Build your Social Innovation Startup

Balsam Impact by D3

We support and accelerate social enterprise, and social innovation early-stage startups focused on education, health, environment, culture, or other social issues focused on improving their community and the world.

What You Gain

1:1 Objectives-Based Coaching

Experienced social innovation coaches and advisors guide startups as they develop a roadmap to reach critical milestones around honing your pitch to secure funding, increase sales, expand to international markets, recruiting the right talent, and much more.

Tailored Just-in-Time Learning

Participate in industry-specific workshops and best-in-class training to acquire the competencies necessary to succeed at all stages of your startup journey.

Community & Workspace Access

Build your network, collaborate and develop strategic partnerships with local and global advisors in academia, industry and the investor community.

We don’t fit the mould of most acceleration programs. What we loved about District 3 is that the customized support addressed our needs. Our coach has been a cheerleader, a sounding board, someone who has empowered us with ideas for growth.”

Emily Charry Tissier, MSc, Co-founder of Whale Seeker

Our Programs

Ideation for Social Innovation

Designed for individuals or teams who are at the beginning of their startup journey. This five-week cohort-based program will help them better understand the social or environmental issue they are attempting to solve by mapping its system.
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Social Validation

Designed for startup teams with little or no customer traction for their social enterprise, this three-month intensive cohort-based program will help you define your target market, develop a deep understanding of your customers’ problem and unmet needs, and design a business model to build a viable company.

Social Launch & Grow

For startups with validated business models with initial traction through customers, letters of intent, or initial investment, our customized, individualized program includes 1-1 objectives-based coaching, access to an international network of academic, clinical and industrial partners, as well as investors.

Our Coaches & Advisors

Julie Hamel, Social Innovation Coach, District 3
Julie Hamel
Balsam by District 3, Social Innovation Coach
Julie Hamel, Balsam by District 3, Social Innovation Coach
Julie Hamel
Balsam by District 3, Social Innovation Coach

Balsam by District 3, Social Innovation Coach

Julie Hamel (MBA) is a senior business advisor with over 25 years of experience. She began her career as an entrepreneur before becoming a social economy advisor in 2006. She successfully managed many fast-food franchises through the 90s before becoming the general manager of a major private non-profit golf course. Her range of expertise includes among others, marketing, operations, and business development. For the past ten years, her social preoccupation has led her to invest most of her time and energy in the field of social economy, including helping dozens of non-profit organizations. Julie has been involved with Concordia’s District 3 since 2015 as the Social Entrepreneurship Coach.


Who is eligible to apply to District 3’s Social Stream?

Individuals or teams who are exploring a social or environmental problem.

Do the programs take place in person or virtually?

Currently, programs are taking place virtually.

Is there an application deadline?

We accept startups on a rolling admissions basis throughout the year. Note that it may take up to two weeks after you submitted an application for us to respond. We will notify you whether your application has been accepted or rejected. 

How long is the program?

Programs vary from 5 weeks to 24 months.

Check out our latest events & workshops

Join our open events to learn more about emerging technologies, innovation best practices and insights from leaders around the globe.


Work with a Startup

Check out the latest job opportunities and internships offered by District 3 startups to get involved in the innovation ecosystem.