How do I apply? Do I need to submit a business plan?
You can apply online here. You don’t need to submit a business plan with your application, but if you have one, please include it. At this stage, the Centre wants to see that you have a solid business model, not necessarily that you have a comprehensive business plan.
What is the application deadline?
There’s no deadline. Once we receive your application, we review it and do our due diligence on your business idea. If it meets the Centre’s entrance requirements, we will ask you to present your idea to the Selection Committee which meets on demand to review applications. It takes an average of 6-8 weeks for the entire process.
How does the Genesis Centre select clients?
Admission to the Genesis Centre is based on an assessment of the entrepreneur, the technology, and the growth potential of the proposed venture. Entrepreneurs must be able to drive a start-up in its early stage and be able to handle the business aspects of operating a venture. Genesis Clients must show the potential to achieve multimillion-dollar annual revenue within a few years of commercialization.The technology is assessed in terms of its intellectual property, its industry application and the ability to produce or develop that technology.
On the recommendation of Genesis Centre staff, an applicant can present to the Centre's Selection Committee, which meets on demand to review applications.
Is the Genesis Centre owned by Memorial?
The Genesis Centre is owned by Memorial University, but is governed by an independent Board of Directors. Our association with Memorial has many advantages, including helping start-ups tap into the physical, technical, and scientific resources available through Atlantic Canada’s largest university.
What is the Genesis Group versus the Genesis Centre?
The Genesis Centre is a division of the Genesis Group Inc., which is a separately incorporated entity of Memorial University.
Do you need to be a student to apply?
No, you don’t need to be a student to apply. We welcome applications from people who are pursuing technology-based start-ups at all stages of growth.
Does the Genesis Centre provide start-up funding?
We are not a funding provider. One of the valuable services we provide is advising clients on various funding sources available to them. We work with clients to help them secure the most suitable funding through private and public funding sources.
Once accepted, how long are you a client of the Genesis Centre?
Clients are allowed to stay in the Genesis Centre for 3 years as long as they continue to meet milestones of achievement along the way. Companies may graduate early if they receive a significant round of investment or reach another similar milestone.
Is my company “too far along” to apply to the Genesis Centre?
Start-ups come into the Genesis Centre at all stages of growth. So it’s unlikely that your company is too far along. The best thing is to talk to us before you send in an application and we can advise you. Please contact Michelle Simms.
I am still developing my business idea. Can I come in and talk to the Genesis Centre team about it?
The Genesis Centre helps start-ups in all stages of idea development. Evolution is a program for candidates who want to apply to the Genesis Centre. It’s an 8-week intensive workshop to help entrepreneurs identify their markets and validate their idea. Visit our Evolution FAQ section below for more information.
If you’re still in the idea stage and want to explore a technology concept, IdeaLab is for you. You can take a desk at the Genesis Centre for a few days to explore your idea with our in-house team. For a tour and to learn more about IdeaLab, contact Angelo Casanas.
What services and opportunities does the Genesis Centre provide?
Every start-up is different. We offer a variety of programs and services to assist start-ups through all stages of idea development. In addition to providing physical working space alongside other entrepreneurs, we help start-ups obtain access to marketing, finance, top industry mentors and management resources to help them succeed.
What is expected of a Genesis Centre client?
We expect clients to work hard and grow their technology using all the resources and services available to them through the Genesis Centre. We also expect them to set milestones and meet them so they grow their start up. We connect clients with top mentors and advisors who have the experience to help them. We expect clients to tap into all these resources and use them to grow their company.
Is there a cost involved with becoming a client of the Genesis Centre?
Yes, the Genesis Centre charges rent for office space as well as on some of the services we provide to start-up clients. The cost is below market value however, to help our client companies in the early years of their start-up. Please speak with Michelle Simms to learn more.
Does the Genesis Centre only support companies that are based in Newfoundland and Labrador?
Yes, the Genesis Centre’s mandate is to support high-growth, technology based companies in Newfoundland and Labrador to create wealth for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Can I apply if I live outside of the Northeast Avalon?
Yes, you can apply if you live outside the Northeast Avalon. We will work with any company based in Newfoundland and Labrador from a distance if they are located outside the Northeast Avalon. We have done this many times before and have a process in place for making this work efficiently. We also have a space in the Genesis Centre where clients off the Northeast Avalon can work if they visit St. John’s.
Can I apply if I’m not from Canada?
Yes, but you must be living in Newfoundland and Labrador to become a Genesis Centre client. For more information regarding our Start-up Visa Program, visit here.
I am looking for a business partner. Can the Genesis Centre help?
We work closely with business leaders in many sectors. We encourage you to come in and talk to us. After an initial meeting, we may be able to connect you with an industry contact that can provide additional business advice.
Is the Genesis Centre open for visits and tours?
Yes, we welcome visitors with some advance notice. To book a tour, contact Michelle Simms.
I have more questions. Can I talk to someone at the Genesis Centre?
We encourage you to contact us by phone, by email or in person. For details click here.
What does the Genesis Centre look for in a mentor?
Mentors are volunteers who want to bring their extensive industry experience to start-ups. Mentors provide guidance in diverse areas including management, private and public funding, technology and product development, corporate governance, go-to-market strategy, and marketing and branding. To find out more, apply today.
What does the Genesis Centre look for in an advisor for start-ups?
We look for business experts with a variety of backgrounds, experience and viewpoints to serve as advisors for our start-ups. We ask you to attend approximately one advisory board meeting per quarter to help with strategic planning, problem solving and providing business advice. Our objective is to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with “real world” business expertise to help them navigate through the process of building a successful start-up. It is a great opportunity for business leaders to get firsthand insight and access to start-ups and lead them on a road to commercial success. If you have expertise and you would like to become an advisor, please contact Michelle Simms. Apply to become an advisor today.
Is Evolution for technology-based ideas only?
No, the Evolution summer program is only open to both technology and main street startups. Entrepreneurs who want to validate their business idea in any industry sector are welcome to apply.
How do I know if I should apply for the Genesis Centre’s incubation program or Evolution?
If you have a business idea and would like to take the next step in commercialization, the Evolution program is your best option. It is an eight week program that helps you validate your idea to see if you can take it to the next level. Our incubation program is an intensive three-year program that is based on an assessment of an entrepreneur, the technology, and the growth potential of the proposed venture. Many people start with Evolution and then decide if they are ready to apply to our incubation program.
Am I guaranteed a place in the three year incubation program if I do the Evolution program?
Evolution participants are not guaranteed a place in the Genesis Centre’s three-year incubation program, but priority is given to participants who have gone through Evolution.
How far along do I need to be with my idea/venture to apply to Evolution?
As you have filled out the Business Model Canvas, you are welcome to apply to the program.
What does the $100 program fee cover?
The fee covers the operational and logistical costs of the program, meals, as well as membership to the program's alumni and mentor network.
What is the schedule like for Evolution? How often do we meet?
The program runs for 8 weeks with in-person workshops accounting for about 2 hours/ week. Participants are expected to work on their ventures off-site. This includes an e-learning module and conducting customer interviews.
What is the structure of Evolution?
The Evolution program is delivered in person through the weekly 2-hour workshops, which includes mentoring, but it’s also essential for participants to complete the e-learning sessions and complete the customer interviews.
What companies have gone through it?
How do you protect my business idea and Intellectual Property?
The Evolution program is derived from best practices, which includes the Lean Startup methodology that has a strong focus on customer development. While IP is protected, validation through customer interviews is strongly emphasized in the program.