Educational opportunities

There are many opportunities in the Collective and through related programs in the college to learn more about entrepreneurship and develop critical 21st century skills including problem-solving, collaboration, creativity and accountability.

Entrepreneurship Co-op

If you are currently enrolled in a co-op degree or diploma program at Conestoga, Entrepreneurship Co-op programs offer the opportunity to dedicate your work term to the development of a new business.

Venture Co-op

This is a 15-week work term, 35 hours per week, where you will work one-on-one with a Venture Coach to develop your vision for a new business venture.

In this program you will:

  • Research the market
  • Develop a business idea
  • Learn how to pitch your business
  • Develop a prototype, where relevant
  • Network with other entrepreneurs and business owners
  • Connect with mentors in industry

Fill out the Venture Co-op Application Form or contact us if you have any questions. Please ensure that you inform your Co-op Advisor of your application to this program.

Freelance Co-op

There has never been a better time to be a gig worker. In this 15-week full-time work term, you will work one-on-one with a Gig Coach to develop the foundation for a sustainable freelance business.

In this program you will:

  • Develop a freelance strategy
  • Set-up the mechanics of your business
  • Draft a sales and marketing plan
  • Learn how to pitch your business
  • Network with other freelancers and business owners
  • Connect with mentors in industry

Fill out the Freelance Co-op Application Form or contact us if you have any questions. Please ensure that you inform your Co-op Advisor of your application to this program.

Scotiabank Start-up Students Workshops

These workshops are offered every term and are a great way to start your entrepreneurial journey. Learn from experts in the community, bounce your ideas around and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs.

All workshops are free to attend for members of the Conestoga and broader Waterloo Region community, thanks to the generous support of Scotiabank. Attend one or all of the workshops, there is no prerequisite to the topics. Space is limited and registration through Continuing Education is required. 

ENTR0020 - Business Model Mapping with Lean Canvas

Do you have a new business idea? Or are you currently in business but looking to pivot in order to be more successful and position yourself for growth? Join us for a three-hour hands-on workshop where you will work in a facilitated setting to complete a Lean Canvas. There will be a detailed presentation of the tool, a discussion of various examples and then a work period in which you can map out your vision with the help of a Venture Coach. The Lean Canvas is a one-page business plan template created by Ash Maurya that helps you deconstruct your idea into its key assumptions. It is adapted from Alex Osterwalder's Business Model Canvas and optimized for Lean Start-ups. It replaces elaborate business plans with a single page business model that takes under 20 minutes to create.

ENTR0030 - Customer Discovery and Validation

If you want to turn your vision into a profitable business, the Customer Development Model is a critical process to understand and apply. Your customers are out there; but only if you are willing to go out and find them. Customer discovery is the first step of the Model and is all about figuring out who your customers are and how to reach them. Customer validation is the second step and is about making sure that your research is correct and developing your business model to reflect that information. Roadmaps of the concepts will be presented, examples discussed and time provided for applying the principles.

ENTR0060 - Lean Start-up Experiments

The basic tenet of the Lean Start-up philosophy is “Build-Measure-Learn”. Testing key assumptions of your business model is critical to obtaining knowledge that will enable you to iterate or pivot before investing large amounts of time and money. In this workshop, you will learn about several experiments that are commonly used in the Lean Start-up methodology for fast, low cost/no cost learning; how to choose the right one and how to prepare for execution.

ENTR0070 - Legal/IP Strategy for New Ventures

The unsung heroes of the entrepreneurship and innovation landscape. A comprehensive legal strategy gives you an action plan that identifies legal steps that need to be taken alongside your business plan to get you from point A to Z. Intellectual Property (IP) can be an important asset to a business, just like buildings and equipment. Patents, copyrights, trademarks, registered industrial designs, plant breeders' rights, geographical indications or trade secrets can give entrepreneurs an important advantage over their competitors. Find out how to make these strategies work for you in your new venture.

ENTR0040 - Financing a New Venture

This workshop examines the range of financing options available to organizations or individuals throughout the life cycle of a new venture. Entrepreneurs need to look at all sources of capital that will allow them to create value, reduce risk and position themselves for additional investment. Learn about navigating the investment world, determining appropriate capital sources for ventures, and the investment criteria employed by different types of sources.

Register for workshops on the Continuing Education website.