October 15, 2015

Belleville, Ontario, October 15, 2015 — Loyalist College is pleased to partner with Strathcona Energy Group (SEG) to host the College’s Entrepreneurial Studies — Business Launch program in SEG’s new headquarters at 250 Sidney Street in Belleville.

Last month, Loyalist began the first intake of the new eight-month Ontario College Graduate Certificate program at the Canadian Hybrid Incubator Resource Platform (C.H.I.R.P.), part of an innovative economic development initiative for which the Canadian government recently awarded $350,000 in grant funding through the Eastern Ontario Development Program.

C.H.I.R.P. will be Canada’s first and only National Business Incubation Association (NBIA)-certified ‘Soft Landings Incubator.’ It aims to provide European and Asian technology-based companies with a solid business operation platform and services to successfully enter North American markets.

Loyalist Entrepreneurial Studies — Business Launch students have the opportunity to utilize the platform as an incubator for their startup businesses, working alongside international companies as they develop ideas and opportunities for the Bay of Quinte region.

“For our Entrepreneurial Studies students, the open-concept studio in Strathcona Energy Group’s headquarters is the ideal space in which to develop and grow their scalable business model with guidance and support from Loyalist faculty and the College’s network of expert advisors,” said Loyalist College President & CEO Maureen Piercy. “Together with our government and community partners, the College continues to enhance the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, driving social and economic development through education, thought leadership and industry resources.”

Loyalist’s Entrepreneurial Studies — Business Launch program is supported by the government of Ontario and Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), a member of Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), with a $196,712 On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) grant.

“As the group and its subsidiaries grow and prosper, we are confident this is the perfect environment for our various teams today and also far into the future,” stated Karl Hollett, Chief Executive Officer of Strathcona Energy Group. “It is truly exhilarating to bring everyone together here at the new headquarters to see our vision come to life. Bringing our associates and businesses together will enable each one to thrive individually, but also to create a much stronger and more powerful aggregate.”

Fully operational, C.H.I.R.P. can accommodate 32 firms, supporting more than 200 jobs and leveraging direct foreign investment.

“We want to foster a community that draws people home,” said Mark Hanley, President, Hanley Corporation. “The success of our youth today will determine our community’s success tomorrow. I am personally pleased that the Entrepreneurial Studies – Business Launch program is up and running. I know we can expect great things from these ‘entrepreneurs in the making.’”

Dr. Carol Miernicki speaks before the first cohort of ESBL students in September 2015

About the Entrepreneurial Studies – Business Launch Program
Loyalist College’s eight-month post-graduate program prepares students with the business knowledge, professional network and entrepreneurial skills to launch their own business or develop an existing business idea in virtually any field. Students participate in a two-week start-up boot camp focused on best practices and how to turn high-impact start-up ideas into reality. They create and deliver executive-style presentations before an audience of prospective customers, employees and investors during industry showcase and pitch competitions. Students participate in monthly educational ‘pit stops,’ providing rigorous training on strategic entrepreneurship issues, and utilize the Strategyzer toolbox to develop a business model canvas. They meet regularly with, and are mentored by, seasoned entrepreneurs and top industry executives. To manage and accelerate the growth of their new or existing venture, they apply current and emerging research, systems and technologies. For more information, visit

About Loyalist College
When it comes to grads getting jobs, Loyalist College is the #1 College in Ontario. According to Provincial Key Performance Indicator (KPI) results released April 2015, 89.3 percent of the College’s most recent graduates found employment within six months of graduation compared to the provincial average of 84 percent. Located on more than 200 acres in the beautiful Bay of Quinte region, Loyalist College is a close-knit community where students and their success come first. Loyalist provides personalized attention in small classes, rewarding field placements and superior student services. To prepare students for in-demand careers, Loyalist offers more than 60 full-time programs; apprenticeships; and hundreds of online, distance and in-class courses, as well as opportunities for continuing education through more than 70 university transfer agreements. The College’s wide selection of advanced diplomas, diplomas and certificates aligns with market-driven disciplines including applied sciences, biosciences, building sciences, business and management studies, health sciences, human studies, justice studies, media, arts and design, and skills and technology. In Ontario, the College’s new Digital Media Centre and the LEED® Silver certified Sustainable Skills, Technology and Life Sciences Centre are training centres of choice for students, as well as College business and industry partners. For more information on the College’s Belleville and Bancroft campuses, visit

About Strathcona Energy Group
Founded in 2009, Strathcona Energy Group (SEG) is a Canadian-based holding company specializing in providing vertically integrated solutions for rooftop and ground mount photovoltaic installations. Group members Strathcona Energy International and Strathcona Solar Initiatives provide high-quality Canadian manufacturing and assembly capacity for top-performing solar modules as well as global services spanning from utility scale and commercial to agricultural and residential solar applications.


Media Contact: Kerry Lorimer, Director of Marketing and Communications
Loyalist College,, (613) 969-1913, ext. 2536