Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking Launches Experience Ventures for Students Across Canada | New


The Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking at UCalgary launched a new national work-integrated learning program, Business Experience.

The pilot program runs from summer 2021 to winter 2022 with 10 post-secondary partners across the country. The program enables college and university students to make an impact alongside change makers and entrepreneurs through innovative experiences with growing businesses.

“Entrepreneurial thinking is essential to enriching lives and advancing prosperity in Canada,” said Keri Damen, CEO of the Hunter Hub. “Our goal is to foster and strengthen entrepreneurship among students across Canada to develop the next generation of talent who will build our future. We are excited to create opportunities for students to connect with innovators in our country.

Support for innovative students

Seeing a gap between post-secondary talent and the local ecosystem, the Hunter Hub developed the program – funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Innovative Workplace Learning Initiative – in which post-secondary incubators across the country can access bright and enthusiastic talent. to carry out game-changing projects.

The Experience Ventures initiative is based on three key pillars, benefiting students as well as businesses:

  • Be prepared for the future. Students hone their entrepreneurial thinking skills, gain experience and contribute to new technologies, and encourage and apply digital skills, while working alongside real-world innovators.
  • Make an impact. New businesses are energized by the next generation of talent, to innovate across disciplines to amplify impact and design the future by working on cutting-edge projects.
  • Building innovation networks. Experience Ventures develops multidimensional innovation networks between students and the innovation community, bridging the school and the new world of work.

“The University of Calgary is realizing its vision to be the most entrepreneurial university in Canada through innovation initiatives such as Experience Ventures,” said UCalgary President Ed McCauley. “The Hunter Hub is a key hub for innovation activity at UCalgary and beyond, impacting students across Canada and bringing UCalgary entrepreneurial thinking to the forefront of the Canadian economy. innovation. “

Helping students seize their future

Students gain invaluable professional skills in a number of opportunities with real impact, with flexible internships across the country including hack-a-thons, project-based work-integrated learning placements and interdisciplinary, student-in-residence internships, challenges, etc. . The aim is to inspire creativity, resilience and future vision in students, so that they can seize their future with the right skills.

For startups and social enterprises, identifying the right talent and the right mindset is a priority. Experience Ventures works with companies to create entrepreneurial thinking internships for top-ranked college and university students.

“Young Canadians can often face challenges during the transition from school to work, and these have only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of ‘Employment, Workforce Development and Inclusion of People with Disabilities. “Now more than ever, it is important to encourage inclusive access to the education, relationships and experiences that prepare all Canadians for successful careers. As a leader in innovative work-integrated learning, the University of Calgary’s Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking will help Canadian students gain the relevant and real work experience they need to enter the market. work.

How it works

Students apply for an Entrepreneurial Thinking Internship facilitated by their post-secondary institution, through Experience Ventures, from summer 2021 to winter 2022. Companies then provide in-kind support, such as time, space or money. expertise. Companies benefit from having students work on projects for free, while students are paid for their time through Experience Ventures at their post-secondary institution.

Students and companies go through an onboarding process and participate in one of five types of entrepreneurial thinking internships. Upon completion of the internship, students and companies assess their experiences to allow the program to continue to better serve both parties during future internships across Canada.

“Experience Ventures helps our students in the Toronto and York region become the change makers of the future,” said David Kwok, associate director of entrepreneurship at York University. “We are proud to partner with the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking to support the exciting work schools are doing to connect innovative businesses and talented students at colleges and universities in our region and from coast to coast to coast. ‘other.

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