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University launches Brilliant Catalyst: a new gateway to entrepreneurship and innovation

Brilliant Catalyst launch on the second floor of the Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre (November 13, 2018).
Brilliant Catalyst launch on the second floor of the Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre (November 13, 2018).

Converting a visionary idea into a viable new business defines the process of entrepreneurship. Creating a business not only requires a great idea: it requires market research, startup financing, creating a team, quick decision-making, and preparing for the unknown. While the challenges may be daunting, often with risk there’s reward.

Through research and discovery, university environments produce new knowledge and generate new ideas. As a champion of innovative and entrepreneurial culture, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology offers an exciting new ‘collaboration and collision’ space for creating new business ideas. At Brilliant Catalyst, students, faculty, business and community organizations will accelerate the development of new ideas, business ventures and innovations.

“Brilliant Catalyst is a vital new component of our university’s innovative and entrepreneurial culture,” says Dr. Steven Murphy, President, University of Ontario Institute of Technology. “In this creative space, multidisciplinary teams of students will work with our industry partners to help solve real-world problems. Brilliant Catalyst complements our university’s commitment to hands-on experiential learning. Real-world opportunities prepare our students and graduates for success in their own businesses or even as intrapreneurs (employees who produce new business ideas within an existing workplace:”

“Brilliant Catalyst will be a springboard for new business ventures to ensure entrepreneurs and innovators have access to the resources they need to be successful in today’s market,” says David Pamenter, Executive-in-Residence, Brilliant Catalyst. “Brilliant startups will be able to collaborate in this space with student Capstone teams and members of Enactus UOIT, and pursue joint initiatives with the Office of Research Services to commercialize university intellectual property.”

“Ultimately, entrepreneurs seek to solve society’s most vexing problems by designing and executing successful business plans,” says Kimberley Buckeridge, a fourth-year Faculty of Health Sciences student (Public Health), and Co-President of Enactus UOIT, a group of on-campus student entrepreneurs seeking to implement community projects aimed at social, environmental and economic change. “Emerging businesses trying to get off the ground need a space to work where minds meet and ideas can be generated. Brilliant Catalyst delivers that.”

In the future, Brilliant Catalyst could provide a key access point for community companies looking to connect with on-campus talent or campus facilities.

Brilliant Catalyst features:

  • The first Google Jamboard on campus (for idea visualization).
  • A two-metre wide TV screen with technology-enabled systems for workshops and presentations.
  • Soft seating and stools with flexible setup for receptions or theatre-style gatherings.
  • Located on the second floor of the university’s Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre (Room ERC 2100).

Current programs falling under the Brilliant Catalyst umbrella:

  • Brilliant Incubator: a four-month intensive program that supports and works with participants to develop their business.
  • Brilliant Idea: entrepreneurship bootcamps during Fall and Winter mid-term break periods.
  • Brilliant Start: online programs offered to students as a gateway to entrepreneurship and to help them start developing their business at their own leisure.

Brilliant Catalyst contact:

  • Karen Zavitz, Manager, Entrepreneurship Networks (mobile: 416.333.3408)


Media contact
Bryan Oliver
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
905.721.8668 ext. 6709