Slingshot Accelerator

What is Slingshot?

The RADIUS Slingshot Accelerator is a six-month program that supports early stage, social impact ventures that are ready to grow. Through Slingshot’s unique combination of cohort-based learning, individualized mentorship and equity investment, we support you to deepen your impact and become investment and market ready while connecting you to a community of like-minded, passionate entrepreneurs. 

WE INVEST IN YOU! RADIUS offers up to $25,000 investment and $15,000 in kind support  for every venture in the Slingshot Accelerator.

applications are currently closed

Who should apply?

We are recruiting inspiring entrepreneurs to accelerate social ventures that tackle the risk factors and patterns of inequity driving lifestyle-based chronic diseases. 

Lifestyle-based chronic diseases including type II diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and chronic respiratory disease currently affect three in five Canadians over the age of twenty. Indigenous, racialized people and other equity seeking groups are disproportionately affected by these four diseases. 

Social ventures tackling risk factors of lifestyle-based chronic disease may be focused on affecting individual behaviour changes such as unhealthy eating and physical inactivity – or may focus on enabling conditions for healthy behaviours including maternal literacy, food security, or interventions in the built environment. Some social ventures targeting poverty, racism and colonization, with an explicit link to health promotion and chronic disease prevention, may also be eligible for this program. 

As an example, your product or service might be: 

  • Increasing food access in underserved communities
  • Reclaiming Indigenous food systems
  • Activating public space in ways that increase safety and belonging for marginalized groups
  • Promoting active transportation, or physical activity for underserved populations
  • Contributing to healthier community or institutional environments
  • Addressing loneliness and/or social isolation
  • Increasing maternal health and literacy
  • Providing health education, or producing media that challenges dominant narratives towards a more systemic analysis of health promotion
  • Encouraging responsible use of alcohol or tobacco cessation (excluding tobacco use for cultural practices)
  • Increasing availability, acceptability or accessibility of health promoting services through a cultural safety lens
  • Or a combination of these!

Please note:

  1. Our current funding does not allow us to work with ventures whose primary intent is to support better mental health outcomes. 
  2. Food products, which do not have a cultural or educational component to them are not eligible.

Venture Stage

  • Demonstrated traction (eg. $50k-$200k in revenue or known demand),
  • Focused on broadening your impact and growing your business,
  • Driven to become growth and investment ready
  • Or existing ventures with an expansion to test (new product/service offering, geography, user, etc.)

Up to three core team members per venture can participate. RADIUS is committed to social inclusion and seeks participants from communities directly impacted by health inequities to create and incubate innovative new models, ventures, partnerships, and health system interventions as part of the Health Promotion Lab.

Still not sure about program fit? Don’t hesitate to contact us (contact info below).

Past Slingshot Ventures

Dunya Media

A media company that promotes better health outcomes for people of colour.

PlayCity App

An app that connects citizens with same skill levels through sports and recreation, increasing the health of our communities, and decreasing social isolation.

Richer Health

Program Overview

Ventures receive an immersive entrepreneurial education in a cohort-environment with benefits including:

  • Up to $25,000 investment and $15,000 in kind support 
  • 1-1 support from experienced Entrepreneur-in-Residence
  • Pro-bono services such as legal, accounting, and marketing from experienced service partners. Past cohorts have received:
  • Dedicated Advisory Board for each participant
  • Access to work space at the RADIUS Hub in Gastown
  • Promotional opportunities on RADIUS and SFU channels
  • Access to SFU student intern support, as appropriate
  • Other program perks such as free access to Clausehound, Square products and services, Amazon Web Services, Simply Accounting, and more!

Schedule: January – June 2020 (Session dates TBD)

Delivery: By RADIUS Incubation Programs Manager, Entrepreneurs-In-Residence, guest speakers, and subject experts (e.g. legal, accounting)

Advisors: Several, matched as suited to the needs of entrepreneurs

Location: RADIUS SFU (Vancouver), bi-weekly coaching calls in person or remotely

Cohort: < 8 ventures

Cost: There is no upfront fee for Slingshot. Our investment is typically up to $25,000 investment + over $15,000 in program and in kind support per venture. This total investment is in exchange for ~2% equity and a patient royalty stream based on gross revenue. 

Program Structure and Content

The 2020 Slingshot program is designed for social ventures based in the Lower Mainland, as well as participants from across Canada who are able to travel to Vancouver once per month. 

