our mission

About Venture for Canada

About Venture for Canada

Venture for Canada is a not-for-profit that recruits, trains and supports top recent graduates to work at Canadian startups in need of talent, with the mission of fostering entrepreneurship.Fellows spend two years working at one of our partner startups, where they gain the skills, network and experience necessary to launch their own firms and/or lead entrepreneurial careers.

Through our efforts, our partner startups gain access to the talent that they need to take their companies to the next level. Since the program was launched, over 90% of Fellows have been assessed by their employers as meeting or exceeding expectations.

Our History:

Venture for Canada was founded by Scott Stirrett in July 2013. He was motivated to create the organization out of a desire to provide more Canadian recent grads with the experiential learning opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills.

The idea came to him shortly after he graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. While he was always entrepreneurial, he accepted a job offer to work at Goldman Sachs in New York City upon graduation. Before beginning work at Goldman Sachs, he began researching the Venture for America model, and how it could be adapted to Canada.

In April 2014, Scott left Goldman Sachs to begin working on Venture for Canada full time, with the initial office of the organization being his apartment. In July 2014, Scott hired Patrick Farrar as the first employee other than himself, with a third staff member joining the team in 2015. Since these early days, Venture for Canada has grown into an organization with over 15 full-time staff and offices in four provinces.

Fellowship Structure:

Venture for Canada’s provides recent graduates with the community, skills and experience necessary to launch successful entrepreneurial careers. Below is an overview of our training camp, ongoing trainings, and the Fellow community.

Training Camp

Our Fellows spend five weeks going through an intensive training camp, which takes place at Queen’s University. They participate in workshops on diverse topics, such as coding, marketing, sales, UX design and how to manage stress in an entrepreneurial environment. They also have a fantastic opportunity to hear from successful entrepreneurs and learn what it takes to create a successful business.

The transition from being a student to working at a startup can be a challenging one. Training camp eases this transition by providing a supportive environment full of valuable workshops, peer support and mentorship which foster the development of both hard and soft skills. Our Fellows spend five weeks living in dorms at Queen’s, where they build bonds that will last a lifetime.

Ongoing Trainings:

After training camp, the Fellows continue to learn and develop, both on the job and through ongoing training opportunities provided by Venture for Canada.

Some of our recent special guests have included Ryan Holmes (CEO of Hootsuite), April Dunford (CEO of Sprintly), John Risley (Founder of Clearwater Fine Foods), Jessie Jollymore and Craig Cain (Hope Blooms). The topics of our events range from resilience in the workplace, to search engine optimization, to full-stack marketing. We provide Fellows a comprehensive overview of different subjects throughout their two-year Fellowships.

Fellow Community:

Are you a recent graduate looking for a job? Or an entrepreneur looking to join a startup to learn more? Joining Venture for Canada is so much more than just getting placed to work at a startup. Fellows are part of a supportive community passionate about entrepreneurship.This community can support you through entrepreneurial ups and downs over the course of your career.

THE PROBLEM

There is a disconnect between bright young graduates and start-ups. Elite undergraduates want to work for dynamic, emerging business that are adding value, but start-ups often lack the resources to participate in competitive on campus recruiting.

THE SOLUTION

Our Program. We are based on the successful Venture for America model, where top recent grads are sent to work for emerging start-ups and early stage companies for two years. As part of the program, Fellows receive training that gives the best of business school without the debt.

Learn More about our Fellowship ExperienceLearn More