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U of T Career Fair 2019

Explore employment opportunities with more than 100 diverse and global organizations. University of Toronto students from all years, all fields of study and campuses are invited, as well as recent grads.

UTM to participate in Global Climate Strike

Teach-ins, banner-making workshops, documentary viewing among organized events

UTM to participate in Global Climate Strike

UTM will be holding a series of events in support of the Global Climate Strikes taking place on September 20 and 27, which coincides with the upcoming United Nations (UN) Climate Action Summit that aims to present viable plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Climate change is clearly one of the most, if not the most, important issues of our time… The Strike represents a pedagogic moment that UTM wanted to be part of,” wrote UTM Media Relations spokesperson Nicolle Wahl to The Varsity.

Classes at UTM will not be cancelled on the days of the strikes. However, in an email, former acting Vice-President and Principal Amrita Daniere encouraged faculty to be mindful of the walkouts and to remind their students to request accommodations should they participate.

In coordination with local groups, UTM is arranging drop-in workshops for making banners supporting climate justice, one-hour sessions with professors from various facilities, and TED-style climate talks.

An event titled “Meltdown: A Climate Change Summit” will be hosted at The Maanjiwe nendamowinan Building on September 24, bringing environment and health experts, including former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Dr. Diane Saxe, to discuss the impact of climate change on health.

The week of Climate Strike events will conclude on September 25 with an outdoor screening of ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch  a multiple-award winning documentary focusing on the Anthropocene Working Group.

As part of a global effort, the Climate Strike aims to “declare a climate emergency and show our politicians what action in line with climate science and justice means,” according to its website. The global strikes are inspired by school strikers, like activist Greta Thunberg, who has been leaving class every Friday since last August in protest of the climate crisis.

In a video in support of the Global Climate Strike, Thunberg said, “This shouldn’t be the children’s responsibility. Now the adults also need to help us, so we are calling for them to strike from their work because we need everyone.”

Climate change is clearly one of the most, if not the most, important issues of our time

U of T faced criticism in 2016 when President Meric Gertler opted not to divest from all fossil fuel companies, instead choosing to assess investments individually.

The UN Climate Action Summit, occurring the same week as the strikes, is urging world leaders to enact plans that address more than just fossil fuel mitigation and encouraging countries to move forward in fully transitioning to sustainable economies. This includes prioritizing renewable forms of energy, such as solar and wind, and removing subsidies for fossil fuels.

The UN also emphasized that these climate action plans must not add to economic inequality and that those negatively affected by shifts toward renewable energy production must be given new opportunities.

UTSG and UTSC have not announced any events for the Global Climate Strike. A full list of UTM’s Global Climate Strike events with dates and locations can be found on their website.

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

A guide to U of T’s incubators and accelerators

Where to launch your business at U of T

A guide to U of T’s incubators and accelerators

In 2018, U of T ranked among the top five universities in the world for launching a business. Incubators and accelerators facilitate the launch of most businesses; an incubator launches an idea into a startup, while an accelerator helps an existing business grow and develop. If you want to launch your own business, here’s a guide to U of T’s 11 incubators and accelerators. 

The University of Toronto Early Stage Technology Program (UTEST) is a year-long program that focuses on high-potential technology developed at U of T. UTEST partners with Mitacs, MaRS, and Ontario Centres of Excellence, among others, to provide services to early-stage ventures. UTEST assists students, faculty, and recent alumni with developing business plans, and provides legal advice and office space to launch their business. UTEST applications are due in May each year and final decisions are made in June. It will invest $100,000 in selected businesses, with access to an additional $500,000 in capital. Twelve companies participated in UTEST’s 2018 cohort for innovations, ranging from surgical adhesives to wound treatments. 

The University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Hub hosts a startup competition to help students and recent alumni launch their ideas into businesses. The Hub’s fifth annual intake will be held on Saturday, November 16 when entrepreneurs will compete for up to $5,000 in seed capital. The Hub has launched over 130 startups since its inception five years ago. To name a few, the Hub has helped launch CheaprEats, an on-campus food ordering app that rewards users; Weav, a ride-sharing app designed for students to carpool with one another, and BlumeX, a venture dedicated to helping startups hit sales targets. 

ICUBE is an incubator based in the Institute for Management & Innovation at UTM, but isn’t restricted to UTM students. ICUBE has a three-stage system: Startup, Scaleup, and SXL Grant. Startup includes extensive support for refining a business plan. Scaleup is for companies that have made less than $100,000, and includes networking opportunities and smaller cash prizes. SXL Grant comes with a 50 per cent labour coverage for one employee when the company hires a UTM student. Notable ICUBE alumni include Just Vertical, a company that promotes food sustainability, and Micharity, an innovative fundraising platform. 

