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With recent changes at RIC Centre, we are now looking to hire an Operations  Co-ordinator. This new position is an important member of the RIC Centre team.

RIC provides support to new entrepreneurs and seasoned business people to take the next great idea to market in the fields of advanced manufacturing, aerospace, life sciences and emerging technology.

RIC is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation and community partners in Peel Region. Our staff works closely with academic institutions, commercialization resources, municipal development staff, the financial community and entrepreneurs.

This is a dynamic and innovative environment that requires talented and committed staff who pitch in to accomplish team goals and support innovation and entrepreneurship in our community.

The Operations Coordinator reports to the Executive Director
1 Year contract term (may be renewable)
Salary range $70,000 – $75,000

Key Job Responsibilities

  • Provide organizational support to RIC Centre including assistance with managing and scheduling: Peer 2 Peer meetings, Volunteer Mentors and Volunteer Service Provider Meetings
  • Prepare materials for meetings, and events.
  • Participate in the identification of potential mentors and volunteers.
  • Participate in the on-boarding of volunteer mentors and volunteer service providers procedures and ensuring all relevant documentation is completed.
  • Collect and compile quarterly performance metrics for the Volunteer Mentor and Service providers.
  • Assist with the collection and distribution of client feedback and prepare quarterly reports to identify areas for improvement.
  • Assist with developing and delivery of communications to clients, advisors, volunteers and external stakeholders.
  • Provide insight, input and support into additional projects as developed.

Education and experience

  • Relevant University Degree/College Diploma
  • Minimum 3-5 years experience working in an administrative, operations, or business support role

Personal Requirements

  • Strong writing skill
  • Exceptional communicator and strong, collaborative team player
  • Client service-oriented Excellent interpersonal and communications skills (oral and written)
  • Able to work independently and able to produce results with little supervision
  • Strong analytical skills (comfortable with MS Excel, PowerPoint, Email, etc.)
  • Interest in entrepreneurship and new technologies
  • Professional demeanor and comfortable working with senior officials
  • Well organized, logical thinker
  • Ability to manage shifting priorities and ad-hoc projects Comfortable working in a fast-paced, dynamic environment

The position will be based in the Sheridan Research Park in Mississauga, ON.

Please submit applications to pam.banks@riccentre.com

Application deadline: March 11, 2011

Visit www.riccentre.com

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Peel Region’s Research Innovation Commercialization Centre (RIC) is now part of the Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE).

ONE consists of 14 regional innovation centres across Ontario. These centres help local entrepreneurs bring innovative ideas to the marketplace, such as new ways to treat disease, cleaner ways to produce power and next-generation digital entertainment.

The centres give entrepreneurs access to a broad range of experts, including researchers, academics, businesses, government and investors, who can help sell an idea and grow a business worldwide.

Supporting made-in-Ontario technologies is part of Ontario’s strategy to make innovation a driving force of Ontario’s economy, and supports the Open Ontario Plan to build new opportunities for economic growth and jobs.

In making the announcement at Baylis Medical Co. yesterday, Harinder Takhar, MPP for Mississauga-Erindale, said “In today’s knowledge-based economy, ideas are the central building block in creating a society at the forefront of innovation. This exciting new innovation network demonstrates how Peel Region is working together to harness our originality and enterprise for the benefit of everyone living here.”

RIC’s Commercialization Director Pam Banks (pictured) said  “ONE empowers business people, innovators and researchers to gain a competitive advantage by collaborating across Ontario and connecting with services and programs. In turn our families will benefit from the wealth generated by the innovation and creativity which exists throughout this province, and right here in our community.”

The Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE) is Ontario’s new, province-wide innovation network.

The purpose of ONE is to align all of the programs and resources Ontario has to support innovators who are working to turn great ideas into globally competitive companies and cutting-edge products and services.

When innovators walk into the nearest ONE member’s office, they will have access to best practices from around the world, programs linking them to researchers and successful entrepreneurs, and assistance in accessing the funding and advice they need to take their ideas to market.

Ontario’s new innovation network will make it easier for innovators to talk to each other. They will have access to expertise just around the block — and right across the province. It won’t matter where you are or what stage your idea or business is at. All that will matter is the quality of your idea, the depth of your commitment and your drive to succeed.

ONE is the next step in delivering Ontario’s Innovation Agenda, and the next step in unlocking the tremendous potential and remarkable talent across our province. It supports the McGuinty government’s Open Ontario Plan to build new opportunities for economic growth and jobs.

