Known as zones, Ryerson University has 10 on-campus incubators throughout its downtown Toronto campus. These incubators act as a gateway to the university for start-ups, talent, and research and industry partners, and provide experiential learning opportunities for Ryerson students. Through these zones, students and the broader community have the chance to solve real-world problems, learn new skills, and gain tangible experience.
Each zone focuses on a specific industry, such as, biomedical, interdisciplinary, fashion, and clean energy. At the zones, students access resources and mentors to help develop their own ideas, or collaborate on someone else’s.
As of April 2017, 320 start-ups have resulted from zone learning at Ryerson. These start-ups have received more than $300 million in seed funding and have created more than 2,200 jobs over the past five years. Industry partners include, Amazon AWS, CCI Bioenergy, Cineplex Odeon, HubSpot, IBM, LexisNexis, Microsoft, and Osler LLP.
Ryerson University electrical engineering graduates, Ahsan ul Alam, Joseph Tam, and Sabbir Ahmed, founded Electrefy through the Centre for Urban Energy (the clean energy zone). The business revolutionizes electric vehicle charging stations with fast-charging technology that recharges a vehicle up to 80 per cent in less than 20 minutes. The students had access to resources and mentorship through the clean energy zone with an advisory board that consisted of industry experts from Alectra Inc., Schneider Electric, and IESO.