"The best way of learning anything is by doing."
- Richard Branson
The JMH LaunchPad Program supports your desire to roll up your sleeves and build something - a company, a project, an idea, a network, a career, a better world. On your way, you'll connect with an inspiring community of ambitious students, alumni, and mentors and put your career on a whole new trajectory.
Participants of LaunchPad have joined Calgary's fastest growing companies, sold their company for $35M, got into a bidding war on Dragon's Den and launched non-profits that make our city a better place. LaunchPad culminates each year with one of the largest and respected entrepreneur showcases in the city. The JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition welcomes over 300 attendees to experience the incredible entrepreneurial talent being developed at MRU and watch them pitch for their share of $80,000 in cash and services to support the growth of their ventures.
Ready to join the LaunchPad Program?
LaunchPad welcomes students at all stages of their entrepreneurial journey. You don't have to have an idea to get involved. Choose where you fit and let's get innovating!
LaunchPad Founders Circle
The LaunchPad Founders Circle is a program for ambitious like-minded students eager to validate, launch, and build their ideas. This driven group of Mount Royal students hold each other accountable to goals, foster peer-to-peer mentorship, receive guidance from industry experts, and have opportunities for funding. The Founders Circle fosters a sense of belonging outside the class by creating a safe space for students to ask questions and fail with the support of the Institute and their peers.
This program is for you whether you have an idea, you have started running a venture, or you have a changemaking idea.
- Gain access to a community of entrepreneurs on campus and in the Calgary Innovation Ecosystem
- Receive coaching and mentorship from the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship's team, your peers and alumni founders
- Apply for up to $2,500 in seed funding through the Founders Fund
- Apply for the JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition
- Join us for our monthly Innovator + Founders Circle meetups
- Gain access to the Slate Innovation Lab, an entrepreneurial incubator on campus
Discovery Fund and Circle Meetups
If you are looking to build a career in the world of innovation or want to influence big change in the world, you can do that in many ways other than launching a new startup or social enterprise. The first step to creating the future you want is getting involved today! Launchpad offers two unique ways for you to get involved:
LaunchPad Discovery Fund
The Discovery Fund provides financial support for you to attend event and workshops that will support your innovation and changemaking journey.
Mount Royal students are eligible to apply for funding of up to $100 per ticket through the Discovery Fund. This Fund is designed to support your exploration of innovative ideas and inspire you to think bigger.
The monthly Circle meetups bring together innovators and founders, students and alumni, and inspiring guests to gather and grow. Why attend? Whether you are pursuing an innovative career or starting a social enterprise or a for-profit business, you will benefit by learning from your peers and immersing yourself into a community of like-minded individuals. The Circle meetups are an opportunity to casually connect with both students, alumni and community members.
What to expect?
The Circle has a no-pitch, no-sell policy. This is a fun and inspiring space to seek advice and to explore mutual and new connections. In doing so, we begin to see the abundance of knowledge remarkable Mount Royal students and alumni hold transfer from one individual to the next; from firm to firm; from community to community. Further, this community and its guests help you develop and refine the skills necessary for your future.
LaunchPad Pitch Competition
As our biggest event of the year, our top students pitch their entrepreneurial venture to a panel of experienced judges and a supportive audience for their share of $80,000 in cash and services. This pitch competition is a 300 person event filled with eager community members, faculty, fellow students, and investors interested in hearing about the next great idea. Teams are given five minutes to pitch, followed by Q&A from the judges. The judges include successful entrepreneurs from the community.
Before the competition, students work hand-in-hand with a collection of seasoned entrepreneurs to develop their value proposition, learn how to effectively pitch their idea, and learn from some of the brightest entrepreneurial minds in Calgary
All students from across campus are welcome to apply. You do not have to be in a particular faculty or program to apply. We are proud that we have had participants from every faculty on campus.
Who is this competition for?
This competition is ideally suited if any of the following apply:
- You have a passion for, or experience with, a pressing social, economic or environmental challenge and you would like to investigate it
- You are excited about receiving guidance and mentorship from community experts, fellow MRU peers, and the Institute team
- You are interested in investigating a problem and starting a venture while in post-secondary to accelerate your learning experience You have an existing solution, product or business idea, and you would like to research the problem and solution thoroughly to understand what has been tried and tested, and you are willing to pivot your idea based on your findings
- You could use a bit of early-stage funding to remove some of the barriers of starting a business; however, you understand that money is only beneficial with a plan and understanding of your next steps
- Eligible individuals must be full-time or part-time students in good standing registered a degree program at Mount Royal University (Students in Open Studies are not eligible)
- Individuals are also eligible if they completed their Mount Royal University degree within the previous 12 months of the application submission deadline.
- Collectively, eligible individuals must hold a significant ownership position and have an active leadership role or roles in the venture. A significant ownership position generally means 50% or more of the venture, not including financial investors. If you are concerned about the ownership structure of your organization, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Only eligible Mount Royal students and alumni are permitted to participate on-stage in the LaunchPad Pitch Competition.
How To Apply
Applications Are Now Open
Deadline to Apply: March 1 @ midnight
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Frequently Asked Questions:
I don't have an idea, can I still engage with LaunchPad?
YES! Just because you don't have an idea does not mean you are not innovative or entrepreneurial! We strongly encourage you to get involved. Our Innovator’s Circle is a remarkable community designed to connect, inspire and help uncover your passions.
My venture is a social enterprise or for purpose venture, is this the right place for me?
YES! Members of both the Innovators Circle and the Founders Circle come from across campus, with a diverse background, in a variety of markets. Regardless of your business model, we are here to help!
Does the Institute give out funding to all of the members of the Founders Circle?
No, we do not. While the Institute For Innovation and Entrepreneurship does have funding available for entrepreneurs in the various stages of growth, this does not mean you will automatically receive funding. Members who receive funding, for validation or for growth, must demonstrate the drive, commitment, and understanding of what it takes to validate, launch and grow a business.
I’ve never taken an entrepreneurship class, can I still apply to the programs?
Absolutely! We always encourage you to enroll in MRU’s Entrepreneurship classes, but if you cannot take the classes for whatever reason, we would still love to see you get involved.