Ontario Network of Excellence – Programs and Services

Business acceleration programs and services: Including programs and services to:

  • Help strengthen entrepreneurial skills
  • Create globally competitive businesses, and
  • Support innovators as they deal with all the challenges and opportunities that come with building an innovative company

Industry-academic collaboration programs and services: Including programs and services to:

  • Accelerate the movement of world-class research discoveries from Ontario’s labs to the global marketplace
  • Support industry-academic collaboration on technical research challenges by linking entrepreneurs with existing research institutions like colleges, universities and hospitals, and
  • Develop talent by cultivating entrepreneurial and business skills, providing real world experience for Ontario’s next generation of innovators.

Sector-based expertise: Including specialized services geared towards a specific industry sector, such as:

  • Knowledge of the sector
  • Academic resources such as researchers and equipment
  • Regulatory environment knowledge and guidance, and
  • Market development and other knowledge to help clients bring products or services to market faster and more effectively.

Clients will be able to access all ONE programs and services through ONE member organizations across the province.

For further information on the Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE), please visit: www.oneinnovation.ca.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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Raising cash can be the most important activity for a start-up company. But what do you do when you have exhausted the money from friends and family and are not yet ready for angel and VC investment? In our fifth seminar we will explore some creative methods to finance your business including accessing inexpensive resources such as talent and exploring options to go public.

Join us for Creative Financing and Cash Bootstrapping – When Friends, Family and Fools Fail! at our “Growing Your Business” breakfast event series 7:30 to 10 a.m., Wednesday,  January 19 at the University of Toronto Mississauga’s Faculty Club

Our guest speakers include:

Ulrich Krull, Vice-Principal: Research, University of Toronto,  is appointed as Professor of Analytical Chemistry and holds the endowed AstraZeneca Chair in Biotechnology at the University of Toronto. He serves as the Vice-Principal: Research at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Krull has played key roles in 4 start-up companies that have incorporated work from his research team in the area of diagnostic technologies. He continues to serve on a number of corporate boards for pharma and analytical service companies and associations. Krull led the consortium of industry, government and institutional partners that evolved to form the Research Innovation Commercialization Centre.

John Lombardi, Business Consultant, Mina Mar Group, is a business consultant with the Mina Mar Group where he assists SMEs raise capital, offering M&A, IPO, and investor relations services. He has helped raise over $6 million dollars through his work in real estate marketing and Loblaw Companies. John started trading shares on the stock market independently at the ripe age of 18. His research and understanding of business naturally lead him to Canada’s top business school, the Schulich School of Business.

Chris Skura, CEO, Skura Corporation, is the CEO of Skura Corporation as well as Skura BI Group. His responsibilities for both companies include company vision, business development and building partnerships with leading companies worldwide.

He has established Skura as a global leader in the pharmaceutical technology market and continues to ensure the company is building the solutions necessary to succeed in these times of rapid change. Prior to founding Skura Corporation in 1996, Chris was in sales operations at Bayer Inc.

The Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre and the Ontario Center for Environmental Technology Advancement (OCETA) jointly host the 10-event series, which runs from September to June 2011.

For a complete schedule visit riccentre.com

Pre-Registration $25, Pay at Event $30 (covers breakfast and parking). To register, visit www.riccentre.com.

For more information, contact Shantanu at shantanu@riccentre.com or at (905) 273-3530.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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Ready to Take RIC to the Next Level of Innovation

By Mary Dytyniak

The RIC Centre recently named John Switzer as the new Chair of the Advisory Board. Stepping down from the position is Bill Matthews.

Matthews was a key contributor in establishing and setting in motion the development of the RIC Centre as the fourth largest innovation and commercialization centre in Ontario. Matthews found it both rewarding and enlightening to work with Pam Banks, the Commercialization Director at RIC, the board and especially John Switzer.

“I have great confidence in John. I was delighted when he was selected to be the next chairman,” Matthews said.

Partnering with the city of Mississauga, Brampton, the Town of Caledon and Peel Region, as well as educational institutions such as the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College has helped bolster RIC’s clientele through support and funding.

During his term Switzer hopes to take the RIC Centre to the next level of advancement, supported by a renewed 3-year funding commitment approved by the Ministry of Research and Innovation.

“Our performance will be measured by the number of firms that take those ideas to fully funded, commercially viable enterprises in Peel Region, creating jobs in the process. Our job is about economic development,” Switzer said.

