Exploriem - led by Ottawa Senators founder Bruce Firestone - received $159,300 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the provincial government that funds community-based initiatives.
The funds will be used to provide one-on-one mentoring, business and professional services to more than 100 entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 32 over the next two years.
The entrepreneurship centre will also host networking events and outreach programs in local high schools, colleges and universities.
“It doesn’t take many entrepreneurs to change a city,” Mr. Firestone stated in a news release. “Equipped with the right business models, capitalization and marketing plans as well as experienced, knowledgeable mentors, young people can make a huge difference not only in their own future but also the communities in which they live and work.”
Exploriem was established in 2001 and has helped more than 165 startups in its 10 incubator offices at Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre.
Startups accepted into Exploriem’s program receive free rent, boardroom space, Internet and mentoring in return for providing one per cent of their revenues to Exploriem for the first 10 years.