Department of Computer Science Innovation Lab (DCSIL) is a startup incubator and accelerator for innovations rooted in computer science. In addition to helping launch businesses through their Research to Commercialization Program, the DCSIL offers courses in software and product development to undergraduate and graduate students. It works with U of T, government organizations, industry partners, venture capital firms, and other incubators and accelerators to commercialize promising innovations. In the past, the DCSIL has helped launch Brainsview, a software company that can monitor brain injuries in real time, and deepPIXEL, a company working to improve and automate online customer support. 

The Entrepreneurship Hatchery is a place where student entrepreneurs can submit any problem online to the Hatchery Idea Market, and their team will help them find a solution. The Hatchery operates through two streams: NEST is designed for students interested in launching or growing a startup, while the Launch Lab facilitates startups born out of graduate-level research. Previously, the Hatchery has helped launch Vercel, a company that created a subzero preservation system that extends the life of organs for transplant, and Medme, a smart pillbox that helps patients manage their medications. Each year, the Hatchery hosts Demo Day, an event that showcases startups that participated in NEST’s rigorous four-month program. 

Start@UTIAS is part of the U of T Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) and collaborates with the Hatchery to help students in UTIAS develop their business ideas. Start@UTIAS applicants can apply to the Hatchery’s Launch Lab, NEST, and social program streams and are eligible for up to $60,000 in funding. One of the successful past winners is Medchart, a cloud-based portal that gives patients access to their medical records. TeaBOT, a startup which sells robots that can custom-blend teas in under 30 seconds, participated in the Start@UTIAS program in 2015. 

The BRIDGE is an accelerator built on a partnership between the Department of Management at UTSC and the UTSC library that emphasizes experiential learning. The BRIDGE is best known for its New Venture Program, which allows students from a range of disciplines to gain business planning and management skills through industry and community placements. Program placement is contingent upon submission of a letter of intent, the completion of required coursework, and an interview. The BRIDGE also functions as a working space and a resource for business and financial services. Most recently, the BRIDGE collaborated with DCSIL and IBM Watson to launch a chatbot for Canadian financial services and information. 

The Impact Centre is an accelerator that aims to bring scientific discoveries to the market. The Impact Centre provides opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to learn about entrepreneurship through Techno, a week-long course on entrepreneurship, and also provides opportunities for eligible undergraduate students to work in startups for course credit. Some of the Impact Centre’s alumni include RealAtoms, a reinvented molecular modelling kit for students; Somnitude, a company developing artificial-light blocking glasses; and Pueblo Science, a non-profit organization focused on science literacy.

Health Innovation Hub (H2i) is an incubator that supports innovations, advances, and research in health care. H2i promotes external affiliate events such as ECHO, an entrepreneurship in cardiovascular health startup competition during which five ideas are judged and awarded from a $250,000 pool. In addition, H2i hosts the Pitch Perfect health matters competition, which awards $5,000 each to three fellowship winners. In the past, H2i has helped launch Scipertise, an online platform for scientists to share tips and tricks for scientific methods and troubleshooting equipment. H2i has also helped early-stage pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies like Porphysome Foundry and Phoenox Pharma get off the ground. 

The Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a seed-stage incubator for companies developing innovations in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, clean technology, space, and more. As part of the Rotman School of Management, CDL provides companies with mentors in business and scientific development. CDL has one round of application intake per year, which took place in August. Since its creation in 2012, CDL has launched over 500 companies and has generated $3 billion in equity. One of the more well-known companies launched through CDL, Kepler Communications, works to build internet connectivity and improve real-time communication through satellites. 

The Innovation Hub (iHub) is a student-led initiative that has adopted an empathetic approach to design in order to drive social change at U of T. Launched in 2016, iHub selects a number of projects to work on each year through student, staff, and faculty input. For example, iHub is now working to make Convocation Hall more accessible, and working with the Family Care Office to better accommodate students with families. In the past, this grassroots initiative has helped St. Michael’s College become more equipped to welcome international students and worked with Indigenous Student Services to better curate services for its students. iHub encourages students to submit their own ideas or join existing teams to work on projects.

UTM: Third Annual Smarti Gras

Celebrate undergraduate research at UTM!

Date: Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Location: IB 150 and IB Atrium
BBQ lunch: Free for presenters; $5 for other attendees
Registration: Click the link to register!

The UTM Office of the Vice-Principal, Research, in collaboration with the Office of the Dean and the UTM Association of Graduate Students, is holding its third annual Smarti Gras.

