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Become a Member

Interested in becoming a member of the Social Ventures Zone? 

A flowchart outlining the SVZ's application process

Applications for the Winter 2023 Cohort of Paid to Innovate are now open!

Eligibility Questions for becoming an SVZ member:

Are you...

  1. Working on a social venture. What does this mean?
  2. Not yet receiving academic credit for the work you are doing on your social change idea
  3. A high school graduate (or equivalent)
  4. 17 years of age or older
  5. A Canadian citizen, permanent resident, visa/permit holders, or refugee claimant

If you answered 'yes' to all of these, then you are eligible to apply to become an SVZ member.

Incubation or Ideation?

We offer two streams of programming, depending on where you're at.

Please note: the 2022/2023 Fall and Winter sessions of Ideation and Incubation will be conducted exclusively in-person on campus. We will offer virtual sessions of Ideation and Incubation in Spring 2023 if you cannot attend the in-person sessions.



A checklist for our Ideation program criteria
  1. The Social Ventures Zone has developed a short, four-part course to help you take your initial idea or interest in a social issue and turn it into a path towards a social start-up.  For the 2022/2023 academic year, TMU students will get paid as participants of the 12 week program.
  2. The Ideation Curriculum is presented in four sessions - two on your problem, two on your solution.  Each session will provide some context for the homework activities that you are expected to complete between sessions and some degree of interactive discussion.  This will allow you to benefit from peer-to-peer learning as you explore your problem and possible business models.
  3. In addition to the educational sessions, students will attend industry networking events, fireside chats hosted by startup founders, workshops to grow their entrepreneurial skill set, and mentorship on their business idea development.
  4. Students can receive up to $1200 for their full participation in the program and will have access to further funding opportunities in the Spring/Summer 2023 semester should they choose to continue building their idea.


A checklist for our Incubation program criteria
  1. A small number of applicants are selected to pitch the committee.
  2. A smaller number of applicants are offered admission to our incubation cohort.
  3. These venture teams are onboarded and then participate in an eight-week cohort program where they will deepen their understanding of their problem and improve the elements of their venture.
  4. At the close of the cohort sessions, each venture will make a final pitch to the SVZ community and join the broader cohort of SVZ startups. Ongoing participation through social events and workshops starts now!
  5. At the start of their incubation, they will work with SVZ staff to create a plan to move forward, including identifying goals, setting KPIs and creating a timeline for testing and growth.
  6. Venture teams will be matched with an SVZ coach that will support their work. 
  7. Ventures can remain a part of the SVZ at no charge for up to two years, provided they continue to actively work on their ventures and benefit from the support provided by the SVZ. Ventures will then graduate from the SVZ and become a senior team or alum.

* Social ventures that join the Fall 2022 cohort of Incubation will be eligble to apply for the 2023 Penny Appeal Canada Social Accelerator Award, opens in new window, where they can win up to $16,000 worth of prizes to support the growth of their venture. 

Important eligbility requirements for the Paid to Innovate (Ideation) program of Winter 2023

To be eligible to participate and receive funding, students must meet all the following criteria:

  • Registered students at Toronto Metropolitan University full time or part time (no age limit);
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and,
  • Are legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with the relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations.

*NOTE: International students with student visas or work visas are NOT eligible to receive iHub funding.

Applications for the Social Ventures Zone open three times per year: in December, March and August. Our cohorts follow Toronto Metropolitan University’s semester cycles. 

Applications for the Paid to Innovate program are currently CLOSED.