The Innovation Hub’s Lightbulb Moments blog presents: Fortunat Ouedraogo
Startup: Civitas | Hub program: Changemaker
About Fortunat’s startup, Civitas:
The name of my company is Civitas. It is a centralized platform that allows University clubs to inform students of upcoming events, while allowing the students to keep track of the club events. The company’s goal is to improve the university experience of students in Ottawa/Carleton area.
“What inspired me to start this company was first the Changemaker program and secondly the complaints of my friends and fellow students about how bored they were at university in Ottawa. They would always say that they don’t know what to do to entertain themselves even though I personally knew that clubs were organizing a lot of events that they were not aware of.”
Civitas’s Lightbulb Moment:
One of the factors that contributed to Fortunat thinking of his business idea was his environment at the Innovation Hub. Seeing the issues he saw his friends and other students deal with lead him to developing his platform, Civitas. “I don’t know when exactly, but it was during one of the Changemaker sessions, the one where we were discussing stakeholders”.
Has the Innovation Hub helped you in getting your company / business to the next step?
“The Innovation Hub helped me start my company and it helped me get through every step. First, the Hub helped me develop the idea, then it helped the structure of the business, then it offered me resources such as mentoring, access to funds, and networking opportunities. But my favourite part about my time at the Hub is how approachable each of the members are because it makes it very easy to ask for help.”
Do you feel more confident in your role as an entrepreneur because of your experience with the Innovation Hub?
“I do feel more confident in my role as an entrepreneur because of the Innovation Hub, as it has given me the theoretical knowledge and some of the basic resources to establish myself as an entrepreneur. In addition, the Hub gave me an idea of the work ethic required to be an entrepreneur by allowing me to communicate with guest speakers.”
As for the support system he’s found, Fortunat says “My biggest support has been my friends and other participants of the Changemaker program.”
What would you say to a student who is interested in the Innovation Hub?
“I would tell them to also see how they can use the Hub to collect as many connections as they can because networking makes or breaks a start-up. The Hub is a great place for networking I was able to encounter potential mentors and collaborators through the Hub. I was also able to secure an internship opportunity through the Hub.”
Fortunat also encourages students with business ideas to “come to the Hub and sit down with someone there, tell them about your idea because the feedback will let you know if you should go for it or not.”
Written by Monika Hutchings, Communications Coordinator at the Innovation Hub. If you would like your story to be edited, updated, or removed please email email@example.com.