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

Key dates for the Winter 2023 cohort are as follows: 

  • Applications open: October 31, 2022
  • Applications close: November 25, 2022
  • Cohort starts: January 9, 2023

Fill out the 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.   

Gig 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

Key dates for the Winter 2023 cohort are as follows: 

  • Applications open: October 31, 2022
  • Applications close: November 25, 2022
  • Cohort starts: January 9, 2023

Fill out the 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 and executives from the local innovation ecosystem.

Thanks to the generous support of Scotiabank, all workshops are free to attend. There is no prerequisite to the topics, however, space is limited.

Freelancer workshops

Freelance Business Mapping with *Lean Canvas - ENTR0090

The most critical thing to remember when starting a freelance or consulting business is that it’s a business! We’ll introduce you to a tool called the Lean Canvas and you’ll learn how map out your freelance business idea in under 20 minutes.      

*The Lean Canvas is a one-page business plan template that helps you deconstruct your idea into its key assumptions. Created by Ash Maurya and adapted from Osterwalder's Business Model Canvas, it is optimized for lean startups and takes under 20 minutes to create.     

Freelancer Positioning - What, How and to Whom - ENTR0100

Competition is getting more intense all the time as more and more people enter the freelance and consulting world out of either necessity or desire. In order to succeed, freelancers need a high quality, well-defined service offering that is differentiated in the market and a deep sense of their target customer. Join us to find out how to focus your freelance business for success by defining: what you are selling, who you are selling to, and what makes you different and desirable.      

Introduction to the World of Freelancing - ENTR0110

What exactly is freelancing, consulting, a side hustle or professional gig work? Do you have a professional skill that you are looking to monetize but don’t know how to get started? Join us as we demystify the world of freelancing and discuss the pros and cons, common pitfalls to avoid and the keys to success.      

Sales workshops

Demystifying Sales - ENTR0150

What is the modern B2B salesperson’s real skill set and earning potential? Sales professionals in B2B (especially in technology) are some of the most well-paid, sought-after and skilled operators in an organization. Yet to the public, many outdated caricatures of salespeople persist. What is it that B2B salespeople actually do? Why are they some of the highest paid in most organizations? What does it take to be a successful B2B sales professional? How do you start down this path? We will demystify all of these questions and more.      

How to Get into Tech Sales - ENTR0160

How strong communicators can create lucrative careers in technology. Technology is the future and Waterloo Regions' booming tech sector has a seemingly endless appetite for talent. But what if you’re not an engineer or a project manager or a developer? This exciting workshop will discuss the path into this lucrative field for great communicators: Sales. We will explore the opportunities, prerequisite skills and pathways forward into this dynamic field.      

Selling Yourself - ENTR0170

How authentic self-branding and storytelling can be the gateway to a successful career. “Who are you and what do you have to offer my company?” This is the question behind every question that’s asked in a business interview. Yet while it may seem simple, the answer to this often-difficult question reveals the key to what employers are looking for: authenticity, resilience, coachability and a sense of purpose. We will explore practical strategies for nurturing and leveraging these sought-after qualities.     

The Face of Sales Today - ENTR0140

Meet industry mentors. Executives from dynamic Waterloo tech companies will discuss what they look for in candidates and field questions from prospects who think they have what it takes to make it in B2B technology sales. A great way to explore this exciting career opportunity with actual decision makers and connect with them on what selling means in today's fast paced tech sector.          

Venture workshops

Business Model Mapping with *Lean Canvas - ENTR0020

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.

Customer Discovery and Validation - ENTR0030

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.          

Financing a New Venture - ENTR0040

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.      

Lean Start-up Experiments - ENTR0060

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.      

Legal/IP Strategy for New Ventures - ENTR0070

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.