About ASTOUND. Innovation + creativity.




“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally, astound ourselves.” — Thomas Edison


The ASTOUND Initiative recognizes that the burgeoning need for private/pubic sector investment in the creative industries is resulting in a number of solutions in the marketplace from the creation of public/private sector investment funds to the development of Ontario-grown crowd-funding technologies. But in keeping with the inventive nature of Thomas Edison, we believe that innovation and creativity are key to developing a more wholistic and integrated solution that a fund alone, or a technology alone cannot answer.

Through the ASTOUND Initiative, we are applying novel solutions from other sectors, with a consultative, co-creative approach with the creative industries community and looking at this solution as an iterative design process.

ASTOUND is a year-long phased, systematic initiative that seeks to encourage private investment in Ontario’s creative industries. Phase one includes professional intensives and research in business modeling, and audience engagement, and an event framework that introduces private investors with content creators and companies.




Background. A brief history.




For the past year, CFC Media Lab either by itself or with partners such as docShift and HotDocs has been running Business Model Design workshops for digital media content businesses and documentary production companies. For the most part, these workshops have been highly successful and resulted in several of the producers changing their development process to include business model design.

But more importantly, through these prototypical workshops we have learned that the Business Model Canvas, though easy to understand for most product-based businesses, required some more detailed explaining and even perhaps a “translation” of sorts for content-based businesses. We have also discovered that more case study examples of successful, and diverse sets of business models for content-based businesses are needed to help support uptake of this design process in this industry.

As a means of bridging the gap the ASTOUND Initiative was formed towards addressing three key elements in the effort of building new and diverse investment business models for creative content enterprises in Ontario. The workshops will address training. The Salons will address collaboration and knowledge exchange. The Summit intends to incorporate audience voices.

The end goal is a systematic approach that encourages private investment in content-based businesses in Ontario.




Lead Partners. Getting things done.




The ASTOUND Initiative is led by CFC Media Lab in partnership with Hot Docs, OCADU and is made possible through The Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund administered by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, and Sport.




















Tertiary Partners. Working together.


















































The ASTOUND Initiative is led by CFC Media Lab in partnership with Hot Docs, and OCADU. ASTOUND is made possible through The Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund administered by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport.

Tertiary Partners: Achilles Media, Canadian Media Production Association, Interactive Ontario, MaRS Discovery District, Nordicity, Seneca College, Summerwood Group Inc., University of Waterloo – Stratford Campus, Toronto International Film Festival, Wesley Clover International, and Women In Film and Video – Toronto. In collaboration with: National Angel Capital Organization, Network of Angels – Ontario and Maple Leaf Angels.