Media releases

  • Brock LINC business incubator looking for startup applicants

    MEDIA RELEASE: 19 August 2021 – R0088

    Entrepreneurs with big goals and a winning idea are invited to apply for Brock University’s new business incubator.

    Five early-stage businesses that have either launched or are close to launching will be selected for the first cohort of the LINCubator, the new entrepreneurial incubation program operated through Brock LINC.

    Launched in early 2020, the LINC is Brock’s centre for creativity, innovation, research and entrepreneurship. The 41,000-square-foot facility is housed in the Rankin Family Pavilion at the base of Schmon Tower.

    As one of Brock LINC’s programs, the LINCubator will help early-stage ventures reach their next stage of business development. Open to the broader community, this program does not require an affiliation to the University. It will include support services in collaboration with Brock Partnerships, Innovation and Intellectual Property Advancement (PIIPA), Goodman Group, Co-op, Career and Experiential Education, as well as external partners such as Innovate Niagara, Haltech and the Niagara Angel Network, a group of more than 50 individual investors from across southern Ontario.

    “We are excited to bring together a very strong selection of resources, both at Brock and in the greater Niagara innovation ecosystem, to support the next wave of entrepreneurship in the region,” says Farzana Crocco, Executive Director, Brock LINC. “We have such unique strengths in research and experiential education at Brock, so we developed this program to leverage those assets and support businesses that are solving a compelling problem.”

    The LINCubator’s first cohort program will last eight months and will be delivered in a hybrid online and in-person format. If public health restrictions allow it, selected entrepreneurs will have access to desk space, meeting rooms, business services and a collaborative community at the Brock LINC space. There is no cost for businesses to participate, and Brock LINC does not take equity or share in the intellectual property of participating businesses.

    Entrepreneurs who would like to apply can do so at by Thursday, Sept. 30. Eligible applicants will be contacted to schedule a video interview and then the five selected businesses will be notified in mid-October.

    Each of the winning applicants will receive a customized business program and will be set up with mentors from the Brock LINC and the Niagara Angel Network.

    They’ll also have access to Brock co-op talent and support for one co-op work experience; business development support from Goodman School of Business students; access to the Brock University Library Makerspace and Digital Scholarship Lab; and an exclusive opportunity to pitch to investors in the Niagara Angel Network.

    “Brock LINC’s business incubator will be a crucial feeder of deal flow to the Niagara Angel Network,” said Terry Kadwell, Executive Director, Niagara Angel Network. “Our members believe that mentoring is critical not only for commercialization, but also for getting companies to the critically important investment-ready stage. Through this collaboration, we look forward to building the next generation of global innovators and regional champions from right here in Niagara.”

    For more information about the Brock LINC incubator, or to apply, visit

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases

  • Brock experts weigh in on upcoming election

    MEDIA RELEASE: 17 August 2021 – R0087

    Canadians are preparing for a federal election campaign that will look significantly different from any other in the country’s history.

    “Gone are the days of large convention hall-style rallies,” says Ibrahim Berrada, an instructor with Brock University’s Centre for Canadian Studies and a former Parliament Hill staffer. “Weather permitting, Canadians will likely see more outdoor events that abide by regional public health measures and social distancing policies.”

    Berrada expects to see more online campaigning, including advertising and Zoom-style events, although party leaders are still likely to travel across the country targeting strategic ridings in the hopes of enticing undecided Canadian voters.

    By calling the election now, the Liberals hope to capitalize on a lull in COVID-19 cases with a shorter election where they can control the narrative and potentially avoid the fourth wave of the pandemic, says Berrada. Their other choice was to return to Parliament in the fall and face the prospect of a non-confidence motion that would topple the government and trigger an election during the fourth wave.

    “Trudeau is banking on a delayed fourth wave thanks to the Canadian vaccine response,” says Berrada.

    Livianna Tossutti, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, has been tracking provincial elections throughout the pandemic and is curious to see if the snap federal election will produce the majority result the Liberals are hoping for.

    “I’m looking to see whether the Liberals are going to be able to translate their incumbency advantage into the objective they’re seeking,” says Tossutti. “If we look at provincial elections that were held during the pandemic in British Columbia, Newfoundland and New Brunswick, minority governments were able to win a majority, so I want to see whether that same pattern also occurs at the federal level.”

    Another pattern Tossutti will be watching for is voter turnout, which could play a major role. Fewer people voted in the provincial elections held during the pandemic, in some cases hitting historic lows, and she doesn’t expect to see much improvement.

    Canadians can expect to hear about a range of topics over the coming weeks. In addition to economic recovery from the pandemic, long-term care improvements and future vaccine manufacturing, Berrada expects BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) relations, the rise of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and the implementation of Truth and Reconciliation Committee recommendations to be among the issues discussed.

    Climate change will also be an election topic, with increased volatility in climate events, forest fires, flooding, heat waves, and recent warnings by the United Nations climate report.

    “All parties will address climate change to some extent,” says Berrada. “However, Canadians are wary of all climate-based plans, since Canada has failed to meet most climate change targets in the past. Any climate change policy needs to be rigorous, accounting for our increased carbon footprint.”

    Liam Midzain-Gobin, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, says he is eager to see how the election might develop, especially in a fast-moving news cycle.

    “In the beginning, there has been a focus on the snap nature of the election, but the tragedy in Afghanistan might also capture a lot of attention — we saw something similar with refugees from Syria in 2015 — and the ongoing wildfires in B.C. and northern Ontario might do the same,” says Midzain-Gobin, adding that something else totally unexpected could have a huge impact in the coming weeks.

    “The wildfires and unfolding Taliban takeover of Afghanistan are taking place soon after much attention was focused on the findings of so many children’s graves at former residential schools,” he says. “If we are going to be serious about reconciliation in Canada, there needs to be some concrete action proposed to support Indigenous Peoples’ self-determination.”

    According to Tossutti, these varied and complex concerns of the Canadian electorate going into the election mean a definitive ‘ballot box issue’ has yet to emerge.

    “I’ll be interested to see which issue moves to the forefront, and whether the election will become a referendum on how we view the Trudeau government’s management of the pandemic or if it will be about the future and what kind of government we want to lead us into the post-pandemic world,” she says. “Things will come up as the campaign platforms are fleshed out, and unexpected events always occur in campaigns. Campaigns matter. We’ll see how the leaders perform.”

    Berrada, Tossutti and Midzain-Gobin are all available for media interviews in the lead-up to the Sept. 20 federal election.

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University or 905-347-1970 

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    Categories: Media releases