The inaugural Summer Entrepreneurs program is designed to provide USask students with the skills, mindset and knowledge to become full-fledged entrepreneurs.

USask launches unique Summer Entrepreneurs program

SASKATOON, SK. — The University of Saskatchewan’s commercialization unit Innovation Enterprise (IE) is embarking on a new initiative to train, inspire and motivate the next generation of successful entrepreneurs, while bringing USask innovations to the world.

The inaugural Summer Entrepreneurs (SE) program, which started May 1 and will run to the end of August, is designed to provide USask students with the skills, mindset and knowledge to become full-fledged entrepreneurs.  

Five USask research innovations that are potentially suitable candidates for start-ups have been  selected by student teams. Fifteen USask students with entrepreneurial passion and drive from six USask colleges will explore the commercial viability of the five innovative technologies during the summer months.

With the support of the technology inventor, business mentors, and advisors from IE, teams will be asked to pinpoint the business opportunity, assess the market potential of their solution, and build a commercialization plan for it.

At the end of the summer, teams showing substantial and tangible market traction and strong desire will receive the exclusive right to build their own business based on the technology, with an attractive no-fee, one per cent royalty license.

“This is a radically new and innovative way to turn tangible ideas into applications,” said IE Managing Director Johannes Dyring. “An inventor and an entrepreneur are not usually the same person. With this exciting initiative, we are bringing together various resources—vetted technologies, talent, experience, knowledge, and networks—to contribute to diversification and economic growth. We’re tapping into the hidden talent we know exists on campus.”

Students will participate in several exercises and pitching events through the summer months. Teams (companies) have been formed around each of the five innovations, and each team has four or five mentors ready to coach them through the next couple of months. 


Summer Entrepreneurs 2019 “companies” and technologies are:


USask Technology


Novel ornamental faba beans

Cole Boser (Edwards School of Business), Todd Thorsness (College of Engineering), Jessa Hughes (College of Ag & Bioresources)

Food-safe bio-lubricant

Ericmoore Jossou (College of Engineering), Joseph Omale College of Engineering), Patricia Tozatti (College of Ag & Bioresources)

Diagnostic medical image management tool

Saman Naghieh, Ahmed Monjurul Hasan, Alen Thomas (College of Engineering)

Improved oral airway device

Cuylar Conly, Udoka Okpalauwaekwe (College of Medicine), Yash Shukla (College of Engineering and College of Arts & Science)

Food tracebility system

Kevin Voth (College of Arts & Science),  Natasha Breward (College of Pharmacy & Nutrition), Saeed Ghanbari (College of Engineering )


Mentors for Summer Entreprenurs program 2019:





Greg Sutton

CEO and Founder

TinyEYE Therapies

Depesh Parmar

Executive Director

Ideas Inc.

Himanshu Singh



Tony Zuck

CFO, President, Co-Founder


Doug Campbell

Director, Strategy and Innovation

Saskatchewan Health Authority

Laurie Dmytryshyn

Chief of Equity Investment

PIC Investment Group

Jeff Dyck

Director of Engineering

Mentor, a Siemens Business

David Gauthier

VP Investment

Natural Products Canada

Brad Bly

Director of Commercialization


Serese Selanders

CEO and Founder


Jackie Martin

VP and Founder

Viking Innovations, TinySpark Boutique

Annette Bester

Partner and National Credit Union Leader


David Krebs


Miller Thomson LLP

Derrek Hoffman


Miller Thomson LLP

Rob Hendry


Miller Thomson LLP

Doug Konkin

Director, Product Management

International Road Dynamics

Andreé Carpentier



Mike Crabtree

President and CEO

Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC)

Wanda Nyirfa

Vice-President Communications, Growth Services and Risk


Dale Lemke


QuickLinkt solutions

Tom Kishchuk

VP Operational Support

Federated Co-operatives Ltd

Michal Wesolowski

Founder and CEO, Adjunct Professor

Luxsonic and Department of Medical Imaging, Usask


Summer Entrepreneurs program supporters include:

  • Co.Labs
  • College of Agriculture and Bioresources, USask
  • College of Arts and Science, USask
  • College of Engineering, USask
  • College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, USask
  • College of Medicine, USask
  • Edwards School of Business, USask
  • Innovation Place
  • Miller Thomson LLP
  • Natural Products Canada
  • Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC)
  • VIDO-InterVac

About USask Innovation Enterprise
Innovation Enterprise initiates, develops, commercializes and implements innovative, sustainable and knowledge-based solutions generated by the University of Saskatchewan. Find out more: www.research.usask.ca/ie

For more information, contact:

Johannes Dyring
Innovation Enterprise
University of Saskatchewan

Jennifer Thoma
Media Relations Specialist
University of Saskatchewan

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