The Centre for Business and Student Enterprise (CBaSE) at the University of Guelph is a collaborative and diverse community of entrepreneurs aiming to improve life. CBaSE is U of G’s hub for innovation and entrepreneurship – it offers academic classes, a business incubator, and extra-curricular workshops to connect people across diverse sectors. Using tools like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and B Lab’s Impact AssessmentTM, CBaSE guides and empowers students, faculty, and organizations that are looking for ways to make the world a better place.
“The global community is facing a web of challenges where economic, social, and environmental concerns intersect,” says CBaSE director Melanie Lang.“If humanity is going to thrive, we need a new kind of agile thinker. This is why we teach entrepreneurs to marry business sense with an appreciation for social and environmental issues.”
The University of Guelph is committed to starting local for a global impact. CBaSE’s incubator helps to nurture startups by providing them with seed funding, office space and access to esteemed mentors to bring their ideas to life. CBaSE also delivers business-consulting courses where future entrepreneurs and advising professors explore and collaborate as they bolster organizations in the Guelph community, all along the spectrum from for-profit to social profit. CBaSE also acts as one of the on-campus resources for University researchers who wish to turn their academic proposal into a business-oriented value proposition.
Change the world
Taurus 3D and Welo are just two of the dozens of companies to graduate from CBaSE’s incubator program. CBaSE’s team of mentors empowered the startups to refine their business model, branding, marketing, and pitch development, helping to bring their ideas to life.
Taurus 3D is making prosthetic limbs more accessible to people living in poverty across the world. In 2017, the company established a 3D printing facility at a children’s rehab center in Tamil Nadu, India. Each month, up to 20 people with amputations can receive free, 3D printed prosthesis.
Another CBaSE alumnus, Welo is providing clean water access in Kenya while serving up delicious health food across Canada.This probiotic drink and bar company is just the sort of business that would come out of Canada’s “food university”.Whenever a Canadian makes a purchase, a portion of the profits helps to build sustaining wells in Kenya. With support from CBaSE, Welo developed their distribution network to reach consumers in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec; in Ontario you can find their products in every Sobeys, Longos, and Whole Foods.
This year at least 20 startups will graduate from CBaSE’s incubator program.The world needs nimble thinkers to balance environmental, social, and economic concerns for the greatest benefit. CBaSE is building a generation of innovative minds who are ready to improve life.