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EPICentre’s VentureU Skills-bootcamp is an intensive 4-day “bootcamp” for students looking to put their problem-solving skills to use. Students do not need to come with a team or idea! Just a willingness to use creative thinking to address a problem and the readiness to learn the tools to bring their solution to life. This program is open to students from all faculties and backgrounds!

Selected students will be put into teams and then work together through the week to ideate and create an innovative solution to a selected automobility problem. Each day, participants will attend workshops and hands-on clinics in the EPICentre’s collaborative learning environment, coupled with real-world exercises designed to get students “out of the building” and into the trenches of the lean start-up process. By week’s end, participants will have taken an idea from “I wonder if this will work?” to “This could be a great (and potentially profitable) solution to a real-world problem!”

Participants that complete the program will receive a $200 participation award and have a chance to win one of two $500 prizes during the final presentations. They will also receive a digital badge that can be shared on professional and social networks!

This high-demand program has limited seats and is 100% free of cost to all participants.

Applications open Monday, December 5, 2022.

The VentureU skills-bootcamp will run for four days during the University Reading Week; February 21 to 24, 2023 9a-4p. A light breakfast and full lunch will be provided to participants each day.

During the week, participants can expect the following sessions, workshops, and hands-on clinics:

Day 1 (Feb 21)

  • Program orientation and team formation. Teams will be formed based on background and skill set.
  • Principals of problem-centric ideation. Learn how to identify and quantify the size and severity of a problem, who it impacts, and how to make the best impact possible with a solution.
  • Idea think-tank. Teams will brainstorm and then choose a problem/solution to be their focus for the remainder of the bootcamp.
  • Intro to BMC. Business Model Canvas and Lean-Startup methodology.

Day 2 (Feb 22)

  • Problem/solution fit and customer discovery. Identify early potential customers for your solutions and characterize why they might be a good target for initial market testing.
  • Market and competitive environment. Identify potential competition, regulatory barriers, and market niches.
  • Feedback basics. Survey and interview fundamentals, and data leveraged decision making.
  • Interview clinic. Guided by coaches and mentors, participants conduct actual interviews, seeking feedback on their problem/solution fit and validating their customer segment assumptions.

Day 3 (Feb 23)

  • Crafting a quality value proposition. Students incorporate interview feedback into a value proposition and go on to complete their first full draft of their BMC.
  • Pitching, presenting, and selling. Participants gain the fundamentals of communicating the value of their ideas by learning how to craft and present a pitch targeted toward potential customers, investors, or even internal management.

Day 4 (Feb 24)

  • BMC wrap-up and final pitch prep. Guided by couches and mentors, teams complete their Business Model Canvas and prepare their final pitches.
  • Final Pitch Competition. Teams present their progress with a chance to win one of two $500 prizes!

All applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • You are available Tuesday to Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm the week of February 21-24, 2023, for in-person activities. Note that this is the University Reading Week!
  • You are a current student at the University of Windsor in any faculty
  • You agree to University of Windsor’s COVID-19 Return to Campus policies

*Please note, this program requires full-time commitment (four consecutive days, Feb 21-24). This program is not suited for those who have other full-time commitments. Students planning on traveling for any or all of University Reading week should NOT apply; please reach out to the Program Coordinator for more details:

The VentureU Skills-bootcamp is a 4-day, action packed week designed to help students learn how to apply their problem-solving skills to real-world problems. This is done through a mix of workshops and hands-on clinics that mesh core ideation and start-up principals with the opportunity to create the foundations of a real business – No business experience needed!

Throughout the 4-day bootcamp, participants will learn key skills, competencies, and know-how on topics such as:

  • In-depth problem-centric ideation training
  • In-depth problem-solution fit training
  • Customer discovery training
  • Market and competitive environment scanning
  • Seeking and analysing feedback
  • Intellectual property fundamentals
  • Pitching, presenting, and sales
  • Lean start-up methodology and the Business Model Canvas

Participants in this program will work on a problem that will be announced during orientation. They will then learn and practice start-up skills that will help them with their own ideas in the future!

Students completing the bootcamp will:

  • Receive a $200 participation award
  • Present their progress to a panel of judges for a chance to win one of two $500 prizes
  • Work 1-on-1 with dynamic mentors and coaches
  • Work in the EPICentre’s modern entrepreneurial co-working space
  • Have a light breakfast and full lunch provided each day
  • Receive a digital badge that can be shared on professional and social networks

This exclusive program is limited to 20 students. Please be detailed and thorough in your application. Selection for this program is at the sole discretion of the EPICentre Administration and the application review panel.

Applications close on Monday, January 30th, 2023 at 5:00 pm Eastern time

If you have any questions about VentureU, contact the Program Coordinator at
  • Applications open: Monday, December 5, 2022
  • Applications close: Monday, January 30, 2023 (5 pm)
  • Notify successful applicants: Friday, February 3, 2023
  • Program start: Tuesday, February 21, 2023 (9 am)
  • Program end and final pitches: Friday, February 24, 2023
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