HELIX Summer Institute

In our rapidly changing economy, critical thinking and problem solving enable businesses to pivot and respond to emerging market demands. Developing an innovation mindset will enable strategic thinking and the ability to generate proactive solutions for current and potential problems.

The fifth annual HELIX Summer Institute is a no-cost, six-day intensive virtual “design jam” that will provide you with tools for collaborating and building solutions to pressing social or business challenges. This initiative welcomes participation from students, entrepreneurs, designers, creative thinkers and member of the community. Lead facilitators will encourage participants to think creatively, try new solutions and pivot based on feedback from real stakeholders.

The innovation mindset you can develop at Seneca’s virtual 2021 HELIX Summer Institute is critical to every industry or enterprise, whether you want to be an entrepreneur or intrapreneur.


HELIX Summer Institute 2017

Virtual 2021 HELIX Summer Institute

During this six-day interactive “design jam,” you will acquire unique design thinking skills in an experiential environment while working on a real operational challenge facing Ontario’s hospitals.

As a participant, you will join virtual workshops, hear from key stakeholders and engage with some of York Region’s best mentors in innovation. Throughout the six days, you will develop your innovation mindset while creating your solution to a health-care problem.

Join us for the fifth annual HELIX Summer Institute

Applications are now open for the virtual 2021 HELIX Summer Institute taking place weekdays from Monday, Aug. 23 to Monday, Aug. 30

To apply, submit a statement of intent outlining why you want to participate in the virtual 2021 HELIX Summer Institute. The statement should not exceed 400 words. Please email your statement to chris.dudley@senecacollege.ca.

Space is limited for this no-cost initiative.


The HELIX Summer Institute has engaged 132 participants who were supported by 61 mentors and facilitators, 39 health-care staff, patients and supporters since 2017. 

According to feedback surveys, an average of 95 per cent of participants would recommend the HELIX Summer Institute to others.

HELIX Summer Institute 2017


“The HELIX Summer Institute instilled entrepreneurial mindsets to Seneca community members through solution design methods and enterprise building journey coaching. As a student participant, I was able to apply knowledge obtained from class practically and accelerate personal goals due to this experience.”
— Justin Chu
HELIX Summer Institute participant, 2020

“The HELIX Summer Institute was an amazing learning opportunity that allowed teams to design a product or service to meet a real-world health challenge. Having access to mentors and like-minded peers let me propose, build a prototype and pitch my solution.”
— Sheri Burke
HELIX Summer Institute participant, 2020

“HELIX Summer Institute participants tackled a COVID related health-care problem, worked diligently, consulted freely and delivered excellent final solutions paralleling emerging industry solutions.”
— Pat Clifford BA, BSW, BEd, MSW, RSW
Director, Research and Innovation (Retired)
CreateIT Now / Southlake Innovation Centre

"The skill development and growth was clearly happening each day — it was great to watch!”
— Lucas Chang
HELIX Summer Institute Lead Facilitator, 2020


Southlake Regional Health Centre
Kingbridge Conference Centre & Institute
York Region
George Brown
Humber Centre for Entrepreneurship
Venture Lab
TD Ready Commitment