Finding the right early talent and the right mindset accelerates your future. Experience Ventures gives you the opportunity to engage and recruit students to your local innovation network – at no cost to you. You benefit from their multi-disciplinary insights, perspectives — and passion.
How does Experience Ventures work?
Students apply for an entrepreneurial thinking placement facilitated by their school, through Experience Ventures, from Summer 2021 through to Winter 2022.
New companies provide in-kind support, such as time, space or expertise, and benefit from having students work on projects at no cost, while students receive an honorarium for their time through Experience Ventures at their school.
Both students and companies go through an onboarding process and participate in one of five types of entrepreneurial thinking placements. After they have completed the opportunity, both students and companies evaluate their experiences.
What is an entrepreneurial thinking placement?
Experience Ventures facilitates entrepreneurial thinking placements at schools and new companies across Canada.
Entrepreneurial thinking is being creative in finding innovative solutions. It involves taking initiative, exchanging knowledge across disciplines, being resourceful and learning from experience. It is essential to enriching lives and advancing society.
An entrepreneurial thinking placement is a structured, short-term opportunity (with honorarium) with a startup or social venture that has partnered with a student’s school. The goal is to empower students to develop and apply entrepreneurial thinking skills aimed at making them future ready.
Experience Ventures offers five types of entrepreneurial thinking placements:
Hack-a-thon or tech-a-thon
A one- to two-day event in which companies present students with real world challenges and ask them to provide innovative solutions.
Taking place over several weeks, these require students to build out more complete solutions to social, business, design or community challenges.
Companies present students with a specific project, and the school matches it to talent from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.
Students selected by the incubator receive unique opportunities to work with several companies over the course of a term.
Interdisciplinary Team Projects
Incubators create teams of students from more than one discipline and provide them with a project for a venture or group of ventures.
Entrepreneurial thinking placements build a bridge between today’s needs and tomorrow’s challenges. Students experience innovation first-hand and learn how to apply its principles in their careers. Startups and social ventures can plan for the future knowing they have the right talent to power their growth.
Experience Ventures is funded by the Government of Canada and will be delivered in partnership with 10 of the country’s leading colleges and universities from coast to coast.
Why should your company participate?
Offering an entrepreneurial placement through Experience Ventures will enable you to:
Engage students with minimum impact on your time and resources.
Diversify the talent pool that seeks to work in social impact and/or tech innovation.
Recruit early talent to your local innovation economy.
Contribute to the success of your campus-linked incubator.
Tap into the different insights and perspectives of students and evaluate prospective talent.
Give your up-and-coming team members the opportunity to develop their managerial skill set.
What types of companies are eligible?
Companies who wish to participate in Experience Ventures should have an affiliation with a partner school or be in the regional innovation network. Companies can be either for profit companies or not-for-profit, including:
Startups and social ventures.
New companies seeking ways to connect easily with student talent.
New companies needing specific input for a project or initiative, but can’t to commit to long-term positions for students.
Participating companies are asked to make an in-kind contribution unique to each school in lieu of payment to students. These can include any of the following:
Space offered for an entrepreneurial thinking placement.
Equipment or materials provided for the experience.
Job and skills training student expenses (honorarium for their participation in paid industry events, etc.)
If you are interested in participating in Experience Ventures please request to be contacted now.
Thanks for your interest! We look forward to connecting soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please contact Experience Ventures for more information.
No funding or wage subsidies are connected to this program, but you are not obligated to compensate students. Students will get paid for their participation in an entrepreneurial thinking placement with you through their schools, with Experience Ventures funding.
In lieu of paying students, you are asked to provide an in-kind contribution, such as time/salary, office space, equipment or materials.
A co-op term is officially a “Work Integrated Learning” experience, for which students get academic credit.
An Experience Ventures opportunity is a short-term, entrepreneurial thinking placement that can take many formats and should be related to what students are studying. It is not officially tied to a student’s curriculum and does not qualify as such, except in the following circumstance:
A student can use the Experience Ventures opportunity towards their field of study, as long as it meets the curriculum requirements of a placement or internship for an academic course.
Yes, you may participate in both programs.
The number of students you can bring into Experience Ventures will be determined by your college or university partner hosting the initiative, since various types of experiences are offered across Canada.