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News Releases

Venture for Canada Continues to Recruit, Train and Support Top Talent For Ontario Startups

September 8, 2016

Program Boasts 90 Per Cent Success Rate

TORONTO, Sept. 8, 2016 –  Venture for Canada, a not-for-profit that recruits, trains and supports recent graduates to work at Canadian startups, is seeing tremendous success, with 90 per cent of its fellows meeting or exceeding the expectations of employers in their job placements.

Venture for Canada fosters entrepreneurship by training and supporting graduates to work at startups.  Almost 1,700 graduates applied to get hands on experience as a Venture for Canada “fellow”. 

“We are thrilled with the calibre of our applicants for the fellowship,” says Scott Stirrett, Venture for Canada’s executive director. “But even more impressive is the fact that the large majority of placement companies report back to us that the fellows meet or exceed their expectations once they are in the workforce.” 

Fellows spend two years working at one of Venture for Canada’s partner startups, where they gain the skills, network and experience necessary to launch their own firms. 

The process of being selected as a Fellow is highly competitive, and involves a written application, video interview, phone interview, and in-person challenges at one of two fellow selection days each year.

“It’s always exciting to hear from the companies about how much they value the skills and qualities the fellows bring and the strong impact they are having on company success,” says Stirrett. “Through our efforts, our partner startups gain access to the talent that they need to take their companies to the next level.” 

For the most recent 2016 cohort, Venture for Canada received double the applications of the previous year and selected 55 fellows. Notably, almost 40 per cent of Venture for Canada applicants for the 2016 cohort have STEM backgrounds, with two 2016 Fellows holding PhDs in STEM fields. 

Working with Ontario Centres of Excellence, Venture for Canada is continuing to harness the energy and skill of Ontario’s talented post-secondary graduates to power the province’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.  In September 2015, the two organizations created the OCE – Venture for Canada fellowship stream focussing on training, supporting, and recruiting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) recent graduates to work at top Ontario startups.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with OCE,” says Stirrett. “Through this collaboration more of Ontario’s leading startups will receive access to top talent, and more Ontario youth with STEM backgrounds will gain the experience necessary to launch their own firms.”

“Building great companies is about assembling great teams. Working with Venture for Canada, we can further recruit the talent needed to fuel the growth of startups,” says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE’s President and CEO. “We are very pleased with the results of the OCE - Venture for Canada fellowship stream,” 

As part of the program, Fellows have gained the experience of working in high growth firms. Partner startups employing Fellows have raised over $78 million in investment capital and added over 180 additional jobs. Fellows currently work at such notable companies as Vidyard and eSight.

"Through being a Venture for Canada Fellow, I have learned so much about entrepreneurship, and what it takes to build a Canadian technology company,” says Sophie Yu, Junior Mechanical Engineer at Nymi. “I've seen firsthand how working at a startup encourages you to develop entrepreneurial skills from the outset of your career." 

“Sophie has been an invaluable addition to the Nymi team,” says James Elson, Vice President of Manufacturing at Nymi. “With her creativity, positive attitude and unwavering ability to get things done, she has successfully contributed to both the culture and advancement of our company.”   

Young entrepreneurial Canadians can submit their application online tomorrow. 

The first deadline is October 28, 2016.


About Venture for Canada

Venture for Canada is a not-for-profit that recruits, trains and supports recent graduates to work at Canadian startups, with the mission of fostering entrepreneurship. 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. (

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario’s global competitiveness. 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, domestic and foreign investors, and government ministries. Learn more at


Media contact:


Scott Stirrett
Executive Director
Venture for Canada