As the University of Calgary’s home for innovation, the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking is playing a major role in this month’s citywide Innovation Week YYC celebration as an epicentre of creative problem-solving.
But well beyond hosting events during the annual event, which runs until Nov. 23, the Hunter Hub supports innovation and entrepreneurial thinking year-round.
“Innovation Week YYC is a premier event for the Hunter Hub and the broader UCalgary innovation ecosystem as it gives us a chance to showcase many events taking place,” says Adam Cragg, the Hub’s acting executive director. “As Canada’s innovation and outcomes-focused university, this puts the work we do under the spotlight and is an exciting opportunity for the community to see the leaps we are making in the global innovation space.”
The Hunter Hub’s programs are designed for all members of the UCalgary community, empowering participants to take initiative and exchange knowledge across disciplines. Here are just some of the Hub’s featured programs taking place throughout the year:
Launchpad is a six-month co-curricular program aiming to build entrepreneurial thinking skills in undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and researchers from every faculty.
Through a series of weekly presentations (Launchpad Live), alongside workshops with coaches and a final pitch competition (Launchpad Liftoff!), participants are able to hone their entrepreneurial skills to make an impact in their respective industries and fields of study.
Launchpad Live has sessions taking place every Thursday night until March 28, 2024. To learn more about the upcoming sessions and to register, visit the website.
Map the System
Map the System is a global competition that tasks students and educators with thinking differently about social and environmental change. The competition challenges participants to use a systems-thinking lens to research a social or environmental issue of their choosing. Participants are then expected to compellingly articulate their findings in a way that engages audiences and promotes understanding.
In July 2023, the Map the System Global Final was hosted by the University of Oxford, with Dr. Winston Cheung, MD; Brandon Pentz, MSc’21; and Tina Wong representing UCalgary, the first team from the university to achieve the feat.
Their project, Family Physician Shortage: A Canadian Healthcare Crisis, focused on the critical issue currently facing the Canadian health-care system and, while they did not win, they earned praise from both the judges and their fellow participants.
To learn more about the UCalgary team and their journey to the Global Final, read the UToday article.
Interested in signing up for this year's program? Learn more
Summer Accelerator at UCalgary
The Summer Accelerator is designed to help promising startups in the UCalgary community continue to build and develop their business. This program offers funding and resources to support early-stage entrepreneurs and leverage resources within the UCalgary ecosystem. The objective of the program is for startup operators to validate their businesses as viable and be able to definitively make the “go/no-go” decision to continue with their venture.
Participants in the program gain exclusive access to the Hunter Hub, the Innovation Sandbox, the UCalgary innovation ecosystem, local startup networks, and the Venture Backbone program.
To learn how to qualify and how to apply for next year's program, visit the Summer Accelerator website.
In addition, the Hunter Hub is also now home to the successful Evolve to Innovate and Academic Entrepreneurs in Residence programs, further highlighting the hub's commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation across campus and beyond.