Established in 2016, Smarti Gras celebrates the research conducted by undergraduate students over the summer.

Students from the Research Opportunity Program, recipients of the Undergraduate Student Research Awards and recipients of the University of Toronto Excellence Awards share their work in the humanities, the social sciences and the sciences through oral and poster presentations. Close to 60 posters and nine oral presentations will be featured.

The fun and festivities include a BBQ lunch with a vegetarian option, ice cream (while supplies last) and music. The BBQ lunch is free for oral and poster presenters, and $5 for other attendees. BBQ lunch tickets will be sold the day of the event at the Smarti Gras registration table near IB 150. Quantities are limited!

The UTM Community is invited to register to attend and join in the celebration of UTM’s young researchers.

A guide to UTM

Your four-stop guide to survival at U of T’s deer-filled campus

A guide to UTM

Welcome to UTM, the University of Toronto’s second-largest campus! 

While it is possible to survive U of T’s one-of-a-kind postsecondary experience without any sense of direction — I am living proof — it might be easier if you let me guide you through the four cornerstones of your stay here at UTM.

Your first stop: caffeine, the unhealthy addiction that will stay with you well into your mid-thirties!

If you want hot bean water without breaking the bank, the two Tim Hortons Express locations in the Davis and Communication, Culture, & Technology (CCT) buildings are the way to go. If you opt for a frozen or iced caffeine hit, prepare to wait for at least 10 minutes in line at the Tim’s in The Meeting Place.

Alternatively, you can join the queue at the Starbucks across the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre — or what us mere mortals just call the library. The only coffee places without much of a wait are the Second Cup in the Kaneff Centre and the coffee vending machine in the Instructional Centre (IB).

Your second stop: food, because the Freshman 15 won’t gain itself. 

If you want overpriced and undercooked food, feel free to head to the Temporary Food Court in Davis, Oscar Peterson Hall, or the eateries at Deerfield Hall and the new North Building. 

If you want to consume food without bankrupting yourself, The Blind Duck ­— the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union’s student pub — is the place to go. Its meat is halal, it has vegetarian options, and it’s neighbours with Chatime, meaning you can go get your bubble tea fix after your meal. 

The Subway in the IB and the Pizza Pizza in Davis also provide edible food. However, if you want to go the fast food route, take either the 110N, 101E, or 1CE buses to the South Common Popeyes. You can get a sandwich for $4.49 on Wednesdays, which includes lettuce and tomatoes with your fried chicken, so you won’t feel like you’re completely poisoning your body. If the nagging feeling of guilt after eating is what you’re going for, then head to the Pita Land next door, which offers The Cheesecake Factory cheesecake slices for $4.99!

Your third stop: study, because you need a 1.50 cumulative GPA to remain in good standing.

The library is the best and quietest place to study at UTM if you need to access technology and Wi-Fi. However, if you don’t want to rub elbows with plebeians from York, Ryerson, and McMaster — who sometimes also come study at UTM — there are many desks and couches available on the upper floors of the IB, Deerfield, and the new North Building. If you work best amidst noise, the Meeting Place in the Davis building just got a facelift. If waiting forever for your Wi-Fi to connect is more your vibe, try Kaneff, and if you want your laptop to die on you because none of the outlets work and there is no place to charge it, the CCT is perfect!

Your fourth stop: sleep, the only place where U of T won’t haunt you — much.

The Student Centre has a nap room, but I cannot vouch for whether or not it is… appropriate. The best places to rest your eyes are either the couches in the basement of the library or those on the upper levels of the IB. Wherever you choose to sleep, however, remember to BYOB ­­— bring your own blanket. 

Disclosure: Zeahaa Rehman was the 2018–2019 UTM Bureau Chief of The Varsity.

UTM: Wellness Routes — Weekly Nature Walks

Posture and Gait Analysis
Led by Darren Turner. Departing at 12:10 pm sharp from the RAWC entrance. Stop Slouching! Too often we are stuck sitting at our desk, driving or bent over which can lead to a variety of repetitive strain injuries. Learn what proper posture and gait are and some simple cues you can use to improve yours.

UTM: A Little Touch of the Caribbean

Learn about Caribbean culture with this event in the Student Centre Presentation Room featuring a Caribbean Dance Workout followed by a Lunch & Culture presentation.

UTM: Wellness Routes — Weekly Nature Walks

Life Hack — How to Sneak in a Workout!
Led by Cindy Macdonald. Departing at 12:10 pm sharp from the RAWC entrance. Learn the many ways you can sneak exercise back into your daily life to keep your metabolism working for longer. Experience a series of 1 minute workouts to stretch and move while at your desk to help meet your recommended daily movement.