Venture 13 announces fall activities

By Cecilia Nasmith

Following a busy and successful summer season, Cobourg's Venture 13 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre is launching into another whirl of triumph for the fall – from mentorship opportunities to the chance to pitch your cybersecurity application at the TechXpo Cybersecurity Tech Challenge.

The press release from the Town of Cobourg recapped the summer events, including the launch of an exciting new initiative.

The TECHImmersive initiative of VentureKids Canada, led by tech expert (and St. Mary Secondary School alumna) Takara Small, powered by Northeastern University Toronto and Venture 13 partners, and supported by Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini. This experiential technology and entrepreneurship program for rural youth included the opportunity to connect with Toronto-based organizations like Microsoft Canada and LinkedIn, tech-sector business leaders and even the Consul-General of the United States.

It was a second successful year for the Maker Camps for aspiring young creators and designers, whom Northumberland Makers tutored in an amazing variety of skills. These include robotics, coding, movie making and an array of STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-And-Math) and do-it-yourself skill opportunities.

Now the Venture 13 partners invite members of the community to participate in some exciting new opportunities coming up this fall, like the TechXpo Cybersecurity Tech Challenge Oct. 5. Registration includes mentors and keynote speaker Mahdi Raza (I to Eye: Thinking Like A Hacker) as well as the chance to pitch your cybersecurity application at the first one-day mini cybersecurity hackathon for a chance at a $1,000 team prize. Members of the public are welcome to drop in and see the action, including a virtual reality cybersecurity edtech demonstration. This event is powered by Durham College AL/HUB, SiberX, Global Cyberlympics, ice-vr, Venture 13, the Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation and the Cobourg Police Service, with sponsorship from ConnexHealth and Eagle Aerospace.

Another Venture 13 Fireside Chat, from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 7 in the Innovation Commons, is on the topic Technology Adaptation and Health Care (sponsored by ConnexHealth). Northumberland Hills Hospital chief of staff Dr. Mukesh Bhargava gives the keynote address. As well, Venture 13 director and NHH Foundation executive director Rhonda Cunningham will moderate a panel discussion led by practitioners, innovators and policy leaders.

The Oct. 15 Lunch & Learn from 10 a.m to 12:30 p.m. features IBM tech evangelist Sarmad Ibrahim to talk about the IBM 13 program, AI, IoT, and Blockchain opportunities – not to mention the opportunity to network with entrepreneurs and innovators. It's an invitation-only event, but you can contact Venture 13 to request an invitation for your technology- or innovation-driven business.

On Oct. 24, the Northumberland Manufacturing Association hosts the Tri-Association Manufacturing Conference, which includes an Innovation Showcase at Venture 13.

Mentoring opportunities are available on multiple dates listed on the Venture 13 calendar ( ), with seven experts in various fields – Kristen Marumoto of Spark Angels (Northumberland-Durham's angel investor network), Durham College P.Eng Chris Gillis of Durham College (who specializes in industry and academic collaborations), Northumberland CFDC venture catalyst John Hayden (who can advise on ideation, pitch decks and funding strategy), Bereskin & Parr partner Tony Orsi (an expert on intellectual-property law), Ruth Van Vierzen of Revsquared (for sales-driven growth strategies), Spark Centre president and CEO Sherry Colbourne (for strategy on innovation-drive enterprise) and Town of Cobourg communications manager Ashley Purdy (public relations).

Looking ahead, Northumberland-Peterborough South MP Kim Rudd has announced that the Northumberland CFDC will be launching a new $3-million FinTech-driven lending-and-entrepreneurial-development platform called DELIA. On-line applications will go live from Venture 13 the first week of November, as Venture 13 continues to deliver on its mandate to serve as a regionally significant platform for innovation.

For more information on taking advantage of these opportunities, visit