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TiE Toronto launches TiE Institute to help entrepreneurs learn from each other

Suresh MadanLast night, TiE (Talent, ideas and Enterprise) Toronto hosted an event at the Fasken Martineau LLP offices to announce the launch of a new TiE Institute program. “Entrepreneurs are the engine of our economic development. Inspiring youth to become entrepreneurs in Canada is a very high priority. This is a great time to become an entrepreneur and a great time to educate others to become entrepreneurs,” says Suresh Madan, President of TiE Toronto.

Starting on September 15th, the TiE Institute will offer 3-hour long educational workshops in Toronto including: an Entrepreneurship Overview (i.e. what makes an entrepreneur), Idea Generation, Business Plan Development, and Idea Commercialization.

Anyone can take the courses. However, the TiE Institute is gearing the program towards two demographics in particular – youth and immigrants. “Youth bring tremendous energy and many new ideas but need a lot of guidance to become successful entrepreneurs. We want to fulfill that gap. Secondly, immigrants are generally very qualified and have an almost 18 times higher propensity to start their own venture. Therefore, this is an important demographic segment that we want to address,” says Madan.

The main goal of the program is to help aspiring entrepreneurs learn about starting a business from experienced entrepreneurs. The TiE motto is ‘Entrepreneurs Educating Entrepreneurs’. The Institute intends to provide real-world training that’s often missing from business schools. 

All students who participate in the program will receive 1-on-1 mentoring from successful entrepreneurs. TiE Toronto will match students up with successful business owners in similar industries. Students also get to participate in opportunities to present their projects to venture capitalists. This will help to improve their entrepreneurial success by refining their skills and ideas.

Kunal Gupta, CEO of Toronto startup Polar Mobile spoke at yesterday’s event about his company’s path to commercialization and success. Gupta will be one of the instructors and mentors at the TiE Institute.   

In his presentation, Gupta outlined the elements of a successful ecosystem for entrepreneurs in Canada. One of the elements that he highlighted was education. He says that “the way we’re learning is changing. The education system needs to recognize that with iPads and mobile phones in the classroom, students are now retaining information in a different way.” 

With the education system in mind, it’s a good thing that the TiE Institute is offering alternative ways to learn from their program. If you don’t live in Toronto or cannot make the evening classes, you can still catch the courses online. The TiE Institute will offer TED-like talks which will be streamed live and hosted on YouTube to enable all entrepreneurs to learn from the program. 

For more information about the TiE Institute, visit www.tieinstitute.org.

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