It’s been a big year for REAP.

The program launched with one goal in mind–give students at the University of Waterloo a space where they can play with technology, and ideally, come up with new uses that can be used to start new businesses. These entrepreneurs, or research entrepreneurs as we like to call them, work with REAP’s major industry partners and share more than just their technology. The students also learn essential business skills and work with potential partners and employers.

Basically it’s a win-win arrangement for everyone.

But there were also a lot of other great things happening behind the scenes at REAP. We’d like to share a few of them, before we introduce some exciting changes to the REAP program.

FELT Lab wins Innovation Award

The FELT Lab is our “digital sandbox for serious play,” generously hosted by one of our major industry partners, Quarry Integrated Communications. It’s a place where students, academics and industry experts can work with new digital display technologies.

In February 2012, Quarry won the Innovation Award for the FELT Lab at the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. It was a proud moment for everyone who helped bring this innovative space to life.

If you’re interested to know what’s in our “digital sandbox,” check out this great map by Sam Estoesta.

Conestoga College Partnership (January-April 2012)

In late 2011, REAP met with a group of teachers, students and administrators from Conestoga College’s School of Media & Design. The students came from a number of different programs: Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), Advertising, Broadcasting, and Web Design and Development.

The IMC students were charged with three tasks:

  • Create REAP’s new logo, website, social media channels, and marketing materials
  • Plan REAP’s participation at Congress 2012
  • Launch REAP’s first startup, The Accelerator Gazette

You’ve probably already noticed one of their contributions–REAP’s new logo!

Thank you to the dedicated students who helped us get where we are today: Jennifer Baker, Kushal Sharma, Rebecca Thachil, Maja Ulakovic, Ben Pavey, Brent Morrison, Jessica Rudolph, Eddie Vasquez, Long Liu, Connor Cheeseman, Brad Rivers, Myles Cloutier and Tyler Fillier.

Congress 2012

REAP was proud to be a part of Congress 2012 at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, a yearly event which brings together scholars, students, practitioners and policy makers to share ideas and discuss complex issues. Participants come from a wide variety of disciplines–- theatre, literature, education, history, sociology and international development, to name a few.

REAP hosted six Thinkering sessions during the conference (May 27th, 28th and 31st). Not only did visitors to the FELT Lab play with our interactive digital display technologies, but they also came up with ideas for using them in new ways. We featured three local startup technologies working in the FELT Lab space: Apptui, and Primal.

The Accelerator Gazette

The idea for The Accelerator Gazette grew out of an on-going conversation between REAP and Bob Rushby, REAP’s Innovator-in-Residence. There are incubators, accelerators and innovative spaces all over the world, but there didn’t seem to be a space where news or information could be shared.

Thus, the idea for The Accelerator Gazette, an online news source for the business accelerator/incubator industry.

The website launched at the end of May. Since then, The Accelerator Gazette has worked with incubators and accelerators from all over the world including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Seattle, Poznan (Poland), and Wellington (New Zealand). They were also a sponsor at Lean Startup Machine Montreal.

If you want to learn more about The Accelerator Gazette, check out their website: www.acceleratorgazette.com. They’re also on Twitter (@AcceleratorG), Facebook and LinkedIn.

REAP 2.0

As we hinted at earlier, we’re busy working on something we call REAP 2.0. We’re excited to tell you about what’s ahead… but just not yet! If you want a small preview, see what Dr. Jill Tomasson Goodwin had to say to The Accelerator Gazette.

As always, we want to hear from you! Tweet us at @REAPWaterloo or visit our Facebook page.

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