Today, York University announced the official opening of YSpace, its new innovation and entrepreneurship centre in Markham aimed at helping budding entrepreneurs turn bright ideas into action. York University’s President Rhonda Lenton was joined by Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and International Trade Minister Michael Chan (MPP Markham-Unionville) to mark the occasion. A number of York University’s key entrepreneurs showcased their technologies and products in the YSpace “maker space” and “co-working space.”
York University’s new co-working and maker space offers students and community entrepreneurs and innovators a place to build and scale their ventures, connect with industry and not-for-profit partners, and provides them with access to programs designed to build their entrepreneurial skills.
With York’s Markham Centre campus scheduled to open in 2021, the University is actively taking steps to cultivate new connections that foster a strong and growing culture of teaching, learning, research and innovation.
“This exciting new phase of York’s investment in Markham will help to shape our relationship for years to come,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton. “YSpace will serve as a vital hub in Markham where students, educators, business leaders, and inventors can come together to collaborate. YSpace will also importantly support our commitment to ensuring that every student has an experiential education opportunity, while showcasing York’s commitment to increasing access to a high-quality, research-intensive university education, enhancing our connectedness to our communities, and contributing to the social and economic impact of the region through innovation and entrepreneurship. We look forward to many years of building York University and Markham together.”
“YSpace is the perfect fit for our city,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “We are thrilled to be partnering with York University. This new innovative hub is where great thinkers, innovators and entrepreneurs will join forces to excel in a knowledge-based world economy while building on Markham’s stellar reputation for having a highly educated, skilled and diverse workforce. I’m also excited high school students will have access to YSpace, which will set them on the path to success.”
YSpace builds on the success of Innovation York, the University’s innovation office. Innovation York’s goal is to facilitate and maximize the commercial, economic, and social impacts of research and innovation, and to create a culture of engaged scholarship and experiential learning.
“Innovation York, York’s innovation office, offers entrepreneurs and innovators an opportunity to become a part of community at YSpace Markham,” Vice-President Research & Innovation Robert Haché explains. “A community that is supportive, that offers training programs to develop skill-sets, co-working space, and facilities to build prototypes and even products, is essential if we are going to support entrepreneurs and give them the best opportunity for success.”
A dozen startups that have benefited from Innovation York’s programs and services were at the official opening of YSpace to demonstrate how they have transformed their bright ideas into products and services, including: a cloud-based healthcare analytics platform that helps hospitals improve their efficiency and reduce costs; a new freeze drying technology which addresses the problems of affordability and efficiency of current freeze dryers; technology that provides media and entertainment options to users in rideshare cars and tracks behaviour; and finally, a one-stop shop for senior care.