The RIC centre is one of 12 regional innovation centres in the ONE Network of Excellence, a network of organizations across Ontario designed to help entrepreneurs, researchers and business professionals commercialize their ideas.

Although the RIC Centre has been in operation since 2002, as the Western GTA Convergence Centre, it wasn’t until Pam Banks came onboard as the Commercialization Director and funding was granted by the Ontario government that RIC established itself as a non-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and growing innovation in Peel Region. Switzer plans to work with the RIC board and its partners to push the innovation agenda further over the next three years.

“We have to raise our level of visibility by getting out and making calls to partners and to prospective enterprise partners, who can assist us by working with all our entrepreneurial clients. We need to actively promote and speak to  the innovation agenda within Peel Region, so that people will see RIC Center as the place to go for support in advancing innovation in the region,” Switzer said.

2011 looks to be a promising year for the RIC Centre, with the launch of a number of new programs such as the Peer-to-Peer network that will facilitate knowledge sharing among clients and entrepreneurs at monthly meetings.

The RIC Centre is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting and guiding small to medium-sized enterprises through the process of bringing innovative ideas to market in the fields of aerospace, advanced manufacturing, life sciences and emerging technologies.

Mary Dytyniak will be graduating from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Arts this June 2011. She is currently finishing her major in Professional Writing and a double minor in Classics and History. Mary has published works in the fields of non-fiction, creative, journalistic, research and corporate writing. She is currently pursuing a career in the magazine and publishing sector.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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By Mary Dytyniak
Social media and search engine optimization have been the buzz words in business in 2010, says Dev Basu, President and CEO of Powered by Search.

Basu, along with panelists Krista LaRiviere, Co-Founder and CEO of gShift Labs and Roy Pereira, President and CEO of Shiny Ads were keynote speakers at the final Growing Your Business session of 2010: Search Engine Optimization and Social Marketing December 9 at the University of Toronto Mississauga Faculty Club.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is currently the leading online tool businesses use to recruit clients and customers on the web.  Google accumulated an astounding 16.4 billion searches worldwide in the month of June 2010, according to Comstar.com, and it’s no wonder page ranking is on business moguls’ lips. But according to Basu, recognized as Canada’s foremost search optimization guru, basic page ranking techniques aren’t enough to drive traffic to a website. Although it is fast, scalable and easy to control, users don’t trust paid page rankings or top results, he says. And 90% of search users zone in on organic and local results.

While people love to buy, they don’t like being sold [to]. Essentially, [they] don’t trust an ad. That’s why people don’t click it,” he said.

Basu suggested that smaller businesses with tight budgets move their websites over to a free content management system such as WordPress, Expression Engine or Drupal to further optimize their sites. Building links and credibility so that suppliers, venders and local directories link back to a company’s website is an important step. So is ensuring that the site operates in a trusted domain and includes the essential components of a search engine friendly website: texts, links and images.

Krista LaRiviere and her company gShift, specializing in offering web presence optimization software, and aspire to make search engine optimization accessible to everyone.

“Our vision is to change the way people think of and perform organic search engine optimization. We want the entire world to be able to do their own organic search engine optimization. We want non-technical marketers to be able to do it and non-technical business people to be able to do it.”

Google Analytics is one solution. It’s a free tool many companies use to enhance search engine optimization. Google Analytics helps aggregate, track, manage and explain how a user’s website is being searched. One important component that businesses often overlook is key word selection. What clients type into search tool bars often does not match the key words businesses insert into their web pages. Tools such as Google Analytics and WordStream list what key words are being used by potential clients, explaining why a company’s page rank is lower than their competitors. Narrowing the choice of key words to indicate a unique product or service offered by a company, filters search users and increases clicks.

What about popular social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, boasting millions of users? Roy Pereira’s advertising technology company Shiny Ads relies on search engine optimization and social media to generate 90% of their inbound revenue. Pereira has moved on from using traditional marketing focused on micro websites and trade shows that he claims are no longer effective.

“Twitter is fantastic. It’s all text and it is all very searchable. It’s a great way to increase an awareness of what you’re up to as well as what your product is. Sending out a press release or [posting] the title of your press release on Twitter is alright, but it’s… a little spammy… [This] is so much more natural,” Pereira commented.

Tools such as Twitter reveal individual voices and personalities of those employees who represent a company, encouraging an open and honest relationship with potential clients, something that has now come to be expected in everyday business practice.

The Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre and the Ontario Center for Environmental Technology Advancement (OCETA) jointly host the 10-event series, which runs from September to June 2011.  For a complete schedule visit riccentre.com.

Mary Dytyniak will be graduating from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Arts this June 2011. She is currently finishing her major in Professional Writing and a double minor in Classics and History. Mary has published works in the fields of non-fiction, creative, journalistic, research and corporate writing. She is currently pursuing a career in the magazine and publishing sector.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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Being visible is key to having a successful start-up. Customers and investors are relying more heavily on the internet to gain information about your company and product. Optimizing your website for search engines and having an online presence in today’s social media tools can help you gain an edge over your competitors.

Join us for Search Engine Optimization and Social Marketing at our “Growing Your Business” breakfast event series Thursday, December 9 at the University of Toronto Mississauga’s Faculty Club.

Our  guest speakers include:
Dev Basu, President and CEO, Powered by Search, is a leading Toronto-based Internet marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization, Local Search Optimization, and Paid Search- driven marketing solutions for Fortune 1000, and small and medium-sized businesses. In 2010, Powered by Search was ranked amongst the Top 3 Local Search optimization firms in Canada, by independent market research firm, TopSEOs. Dev is also a guest lecturer for upper level information marketing courses at the University of Toronto and Seneca College.

Krista LaRiviere, Co-Founder & CEO, gShift Labs. This is Krista’s third software start up having successfully exited from the previous two. Having been in the Internet marketing space for over ten years, Krista is able to identify trends and gaps in the daily lives of Internet marketers. gShift has web presence optimization software that is demystifying, simplifying and standardizing organic search. Her vision is to change the way people think of and perform organic search optimization.

Roy Pereira, President and Founder, Shiny Ads, an advertising technology company focused on helping online publishers maximize revenue from advertisers of all sizes. Roy has over 15 years of experience in technology companies and has been involved in 5 startups with his first in 1992 which focused on Internet and Email software. He has been a marketing executive at both medium-sized public corporations and VC-funded startups, and also has a highly technical background with several patents and Internet standards to his name.

The Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre and the Ontario Center for Environmental Technology Advancement (OCETA) jointly host the 10-event series, which runs from September to June 2011.

For a complete schedule visit riccentre.com

Pre-Registration $25, Pay at Event $30 (covers breakfast and parking). To register, visit www.riccentre.com.

For more information, contact Shantanu at shantanu@riccentre.com or at (905) 273-3530.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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By Shantanu Mittal

It may not have Dragon Den’s fancy sets, but the companies, the investors and the money are equally as real.

‘The Pitch’ is a new weekly show on the Business News Network that aims to connect Canadian entrepreneurs with risk capitalists who are sitting on real money. Entrepreneurs have 90 seconds to pitch their company to a panel of investors and ask for capital to fund their idea. In addition, the show is filmed 100% live and gives the viewers a chance to see how entrepreneurs react in high pressure situations.

Andrew McNabb, CEO of MetaFLO Technologies had an opportunity present his technology at the show last week.

MetaFLO Technologies is an environmental technology company with a leading-edge treatment process for converting liquid waste to a solid. Andrew delivered a well-crafted pitch and his grasp of the company’s value proposition and business model quickly impressed the panel of investors. The panel, consisting of Rick Nathan, Managing Director of Kensington Capital Partners; John Varghese, CEO of VentureLink Group of Funds and Brian Kobus, Senior Associate of Summerhill Venture Partners, were all intrigued by MetaFlo’s Technology and unanimously agreed that they would be interested in talking further.

Andrew has been a client with the RIC Centre for about a year and has worked closely with our Entrepreneur-in-Residence, David Pasieka in developing MetaFLO’s business strategy and investor presentation. Andrew and his fellow colleagues at MetaFLO have also attended and actively participated in RIC Centre’s Growing Your Business seminars and workshops.

Watch the full show at The Pitch.

Shantanu Mittal is graduate student pursuing his Masters of Biotechnology from the University of Toronto Mississauga. He is currently the communications officer for the RIC Centre, a role which has helped him understand the world of entrepreneurship and business development. With his expertise in the life sciences and green technology sector, he has been able to provide valuable feedback to clients along with the entrepreneur-in-residence. Shantanu hopes to pursue a future in business development in the biotechnology or green technology industries.


The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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