The Entrepreneurship Hatchery  ☰ 

About Us

1. Overview

At the Hatchery, we are invested in building a strong entrepreneurial community at the University of Toronto. We believe there is an entrepreneurial seed in every UofT student and this experiential learning opportunity will provide the resources, mentorship and community to turn ideas into successful start-ups.

The Hatchery NEST program is divided into three stages: Entrepreneurial Evangelism, Hatchery Process and Start-Up Launch.

Entrepreneurial Evangelism

The activities in our entrepreneurial evangelism includes weekly Idea Market sessions and Speaker Series, as well as stand-alone events such as the Accelerator Weekend and the Hackathon. The components of this stage help students network, connect, build a team and come up with ideas to apply to the Hatchery.

The Hatchery also fosters a team of Ambassadors to bring our message to the student community and promote the spirit of entrepreneurship on campus. Our doors are always open to the University of Toronto community at large.

The evangelism activities are organized with the support of U of T student ambassadors and clubs.  

The ultimate goal is to encourage students to apply in teams to the next stage.

Hatchery NEST Process

Rolling applications start in September for teams to begin working on their business model generation canvas (business plan). From here, interviews take place in February to determine admission into the program. Accepted teams will shift their attention to the development of a minimum viable product over the summer months, from May to August, leading up to the Hatchery Demo Day in September.

Teams at this stage will receive one-on-one mentorship, summer fellowships, space and access to a prototype fund.

Start-Up Launch

This stage begins with the Hatchery Demo Day, which is usually held in the first week of September. Hatchery teams pitch their start-ups to investors and the University of Toronto community. Teams that are ready to incorporate will receive legal, accounting, marketing and intellectual property services through the Hatchery. From this stage, the Hatchery will feed the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem by launching teams into other accelerators and incubator programs in the community.


2. The Hatchery Ecosystem

The Speaker Series

The Speaker Series is a year-round forum that invites alumni, technology, business and entrepreneurial leaders to share their experiences, successes and failures with the University of Toronto community. Our Speaker Series has featured imminent guests such as Canadian industrialist Frank Hasenfratz, founder of Linamar Corporation. The Speaker Series has also featured world-renowned entrepreneurs such as Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of reddit.

Check our events section to confirm location, time and other details about our ongoing Speaker Series.

The Idea Market

Our Idea Markets are held every Wednesday from 4-6PM at BA4287 throughout the terms. This activity serves as the foundation for team building, ideation and networking for prospective entrepreneurs in a casual non-academic environment. Here, students are free to share skills and experiences in preparation for applying to the Hatchery. Industry problems are always welcome.

Accelerator Weekend

The Accelerator Weekend is a 27-hour business ideation competition. The event invites UofT students to work in teams under the guidance of alumni and mentors to develop a business model generation canvas around their ideas, culminating in the pitch.


The Ambassador Program

The Hatchery Ambassadors are a group of dedicated and enthusiastic students who promote entrepreneurial spirit across campus. They are well-versed in the ongoing Hatchery activities and engage with fellow students on a peer-to-peer level. The Hatchery Ambassadors are involved in collaborating with other groups on campus and promoting the work of the Hatchery at events and career fairs.


Mentorship at the Hatchery connects each team with compatible professionals. These mentors closely advise and oversee the activities of the team over the term of their involvement in the Hatchery’s program. Our volunteer mentors are experienced entrepreneurs willing to support our teams in the process of defining their startups with the potential of becoming their partners when launched.

Additionally, teams are assisted by Rotman MBA students acting as co-mentors. With this support network, teams are able to develop their business model canvas in order to transform their entrepreneurial ideas into reality.


Our Team

  • Joseph Orozco Executive Director of The Entrepreneurship Hatchery
  • Mimi Hao, Operations Lead
  • Naveed Ahmed, Community Engagement Officer
  • Tian Tian, Launch Lab Lead
  • Brad Gibbon, LaunchLab Program Lead
  • Derek Visvanathan, LaunchLab Program Lead
  • Byron Liao, Software Developer Lead 
  • Amber Nguyen, Graphic Designer

Advisory Board

  • Prof. Cristina Amon, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
  • Prof. Jonathan Rose, Chair of the Advisory Board
  • Prof. Mark Fox, Member of the Advisory Board
  • Prof. Mark Kortschot, Member of the Advisory Board
  • Prof. Joseph Paradi, Member of the Advisory Board