Do you have an innovative idea you want to turn into a commercial venture?

CEED | Innovator Program will help you understand, quantify, and communicate the business value of your innovation.

CEED | Innovator Program is for founders, researchers, or business builders with an idea. If you have an idea that you want to turn into a business, this is the beginning of the journey.

Under the guidance of a Lead Facilitator and Advisor, you will master steps to help you lead into new design thinking and problem-solving processes.

Using the WKI Ideation Program: So, what? Who cares? Why you? ® we will guide you to move from ideation to initiation. Through presentations, collaboration, storytelling, and reflection, you will gain insights into your customer’s pain points and proceed confidently toward thoughtful, effective, and innovative solutions.

The CEED Innovator Program utilizes the WKI Ideation Program: So what? Who cares? Why you?® – a step-by-step, easy-to-use design thinking methodology with frameworks that guide people to explore the best path forward for their ideas to impact the world. These visual design frameworks ask users to dive deep into topics of product/market fit, customer discovery, customer use cases, competitive differentiation, and financial viability.

This nine-session program includes online self-paced learning, instructional group sessions, office hour support and one-on-one coaching.

Over nine weeks, we will help you answer the following topics:

  • So What?

    • What’s your idea? Identify your idea’s big picture

    • What is the problem? Learn to make a case to show others its value

    • Where does your idea fit? Explore the commercial landscape to recognize the problems your idea can solve

  • Who Cares?

    • Who is your customer? Learn industry specifics to define your innovation’s target markets

    • What is your path to market? Identify your existing contact network to help support your idea’s launch

    • What is your competitive edge? Accurately profile potential rivals to cultivate a competitive edge

  • Why You?

    • Can you execute? Analyze the key elements of your idea that will support a compelling business

    • What is your story? Express the business value of your idea in a clear and compelling format.

    • Ready to pitch your idea? Create a value proposition that can be used as a pitch deck for funding and investment opportunities. 

What makes this program impactful?

Turning ideas into tangible opportunities isn’t easy. CEED Innovator Program is founder-focused, which means you are on your feet, working with other founders and innovators, and sharing advice and ideas for nine weeks.

It’s about business value, not business planning. This program provides a guided and safe space for those who might not consider themselves businesspeople to sketch, model, and map the business possibilities of their idea and validate that it makes sense to pursue that idea and build a business opportunity from it.

These are not training classes. You can expect a small group of 5-7 founders, each with a product idea or concept they’re passionate about bringing to market.  These are interactive discussions that explore and define a business idea’s potential.

How will this program be helpful?

  • Coaching

  • Office hours

  • Mentorship opportunities

  • Networking

  • Ecosystem Resources

  • Training and Fundamental Framework needed for the Ideation Stage

  • Storyline to seek Seed Funding

  • Potential for bridging into Incubators and Accelerator Programs

What’s the outcome?

At the end of this nine-week journey, you can confidently pitch your business idea to anyone, including important audiences like funding organizations, incubators, accelerators, potential investors, potential partners, early collaborators, and potential clients. Or you will feel confident to decide that it is an idea with no business value and feel comfortable moving away from it

What makes you a perfect candidate for this program?

  • You have an innovative idea supported by R&D
  • You have a disruptive business idea in the ideation or early Startup phase
  • You are open to exploring and changing your business idea as you work through the program
  • You are ready to commit at least 8 hours a week to the program
  • You are serious about pursuing this idea
  • You are committed to completing the program

Additional details:

Price: $499; subsidized by ACOA ($1,500 total price)
Length: 9 sessions (3 hours eachThursdays3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Includes: 27 hours of interactive curriculum delivery + 3 one-hour, one-on-one advisory sessions + 1 year access to WKI Online subscription
Delivery: Online

How to register:

To enroll in the CEED | Innovator Program, participants must book a qualification call with Innovator Program lead to discuss eligibility. Those that are eligible are then invited to proceed with the registration process.

Applications are now open for our Fall 2023 Cohort (applications will close on Tuesday, December 19, at noon ADT.

The Winter Program is scheduled to run every Tuesday from January 9, 2024, to March 19, 2024.

Have you completed this program? Are you interested in sharing a testimonial with us about your journey at CEED?