENTURE OUTCOMES

RADIUS’ Slingshot Accelerator program helps early stage ventures become investment ready and market ready.  Early investment has been demonstrated to increase the probability of positive venture outcomes such as securing additional funding and kickstarting revenue and job growth.

Slingshot ventures will spend six months developing their investor packages, connecting with local angel and venture capital investors, and getting ready to operationalize their growth plans. At the end of the six-month program, ventures that have increased their market traction and developed a viable investor package will receive a redeemable equity investment of $25,000.  

THE INVESTMENT MODEL

SFU will invest $25,000 in exchange for a 7% redeemable equity stake.

Up to 4% of this holding will be redeemable by the venture through a royalty on gross revenue.  This royalty will be capped at $50,000 (2x the original investment), at which time SFU’s holding drops to 3%.

There are no other fees associated with participating in the Slingshot Accelerator.

Click here to learn more about the Slingshot Accelerator!

RADIUS accelerates ventures that help people live healthy lives & invests $25K / Slingshot venture

By | RADIUS Ventures, Slingshot Accelerator, Trampoline | No Comments

RADIUS Ventures has some BIG NEWS:

  • We invest in your ventures: RADIUS now offers a $25K investment to every venture in the Slingshot Accelerator!
  • We focus on health: We’re focusing on accelerating ventures that help people live healthy lives!

In addition to receiving a $25K investment in your venture, entrepreneurs in the Slingshot Accelerator will:

  • build business and innovation acumen,
  • grow a powerful network of mentors and peers,
  • develop strong financial, legal and marcom strategies,
  • benefit from an expanded pool of service providers, tech interns and experts.

RADIUS has refined our Ventures programs to maximize the impact we can offer. We’re building on past success and responding to the needs of early stage entrepreneurs to get you market, growth and investment ready.

RADIUS focuses on accelerating ventures that help people live healthy lives.  

Early stage entrepreneurs working on ventures that prevent chronic disease by creating or incentivizing healthy choices are encouraged to apply to a 2017-18 RADIUS Ventures cohorts before June 30.

The RADIUS Slingshot Accelerator

The RADIUS Slingshot Accelerator helps early stage impact ventures become investment ready and growth ready. Slingshot’s six month program offers…

  • Direct redeemable equity investment of $25,000
  • Cohort based learning, to build close ties with other entrepreneurs grappling with the same challenges and opportunities;
  • Individualized capacity building, with a dedicated Entrepreneur-in-Residence and a broad mentor and advisory network;
  • Pro bono legal, accounting, and marcomms support;
  • Access to a tech intern for 4 weeks; and
  • Access to Gastown office space and a range of business perks.

Learn more or apply now

The RADIUS Trampoline Business Model Validation Program

The Trampoline Program is a validation stage program for new and emerging impact ventures looking to test and refine their business model. The program is designed to support entrepreneurs and ventures to test alignment, or potential alignment, between the following three core themes:

  1. Is the problem you hope to address real, significant, and a driver of negative health outcomes?  
  2. Is the solution that you offer a viable, effective, and competitive way to address the problem?
  3. Are you the entrepreneur that can bring this solution to market (and have fun doing it)?    

Learn more or apply now

Let’s not forget about these folks

The launch of the RADIUS investment pool is made possible in part through the support of the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship.

The Slingshot Program is supported the Business Development Bank of Canada and delivered with support from Miller Titerle + Co, Manning Elliott, and Junxion Strategy.  RADIUS is proud to be an official “Social Change Partner” of Vancity Credit Union.

Have a question? Want to connect? Know a friend who should apply? Comment on this post and the RADIUS Ventures team will respond!

RADIUS Ventures Community Health Survey

By | Community, RADIUS Ventures | No Comments

RADIUS Ventures wants to know what community health means to you.

RADIUS Ventures is exploring a new focus area in community health and we’re looking to you – our community – to help us chart this path.  What aspects of community health do you feel are important, and who is doing valuable work in these areas?

We’ve created a short, nine question survey to allow you to have input and share your perspective with us. You won’t need more than 10-15 minutes to fill it out, and you’ll be helping us better understand our community’s priorities.

Click here to get started!

 

Meet the 2017 RADIUS Fellows in Radical Doing

By | Fellows | No Comments

We’re delighted to present our third cohort of RADIUS Fellows! Once a week from now until June, this band of Radical Doers will gather together, connect with mentors and coaches, and strengthen their skills for creating impactful innovation.

