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The Summer Institute accelerator seeks entrepreneurs with a global mindset

(The fourth cohort during their July final celebration. Photo Credit: UNB Media Services)

The Summer Institute with the J Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management & Entrepreneurship has opened applications for its fifth season and plans to recruit its most ambitious cohort yet.

“We’re looking for entrepreneurs that have a global mindset” says Program Manager Melissa Erin O’Rourke. “We want folks that have an idea for a great product or service and are motivated to grow their business beyond our borders.”

Since 2014, the Summer Institute has accelerated new ventures across several industries; from a fashion company dedicated to ending the stigma around mental health to an engineering company building energy storage systems. Originally focused on helping businesses at the University of New Brunswick, the program has broadened its scope and accepts entrepreneurs of all interests, educations, and locations.

“We recognize that it’s often entrepreneurs outside the university community that are ready for what an accelerator has to offer and we want to open our doors to everyone” says O’Rourke. “The program is personally and professionally challenging. If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, or take a big leap into entrepreneurship, then it’s definitely right for you.”

Sonya Burrill graduated from the Summer Institute in July. A chemist by trade, Burrill was experimenting with a new process that allows her to distill non-toxic essential oils. She brought her idea to the Summer Institute and founded her company Tilia shortly after starting the program. Burrill says the Summer Institute was invaluable to her growth as an entrepreneur. “In a few short weeks, the program took me from having an idea in the lab to managing my own company. It was exhilarating, stressful, and worth it for the amount of progress that was made.”

Dr. Dhirendra Shukla is the Chair of the J Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management & Entrepreneurship and Managing Director of the Summer Institute. He says supporting ambitious entrepreneurs like Burrill will improve the economic outlook for the region. “The Summer Institute provides mentorship, education, and financial support for passionate people who dream of making a big impact on the world. By empowering these people, and enabling their success, we move the economic dial in the right direction: towards meaningful and sustained growth.”

The Summer Institute runs from April 28 - July 20 2018. Applications are open to all aspiring entrepreneurs and close February 5th.

More information on the program can be found at


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