Monthly cohort sessions: 2 consecutive full-days of workshops in person in Vancouver 

Weekly homework: 5-10 hours per week focused on building your company and answering critical questions about your path to success. 

Bi-weekly coaching: 60-90 minutes bi-weekly in person or remotely

STAGE ONE: BOOTCAMP

Two-month diagnostic bootcamp to help the RADIUS team understand and meet your unique needs, while cementing your technical foundation (ie. accounting, legal, marketing, communications).  

STAGE TWO: ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP

Two months of hands on learning with your cohort, building leadership and management capacity and acumen around key themes in venture startup and growth. Sessions apply directly to your venture and support acceleration.

STAGE THREE: BUSINESS GROWTH

Two months of ongoing coaching and support as you work with a RADIUS Entrepreneur-in-Residence, service providers, and mentors in customized programming to support your growth strategy.

 

 

The Program Team

Ilhan Abdullahi

Program Manager

Ilhan is a Somali-Canadian whose parents’ migration journey brought her to these unceded Coast Salish Lands at a very young age. Stemming from her family’s experience of being racialized newcomers, Ilhan has been passionate in addressing social and health inequities and developed a commitment to social justice. Having spent some time in community activism, youth work and health promotion in the Lower Mainlands of Vancouver, Ilhan then moved to Toronto to pursue her Masters in Public Health and gain a critical intersectional analysis on what promotes vulnerability to health inequities. She has recently returned to BC and is ecstatic to get involved in health equity and community work. When she’s not working, you can find her embarking on solo travels somewhere in the world.

Vanja (VJ) Terzic

Incubation Programs Manager

Vanja (VJ) Terzic is the Incubation Programs Manager at RADIUS. He is accountable for the successful delivery of entrepreneurial education programs, promoting RADIUS’ work of “venturing in service of systems change” and ensuring a strong presence for RADIUS in the broader social venture ecosystem. VJ joins RADIUS after nearly ten years of experience in the energy sector followed by two years working with social enterprises in various capacities; as educator, facilitator, and strategist. VJ holds designations as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng), Project Management Professional (PMP), and has completed his Master of Business Administration (MBA).
While completing his MBA, he piloted a program delivering entrepreneurship business training to Indigenous communities in BC. He also volunteers as a business instructor with Junior Achievement BC to develop financial literacy skills in youth across BC. When not hard at work, he can be found playing basketball at Kits beach, conquering the local mountains, or getting lost in a book.

Holden Bonwit

Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Holden is a Venture Activator, leading early-stage business validation courses across RADIUS’ disparate Lab focus areas. He joined RADIUS after 5 years of finance and strategy consulting to dozens of entrepreneurs, management teams, and investors across North America and East Africa. His work broadly focuses on scaling up innovative business models with positive social impact.

Focusing on finance, operation, and talent, Holden’s problem-solving approach relies on learning unique aspects of new environments quickly, clinically dissecting potential challenges, and designing, testing, and validating possible solutions.

Holden’s mechanical engineering background includes a decade of successful project delivery in diverse sectors including clean energy, consumer products, military, and machinery design and manufacture. His focus on these projects was taking concepts through prototype stage to early production environments. On sunny days, Holden is likely kitesurfing around Vancouver or raising his son (to kitesurf around Vancouver).

 

Vidya Crawley

Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Vidya leads the design of RADIUS’ Future of Work lab, exploring how we respond to the big societal & technological shifts in a way that helps people build more resilient and purposeful livelihoods.

She brings 15+ years of global experience at the intersection of business, innovation and sustainable human development. Wearing multiple hats as strategist, facilitator, designer, marketer and entrepreneur, Vidya has helped numerous companies and communities rise to the challenges of our time: climate change, poverty reduction, food security, mental health and community development.

Vidya is a sought-after advisor for purpose-led entrepreneurs with her unique blend of human-centred design, lean startup, strengths-based coaching and marketing savvy. After building an award-winning impact business in the UK, she returned to Canada to lead an entrepreneur accelerator that supported over 100 diverse businesses, and currently teaches at Groundswell Social Ventures in Vancouver. As a second-generation Indo-Canadian, Vidya enjoys the privilege to live, work, play and contribute in the V6A postcode on unceded Coast Salish lands.

How to Apply

Applications are currently closed.

Contact

If you have questions about the Health Promotion Lab Slingshot Accelerator, email VJ Terzic, Incubations Program Manager, at vterzic@radiussfu.com.

SPONSORS & PARTNERS

Supporting the Health Promotion Lab Slingshot Accelerator Program