This cohort brings together changemakers from a diversity of fields including mental health, education, filmmaking, urban sustainability, youth engagement, and refugee resettlement. They have studied at SFU, across the country, and around the globe – gaining degrees in everything from business to political science to art. You can read more about this exceptional group of people in their own words below.

The Fellowship program is made possible by funding from the SFU Sustainability OfficeRECODE,  SFU Innovates, and the Vancouver Foundation.

Learn more about the RADIUS Fellowship program here. Read More

Speed Friending & West Coast Woodpickers Awarded Social Innovation Seed Funding

By | Funding, RADIUS Edu, Social Innovation | No Comments

The SFU Student Social Innovation Seed Fund is a joint initiative of RADIUS and Embark that supports radical change endeavours with social and environmental impact at their core. Funding amounts ranging from $200-$1000 are currently available for SFU graduate and undergraduate student social innovators. The deadline for the current round of funding is February 6th 2017 – apply now!

The Social Innovation Seed Fund Committee recently awarded funding to two exciting new student initiatives: Speed Friending and West Coast Woodpickers!

Read about both projects in their founders’ own words below:

Speed Friending events will gather people together in central community locations to complete speed rounds of meeting and connecting with each other through a series of activities and conversations.  The purpose of these events is to connect people from different backgrounds (intergenerational, cultural, socioeconomic) to form valuable friendships and engage people who may not normally have the opportunity to interact with one another in a meaningful way.

Ashley Kwon, the founder of the Speed Friending events, is an SFU Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology graduate student and she works full-time in health promotion for a local health authority.

West Coast Woodpickers is a start-up project dedicated to upcycling unused wood materials into beautiful, west-coast souvenirs. We hope to provide a sustainable, locally-made, and locally-sourced alternative for intrepid adventurers and tourists looking for a memento of their visit to the beautiful west coast of British Columbia!

Michelle Chen and James Wiltshire are graduating students within the Faculty of Environment at Simon Fraser University, with an affinity for sustainability and a love of woodworking.

Find West Coast Woodpickers online on Facebook, Twitter and their website (in progress). Read More

Is the RADIUS Fellowship or the Trampoline Program right for you?

By | Fellows, RADIUS Ventures | No Comments

The RADIUS Fellowship and Trampoline Business Model Validation Program are both currently accepting applications.

Theunis Snyman of Basic Design is an alumnus of both programs.  He’s active in the community and has partnered with and been contracted by alumni, by SFU, and by RADIUS itself. To help you decide if the Fellowship or Trampoline is right for you, Theunis shares highlights from his experience and learning in each program.

Theunis’ Journey with RADIUS

“The RADIUS Fellowship gave me a network of peers and friends, and a deep connection to a purposeful community. As a participant in the Fellowship, RADIUS gave me a place to really think about social change and surrounded me with people who supported each other in the work we do to solve problems. I didn’t have that before. And I’m forever grateful.

A year after completing the Fellowship, Jesi (my partner at Basic Design) and I were back for the Trampoline Market Validation Program. Trampoline was all about testing our business model. Through really frank conversations with expert instructors, we identified potential pitfalls that would impact our success. To get the most of out of Trampoline, you want to go into the program with clarity about the idea you are working on.

I came to RADIUS because I was really drawn to the idea of a community of people acting on their beliefs and creating solutions to complex social and environmental challenges. And that’s exactly what I found at RADIUS. SFU and RADIUS have supported me more than you can imagine.”

Apply to the RADIUS Fellowship

Applications are due by November 26th! Apply now.

The RADIUS Fellowship is looking for the next generation of untamed social entrepreneurs and innovators who are early on their changemaking journey, demonstrating remarkable accomplishment and a relentless dedication to creating positive, sustainable impact in all they do. Fellows will take a four-month journey from late January until early June 2017. During weekly learning sessions they will explore their own leadership, build their network; receive coaching and mentorship; and generously support their peers to help foster as much positive change as possible.

Join an information session on November 21st to learn more or email Fellowship Program Manager, Tamara Connell at tconnell[at]radiussfu.com.

Apply to the  RADIUS’ Trampoline Business Model Validation Program

Applications are due by December 6th. Apply now.

Trampoline gives emergent entrepreneurs the skills and confidence they need to validate both the business model and potential impact of a specific social venture idea. In this eight week program starting January 2017, participants will test a business idea they have in development and to ensure that the venture addresses a meaningful problem; the solution is a viable and competitive solution; and the founder is ready to carry it forward.

