QSB partners with Venture for Canada to help match aspiring entrepreneurs with start-ups


Queen's School of Business has partnered with a match-making enterprise. Not of the dating variety, but one that connects aspiring entrepreneurs to the start-ups that are keen to hire them.

As the exclusive academic partner of Venture for Canada (VFC), Queen’s School of Business will deliver an intensive, five-week boot camp designed to develop an entrepreneurial mindset in participants before they begin a two-year work placement with a start-up partner. Lectures will be led by QSB faculty with expertise in entrepreneurship and by guest speakers from the corporate world.

“This is a great opportunity for Queen’s to contribute to new venture success in Canada,” says Elspeth Murray, Associate Dean of MBA and Masters programs and Director of QSB’s Centre for Business Venturing. “The Centre’s mission is to help improve the odds of success for new businesses — and developing young talent is part of that mission.”

Each year, the 35 candidates who best demonstrate a passion for entrepreneurship and leadership will be chosen from recent university and college applicants — nearly 500 this year alone. Following entrepreneurship boot camp at Queen’s, participants will be placed in a paid, two-year fellowship with one of 59 Canadian start-up partners that include Shopify, 500PX and Kira Talent.

Scott Stirrett, Venture for Canada’s founder and Executive Director, established the organization to address the disconnect between bright young graduates and start-ups. “Elite undergraduates want to work for dynamic, emerging businesses, but start-ups often lack the resources to participate in competitive on-campus recruiting.”

Venture for Canada is modeled on Venture for America, which has placed hundreds of recent graduates from top U.S. universities, such as Harvard, Yale and MIT. VFC is guided by an advisory board comprised of leaders of the business and academic communities in Canada, including Annette Verschuren, Geoff Smith, John Risley, and Ned Goodman, serving as honorary chairs.

“The best way to learn entrepreneurship is through hands-on experience,” says Scott. “After gaining valuable skills and access to a national network of entrepreneurs and investors, Venture for Canada Fellows are in a strong position to launch their own companies.”

The first Venture for Canada boot camp begins in May 2015 at Goodes Hall.

For more information, visit www.ventureforcanada.ca