Opus pre-accelerator programming focuses on commercializing deep tech innovations that are research-based. (Photo: Submitted)

Innovation Saskatchewan provides $210,000 to USask’s Opus to support start-up development

Innovation Saskatchewan has announced a new partnership with Opus, the University of Saskatchewan's (USask) start-up incubator, which includes a $210,000 investment over three years to support the organization's pre-accelerator programming.

The funding will support Opus programming streams that target different timelines in the entrepreneurship lifecycle to drive startup development.

  • Idea2Explore (i2Explore) provides year-round opportunities for anyone at USask to explore entrepreneurship through events and curated meetings with advisors.
  • Innovate2Build (i2Build) runs annually over 10 months as successful program applicants participate in bi-monthly workshops as well as mentor and advisor meetings.
  • Impact2Market (i2Market) runs long-term and offers targeted mentorships for i2Build graduates by requiring participants to meet business growth milestones.
  • Opus Student Ambassador Program, is a student-led initiative that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with business acumen and an entrepreneurial mindset through engaging campus activities.

Opus pre-accelerator programming focuses on commercializing deep tech innovations that are research-based, equipping founders with the necessary skills for startup development and facilitating their progression to other accelerators and incubators like Co.Labs and Cultivator.

“Opus plays an important role in Saskatchewan’s innovation ecosystem and helps to add capacity for research-backed entrepreneurs and startup founders in academia,” said Jeremy Harrison, Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan. “This partnership boosts the province’s innovation network and further strengthens Saskatchewan’s economy through the development of innovative new ideas that become successful businesses."

In its pilot year, Opus supported over 12 startups engaging with over 88 stakeholders ranging from community and business leaders, entrepreneurs and ecosystem service providers. 

"The world needs innovation mobilized into action. To do this, universities need to spread our knowledge and strike the right partnerships within our community and within industry to create transformational change,” said Alix Hayden, Director, Innovation, Mobilization and Partnerships. “Through the support of Innovation Saskatchewan, Opus will continue to be able to provide support for our innovators. They will continue to access the tools, the networks, the connections and mentorship to help turn their discoveries into solutions the world needs."


About Opus
To be the university the world needs, USask is fostering entrepreneurial thinking and culture by engaging students, faculty, staff and the community through Opus—the university’s bold, new startup incubator. Designed as a pre-accelerator, Opus provides entrepreneurial training, infrastructure and access to a network of experts needed to mobilize USask innovations out to the world and help aspiring founders realize their potential. 
Opus is part of the Innovation, Mobilization and Partnerships unit housed within the Office of the Vice President Research at the University of Saskatchewan. www.opus.usask.ca

About Innovation Saskatchewan
Innovation Saskatchewan is the central innovation agency for the Government of Saskatchewan. It is dedicated to empowering innovators and supporting Saskatchewan’s vibrant technology sector and research community, helping propel the province to a prosperous future. The agency's robust portfolio of research and technology parks, grant programs and research funding help accelerate ground-breaking advancements, support technological growth and create collaborative environments. Innovation Saskatchewan works closely with industry, academia and other stakeholders to provide strong foundations that allow our ecosystem to thrive and make Saskatchewan a world leader in innovation. Visit www.innovationsask.ca for more information.

Together, we will undertake the research the world needs. We invite you to join by supporting critical research at USask.