Press releases

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas Partners with Mitacs to Launch eAccelerate Program for Student and Postdoctoral Entrepreneurs

March 8, 2023 – PETERBOROUGH, ON Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (“ICPK”) is excited to announce its partnership with Mitacs to launch the eAccelerate program for students and postdoctoral entrepreneurs at Trent University. This program is designed to fund students looking to further develop the research or technology at the core of their business while being hosted by an incubator facility.

Mitacs is a Canadian non-profit that connects academic researchers with industry partners to work on innovative research projects to generate impactful outcomes and drive economic growth. Since 2003, Mitacs has facilitated over 10,000 research collaborations between academia, industry, and government.

The eAccelerate program aims to help early-stage businesses develop, pilot and test new products, service, or technology. It also enables entrepreneurs to improve an existing product, service, or technology. The flexibility of this program makes it an ideal option for startup companies and entrepreneurs with limited budgets. Applications are accepted anytime, and evaluation is completed within 6-8 weeks. 

Kristin Spong, Regional Director – Ontario Business Development at Mitacs, stated, “Mitacs is thrilled to partner with ICPK to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the support they need to turn their research into successful businesses. We believe our eAccelerate program will help students build the skills and experience they need to succeed as entrepreneurs.”

As part of the eAccelerate program, the Innovation Cluster will provide coaching and mentoring services to help students and postdoctoral entrepreneurs bring their ideas to fruition. The coaching and mentoring services will be tailored to meet the unique needs of each student entrepreneur. The Innovation Cluster’s team of experienced business mentors and experts will work closely with students to help them develop their business plans, refine their value proposition, and identify potential customers and markets for their products or services. 

In addition to one-on-one coaching and mentoring, the Innovation Cluster will provide access to a wide range of resources and services to help students succeed. These include access to workshops and training programs, networking opportunities, and incubator facilities equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure.

By offering these services, the Innovation Cluster aims to empower student and postdoctoral entrepreneurs to turn their research and innovation into successful businesses that  will contribute to the growth of the local economy. Through its partnership with Mitacs, the Innovation Cluster is helping to bridge the gap between academia and industry by fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes region.

Trent University is a key partner of the Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawartha Lakes. Through this partnership, Trent University students and postdoctoral entrepreneurs will have access to the resources and services provided by the ICPK. This collaboration between Trent University and the ICPK is a testament to the commitment of both institutions to promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in the Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes region. Trent University is a natural fit for the partnership between ICPK and Mitacs, and it will work collaboratively to include students and postdoctoral entrepreneurs from Trent.

Nicole Stephenson, Interim CEO of Innovation Cluster, added, “We are excited to partner with Mitacs and Trent University to offer the eAccelerate program to our clients. By providing students and postdoctoral entrepreneurs with access to resources, mentorship, and funding, we hope to help them bring their ideas to fruition and contribute to the growth of our local economy.”

The partnership between ICPK, Trent University, and Mitacs will give aspiring entrepreneurs the resources they need to succeed. Dr. Cathy Bruce, vice-president of Research and Innovation at Trent University, said, “The eAccelerate Program builds on our good work in the Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Centre at Trent, with Mitacs and the Innovation Cluster. This program will provide our students with additional supports and resources to propel their research experiences toward viable business opportunities.”

To launch eAccelerate, the Innovation Cluster and Mitacs will co-host an information session on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, from 12 to 1 pm at the Innovation Cluster, located in the VentureNorth Building. The session aims to provide information about the Mitacs program and its benefits. 

Additionally, an open house event will be held from 1 to 3 pm at the Innovation Cluster on the same day to celebrate the Mitacs, Trent University and ICPK partnership. The open house event will also be a social and networking opportunity for all students, faculty, partners and existing clients. 

Students and postdoctoral candidates interested in participating in the eAccelerate program, can verify their eligibility by contacting the Innovation Cluster ( The Innovation Cluster can support candidates in submitting an application to the program. 

For more information about the eAccelerate program visit

About the Innovation Cluster 

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (ICPK) is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs to launch, grow and scale their businesses. They help entrepreneurs reach their business goals so that our local community, job market, and economy continue to grow.

The ICPK supports startup businesses by providing dynamic programming, mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs through three core programs.

STARTUP INCUBATOR – a full-service Startup Incubator Program

STARTup Visa Program Canada – an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Program

FastStart – Student Entrepreneurship Program

For more information on the ICPK, visit Innovation Cluster at 

Core Funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, Peterborough Region Angel Network, The City of Kawartha Lakes, OMAFRA, Feddev Ontario, and Franklin Empire. 

About Mitacs

Mitacs: Inspiring innovation and driving creative solutions

Mitacs empowers Canadian innovation through effective partnerships that deliver solutions to our most pressing problems. For over 20 years, Mitacs has assisted organizations in reaching their goals, has funded cutting-edge innovation, and has created job opportunities for students and postdocs. We are committed to driving economic growth and productivity and to creating meaningful change to improve quality of life for all Canadians.

Our mission is to build a world-class, diverse community of innovators through our collaborative model, attracting and deploying top talent to industry, and matching need with expertise to create ambitious solutions to real-world challenges.

We believe that increasing Canada’s productivity and prosperity will be driven by successful innovation and we’re passionate about developing the next generation of researchers who will work to fuel Canada’s knowledge-based economy.

Discover us at

About Trent University

One of Canada’s top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that’s personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent’s unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent’s students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent’s Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.


Media Contact

Innovation Cluster

Nicole Stephenson

Interim CEO

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