This new centre will be strategic in a number of ways:
- A focal point location where Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)interconnect on their joint north Oshawa campus
- Provides Spark Centre with on-campus day-to-day access to more than 20,000 full-time college and university students
- Provides additional support opportunities for Spark Centre with the FastStart consortium
More than 70% of Spark Centre’s clients annually emerge from the post-secondary student population at Durham College and UOIT. This on-campus centre, almost exactly where the college and university intersect, will provide Spark Centre with additional opportunity to reach students daily in order to provide advisory services and promote the value of entrepreneurship as a career.
“Over the past number of years we have continued to invest in new resources and tools beyond the classroom to foster greater entrepreneurship in our students,” said Don Lovisa, President, Durham College. “When you combine this with the excellent leadership, resources and mentorship available through the Spark Centre, our students have more opportunities than ever before to flex their entrepreneurial side, launch business ideas and ultimately find success. We are very pleased to be able to open this new space and expand our partnership with Spark Centre.”
“The campus in North Oshawa is very unique in Canada, given it has both college and university students converging, who are more often looking to start their own business,” said Dennis Croft, President & CEO, Spark Centre. “Spark Centre is so excited that Durham College has been able to provide space for us to create great proximity to such innovative talent.”
“The City of Oshawa’s partnership with Spark Centre has continued to bring growing prosperity to our youth entrepreneurship population and I am ecstatic that Durham College is providing Spark Centre an on campus student contact centre,” said City of Oshawa Mayor, John Henry. “This will continue to show Spark Centre’s commitment to supporting post-secondary students, and that entrepreneurship is a key part of our City’s economic foundation.”
About Spark Centre: Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre is one of eighteen not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centres (RICs) that form part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). The centre works to improve competitiveness and visibility of Durham Region and Northumberland County as a world-class innovation cluster. For more information on Spark Centre, please visit www.sparkcentre.org.
About Durham College: At Durham College, the student experience comes first. In September 2014, the college welcomed more than 30,000 students to campus including 12,000 full-time post-secondary and apprenticeship students as well as part-time and continuing education students and online learners. The college offers a wide range of market-driven programs in a number of different disciplines including culinary, hospitality, tourism, horticulture, business, information technology, media, art, design, general arts, science, skilled trades, justice, emergency services, health and engineering technology, enabling students to develop the skills required to meet the demands of today’s job market.
A three-phase expansion of the college’s Whitby campus was completed in 2013 when the 36,000-square-foot Centre for Food opened on the northwest corner of campus. Accommodating approximately 900 additional students studying in culinary, hospitality, event management, food science, and agricultural and horticultural programs, the CFF features Bistro ’67, a new, 70-seat, full-service, green-certified teaching-inspired restaurant and Pantry, a retail store featuring fresh-baked items, meals-to-go, preserved foods and ready-to-cook meals created by students in the college’s culinary programs.
For more information, visit www.durhamcollege.ca or call 905.721.2000.
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Spark Innovation Centre
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