Summer Biz School

Turn your idea into a business at Summer Biz School!

The next generation of entrepreneurs is ready to take flight—and Summer Biz is the perfect place to start. This fun, part-time program empowers college and university students (age 17-30) to turn their passions and ideas into real businesses, including up to $2,000 in funding for business startup. You will gain the real-world skills and knowledge to start your own business.

 

Summer Biz at I&E

Program description

Successful applicants learn the foundations of entrepreneurship by working with local entrepreneurs, and have access to Innovation & Entrepreneurship’s network of seasoned business mentors.

We aim to give you the knowledge and tools you need to think decisively, act confidently and watch your idea flourish.

We believe that business can be a force for good in the world. This program will expose you to sustainability practices with an introduction to social enterprise.

This program is located at YukonU Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) in the Northlight building, in downtown Whitehorse.

Summer Biz School is made possible with funding from Government of Canada’s Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), Yukon Government (Economic Development), TD Bank Group, and generous sponsorship from many local businesses.

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Join the program

The Summer Biz School is an opportunity to develop your business idea by: 

  • working with local entrepreneurs  

  • connecting with potential partners and mentors from across the country 

  • developing entrepreneurial skills, including problem solving, critical thinking, networking and relationship building 

  • building your resume  

  • developing self-determination  

  • gaining real-world experience 

  • using this 2.5-month experience to decide if your business idea is worth pursuing

What's in it for Summer Biz School participants

The Program starts with a Launch Week for all students to: 

  • meet the Innovation & Entrepreneurship team and entrepreneur sponsors 

  • connect with additional entrepreneurial support

  • validate their idea and build the foundations of their business through a one-day bootcamp 

At the end of this immersive launch event, you will have a better understanding of the business idea you want to pursue for the rest of the summer. This includes: 

  • training on how to develop a successful pitch 

  • learning and networking opportunities

  • customized sessions with the tools and resources to grow your idea, including individual mentorship

Who can apply

You are invited to apply if you are a Yukon resident who is:  

  • aged 17-30
  • a college or university student (studying part-time or full-time) planning to graduate this spring, or return to studies in fall 2024
  • or a student planning to graduate from high school this spring, and planning to attend a college or university in fall 2024
  • available for a weekend bootcamp
  • available to commit between 6-10 flex hours per week to the program from May - July 2024
  • no business background required
Selection process

Written submission: 

  • share the idea that you are curious to explore, or the problem you would like to solve,  
  • tell us about your areas of passion for your career, and how you would like to serve your community, 
  • explain why you want to join the Summer Biz School,  
  • fill out the application form by the deadline. Follow-up phone interviews may also be required.
What students have to say about Summer Biz
YukonU I&E is tremendously inspired by Summer Biz students who have completed the program to date. Here's what students had to say about the program:

“The Summer Biz program was such a wonderful experience. I had the opportunity to connect with mentors and learn from instructors in a wide range of fields, which helped inform my business model. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone looking to expand their knowledge and learn from industry experts,” (Laura Kelly, multimedia artist & creative communicator). 

“The Summer Biz program has been such an amazing opportunity for me to stretch my wings and join a wonderful community of entrepreneurs. I have been able to meet many small business owners and learn their stories while also learning more about myself and the reason I want to pursue my business idea. I don’t have the words to describe how thankful I am for this, but I can honestly say that it has been a life-changer for me,” (Liam Russel, SaccadeFilms). 

“Summer Biz School gave me crucial knowledge on the blueprint to follow for starting a business. I highly recommend this course to anyone with a passion for something that could become a business," (Isidore Champagne, Champagne Photography).

“This course has helped me to narrow down exactly how I want to run my business, and has shown me many strategies for managing finances, as well as how to approach the market. Summer Biz is a very personal program, and each module is tailored to each student,” (Bill Newkirk, Arctic RC). 

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We are grateful to our funders & local sponsors for empowering the next generation!

Summer Biz funders and sponsors

Sponsors provide valuable mentorship
Myles and Tanner Hougen
Myles and Tanner Hougen, co-founders of Yukon Built
Summer Biz 2023 sponsors & mentors

"Getting into spaces like this is so exciting, to see the entrepreneurial spirit in the Yukon...We live it every day and we know what the opportunities are. To see others pursuing it is the ultimate way to give back."

- Myles and Tanner Hougen

Matt Douglas
Matt Douglas, Managing Director at Mammoth
Summer Biz 2023 sponsor & mentor

"Helping entrepreneurs on their path is an incredibly rewarding experience not just for me personally but also for people on the team at Mammoth. Collectively, we dedicate time each month to helping out in our community and being part of the I&E Summer Biz School has given us the honour and privilege to work with and provide encouragement to young entrepreneurs. And most important, it’s a ton of fun! If you are thinking about joining the program and want another perspective feel free to reach out."

- Matt Douglas

 

Ben Pereira, Neighbourly North
Ben Pereira, CEO of Neighbourly North
Summer Biz 2023 sponsor 
Ready to make the JUMP into entrepreneurship!

At just 24 years old, Ben Pereira created what has evolved into Neighbourly North. He had decided to leave the corporate world to backpack through South America, North Africa and Europe for a year and come up with a business idea on the fly. Ben stayed in innovative concept hotels, hostels and Airbnb's, which helped him see the dramatic change the lodging sector was undergoing. With a vision to bring fresh ideas and a new business model back to his rapidly growing hometown, Neighbourly North was born, and the market for a new real estate service was created.