Ottawa Post-Secondary Schools Launch Ottawa Young Entrepreneurs Program

A new local program that aims to foster entrepreneurship among young people has received $1 million from the Ontario Centres of Excellence. Ottawa’s Young Entrepreneurs, a partnership between Carleton University, Algonquin College, La Cité collégiale and the University of Ottawa, will support students and recent grads as they launch and grow companies.

“All four of Ottawa’s top post-secondary academic institutions are collaborating to help their students and recent graduates develop their business acumen and obtain more real-world entrepreneurial experience,” says lead organizer Tony Bailetti, who holds faculty appointments in Carleton’s Department of Systems and Computer Engineering and Sprott School of Business.

The program will build a regional business ecosystem designed to support the launch and growth of companies formed by students and recent graduates from Ottawa’s post-secondary institutions. OYE will accelerate the development of the processes, systems, tools and content needed to support entrepreneurs as they move from the idea to opportunity to venture path. Exceptional students and recent graduates who have identified distinct business opportunities will receive cash support to develop their business plans and work towards the vital first sale. The program also supports students and graduates who will compete to provide solutions to business problems identified by OYE’s extensive group of mentors and established local entrepreneurs. Through OYE, entrepreneurs and students can collaborate on applied research projects and students will develop a range of entrepreneurial skills through hands-on experience. The program can also target specific populations of young entrepreneurs (i.e. women, new Canadians and people with disabilities).

Carleton University, a leader in Canadian innovation, is committed to offering its students experiential opportunities in many fields, including entrepreneurship. It’s an essential part of the university’s Creative and Critical Inquiry Initiative. The university recently announced a new Bachelor of Commerce concentration in Entrepreneurship and a Minor in Entrepreneurship in the Sprott School of Business. Carleton also offers the Technology Innovation Management (TIM) program through the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering and Carleton Entrepreneurs, a program that helps students transform their ideas into compelling business opportunities and successful ventures. Carleton’s highly successful Lead To Win program helps grow new startup businesses. Wes Nicol, a distinguished Carleton graduate, has donated funds to create various competitions that encourage students to develop entrepreneurial skills and find innovative solutions to real-world problems.

Algonquin College is a recognized leader in the delivery of theoretical and practical education designed to produce graduates with the skills to thrive as successful entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is a common theme in many of the programs in the Algonquin College School of Business, including Small and Medium Enterprise Management, Business Administration, Green Business Management, and other continuing education courses delivered in partnership with the Canadian Institute of Entrepreneurship. Through Algonquin College’s Office of Applied Research and Innovation, students and faculty get the unique opportunity to work directly with entrepreneurs to research, develop, and test new products and services destined for the marketplace. Some of the projects include: the creation of a mobile wind turbine to deliver sustainable power to remote areas, an emergency shelter housing unit that was deployed to Haiti following the earthquake of 2010, and the creation of an award-winning optical lens that has usages in a variety of fields from urban infrastructure to medicine.

La Cité collégiale, the largest French College in Ontario, is fully committed to offering its students opportunities to develop their entrepreneurial skills by interacting with representatives from SMEs and by addressing some of their challenges. Through its Applied Research Program, La Cité collégiale provides the possibility for its students to work together with SMEs in areas such as biotechnology, trades, design and information technologies. Various training programs, such as the ones related to marketing and communications, also give students opportunities to experience hands-on situations within their curriculum by developing marketing and communication tools for businesses. The College also delivers COOP programs that allow for internships with SMEs. All the aforementioned activities generate new ideas that have resulted in some of our students contemplating new business undertaking.

The University of Ottawa, one of Canada’s top research-intensive universities, is committed to research excellence and to ensuring that our students expand their knowledge, enrich their culture and boost their creativity to become committed citizens and leaders in society. Supported by the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Endowment Fund, the Faculty of Engineering has established annual Prizes in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (for undergraduate and for graduate students) to develop business plans around an innovative product, or service idea based on their course or research work.   Engineering Management is a joint program of the Faculty of Engineering and the Telfer School of Management that provides combination of theoretical training and hands-on, boot-strapping business development training for engineers returning to the post secondary environment after beginning their career in engineering. Entrepreneurship and technology commercialization are two of the major themes at the Telfer School of Management where Dr. Bruce G. Firestone is Entrepreneur-in-Residence .The uOttawa Technology Transfer and Business Enterprise office and the Ottawa Technology Transfer Network support and promote technology development, new venture creation and student entrepreneurship through the BioEntrepreneurship Workshop series and the Startup Garage competition.

For more information about the program, please visit Carleton Entrepreneurs at


For more information:
Chris Cline
Media Relations
Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 1391

Kim Swartz
Media and External Relations Officer
Sprott School of Business, Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 1573