Learn more about Trampoline online or RSVP for an upcoming Ventures Q&A session by emailing ventures[at]radiussfu.com.

RADIUS make the front page of The Georgia Straight!

By | Media Releases | No Comments

The Georgia Straight recently profiled RADIUS Director Shawn Smith alongside Beedie Business School’s Director of Entrepreneurship Sarah Lubik and Associate Dean Andrew Gemino. The article sheds light on the origins of RADIUS, changing values in entrepreneurship and the evolving role and purpose of business schools in today’s economy.

Read Charlie Smith’s full article in The Georgia Straight.

Two Student Groups Receive Seed Funding to End 2015-2016 Cycle

By | Funding, RADIUS Edu, Social Innovation | One Comment

The SFU Student Social Innovation Fund, a collaboration between RADIUS and Embark, provides project funding of up to $1000. Applications are now closed but will open again for the 2016-2017 school year! Stay posted for our next fund availability announcement in the fall.

The Social Innovation Seed Fund Committee awarded funding to two exciting new student initiatives at the end of the 2015-2016 cycle, closing out our seed funding allocation for this school year on a high note. We are pleased to showcase these forthcoming projects – CityHive and Socks for Change!

The project teams write:

CityHive is an emerging youth-led, Vancouver-based organization empowering youth to influence, shape, and co-create their cities. Our three pillars are advocacy, education, and empowerment. We will advocate for the inclusion of youth in planning decisions in cities, organizations and institutions. We will educate and empower youth in getting involved in civic issues. We envision a Vancouver where youth are fully engaged in the planning, design and creation of their cities. CityHive will be the go-to-convener for youth on urban issues in the city.

Tesicca and Veronika are the dynamic duo behind CityHive. Read More

Changemakers Are All Around Us

By | Funding, RADIUS Edu, Social Innovation | No Comments

Hello! Remember us? Yes, we’re the guys who interviewed some amazing local changemakers around the Vancouver area to inspire others to do good in their field of work.

Well, how did it go?

We could not be happier with how it went! In the course of a week, we were able to film 6 interviews with some of Vancouver’s amazing changemakers. I could not of imagined how incredible our interviewees’ stories would be. Ajay Puri, our amazing host, did a great job creating an open and engaging space for the interviewees to talk about what they do, why they do that work, and how their work impacts their communities. And yes, there was chai. We shared masala chai homemade by Ajay himself, and it was delicious. The interviews lasted about an hour and a half, and we will be cutting them down to around 10 minutes.

Who are these changemakers?

As I mentioned in our last blog, we started off by interviewing Ashok Puri, an elderly South Asian man who travels all across the world staying with locals rather than in hotels. His story of overcoming fear and realizing the best way to experience countries is with the locals was a beautiful start to our journey. He left us with a great message that retirement is not the end but the start of a new chapter. Read More

Kuelii Smart Design: What We’re Doing

By | Funding, RADIUS Edu, Social Innovation | No Comments

The SFU Student Social Innovation Fund, a collaboration between RADIUS and Embark, provides project funding of up to $1000. Below, we get an update from Kuelii Smart Fan, a project team funded earlier this year. See their first and second posts to catch up on their story!

Image 2.1

My old office summer setup — a trusty but loud Holmes fan.

I used to place fans by my window to achieve a cooling effect after especially hot days. It was a stopgap solution for only the hottest nights because it was so disruptively loud, inefficient, and had a tenancy to over cool. I then looked around the market for a solution that not only worked but looked unobtrusive while doing so. Around now, you’re probably thinking, “Well, Jay what you’re making sounds a lot like a product already on the market: the window fan.” If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re largely correct!

Innovating an age old solution

We’re making an Internet of Things solution that innovates on the age old window fan, bringing it into the 21st century (no, it’s not super exciting like a shiny new device, but we think you’ll love it just as much.) Our solution uses two high power computer fans that are optimized to move air. We thought since computer fans are excellent at quietly moving air through crowded and messy spaces, why not use it to cool a room?

Image 2.2

Let’s stick a computer fan onto a window!!!

 

Image 2.3

Of course, this is what people will say if we just used computer fans.

Not only does our fan need to work, it also needs to look great. We’re working hard on making an enclosure that is unlike the loud plastic solutions currently out there. Read More