Venture for Canada receives new funding to support Ontarian youths

March 23, 2018

Venture for Canada (VFC) has received funding from the Government of Ontario to continue and enhance their support of youth working at innovative Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

VFC will receive $1,480,406 in funding, administered by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) on behalf of the Government of Ontario.

Venture for Canada, a non-profit charity, develops entrepreneurial leadership skills in youth through training and experiential learning. Selected participants in the program, called “Fellows,” attend a month-long training camp, spend two years working at innovative Canadian SMEs, and receive access to ongoing support, training, and mentorship over two years.

“In a changing economy, young people now more than ever need entrepreneurial skills and nimbleness to succeed,” says Scott Stirrett, Founder and CEO, Venture for Canada. “Through the Government of Ontario's support, Venture for Canada will provide more Ontarian youth with the experiential learning opportunities needed to learn skills, gain work experience, share knowledge and build resilience.”

Through the funding, VFC Fellows will learn first hand what is involved with creating successful Canadian start-ups through working for successful Canadian entrepreneurs, thereby gaining the skills, network, and experience to launch their own firms or lead entrepreneurial careers.

“Since making college and university tuition free for thousands of students, we know it’s easier for people to get the skills to succeed,” says Mitzie Hunter, Ontario’s Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. “Still, graduates require hands-on work experience to build their professional resumes and find good, well-paying jobs. By working with Venture for Canada, we’re helping more young people in Ontario compete in a highly skilled workforce, and making sure the province keeps its talent advantage.”

Each year, VFC, in partnership with OCE, hosts Fellow Selection Days, all-day events where Fellow applicants undergo a series of group and individual interviews from different innovation experts. VFC applicants invited to the events are chosen from hundreds of applicants.

“OCE is excited to continue our relationship with Venture for Canada through this new funding from the Government of Ontario,” says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, OCE. “Our youth have so much entrepreneurial potential, and this support from the Government of Ontario only strengthens their mandate of investing in this province’s talents.”

Ontario companies that are currently working or have worked with VFC include:


About Venture for Canada

Venture for Canada is a not-for-profit that recruits, trains and supports youth to work at Canadian startups, with the mission of fostering entrepreneurship. VFC Fellows spend two years working at one of the partner startups, where they gain the skills, network and experience necessary to launch their own startups.  Learn more at

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.

OCE drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their company and create jobs.