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Research Guides

Entrepreneurship Research Workshops

This guide outlines the suite of entrepreneurship research workshops provided by the library, including Co-Curricular Record and Graduate Professional Skills workshops. Workshops are open to all students, faculty and staff at the university.

Research skills for your startup success

Whether you're launching a startup, taking an entrepreneurship course, commercializing research, or just dreaming of being your own boss, hone your research skills with free workshops, open to all U of T students, faculty and staff. 

The workshops on this page are part of an Entrepreneurship Research Co-Curricular Record as recognized by the University of Toronto. The CCR workshops are offered at introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels. Registration is required and those students who wish to participate in the CCR program must present a valid TCard at each session. See descriptions below for more information.

All other Entrepreneurship Workshops are detailed in the navigation sidebar on the left side.

Note: Workshops with four or fewer attendees will be canceled.  All workshop are free and registration is required. However, if you cannot attend a workshop, and fail to withdraw 48+ hours in advance, thereby preventing others on the waitlist from filling in your spot, your library account will be charged $10 per missed workshop.

If you have a question about a workshop, please contact Entrepreneurship Librarian Carey Toane ( or the instructor listed in the workshop description.

Introductory sessions

Launchpad: Campus Resources for U of T Startups

Orientation to campus resources for students with startups or interested in startups, including accelerators, courses and programs, library resources, commercialization, funding opportunities, and Toronto community resources.

You will leave with:

  • knowledge of how the university supports student and faculty startups through space, training, and mentorship
  • an understanding of campus accelerators, pitch competitions, and funding opportunities
  • additional library workshops available to further support and boost your entrepreneurship journey
  • a guide of where to go to find more information at U of T, around Toronto, and the broader startup ecosystem

When: Thursday, February 28, 12 p.m.-1 p.m.
Location: Instruction Lab, 2nd floor, Gerstein Science Information Centre
Instructor: Carey Toane, Entrepreneurship Librarian,

Register now


Introduction to Business Resources

Students of all disciplines learn the types of documents available related to company, industry and market research. Includes an overview of public versus private companies, subscription resources, government sources of information, and evaluating sources found online.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Develop skills to find and evaluate business information resources
  • Comprehend the basics of market research and industry reports
  • Practice finding relevant industry reports and company information

When: Thursday, February 28, 1 p.m - 2 p.m..
Location: Instruction Lab, 2nd floor, Gerstein Science Information Centre
Instructors: Holly Inglis, Public Services Librarian, Milt Harris Library, Rotman School of Business (

Register now


Intermediate sessions

Demystify Business Resources with the Business Model Canvas

Working on a business idea? The Business Model Canvas is an alternative to a long, wordy business plan used by startups around the world. It's a great way to summarize all the key elements of your product or service in a single page. It’s also a great tool to make sense of exactly what information you will need for your business planning – and how to find it at the library. 

This workshop is for startups who have started a canvas and are looking to test assumptions against market research and other resources. Participants will be expected to have a canvas prepared before attending the session. Those who do not will not receive CCR credit.   

In this session, you will:            

  • Understand which free and proprietary library databases are the best fit for your canvas
  • Develop search strategies that will save you time and eliminate frustration, and
  • Get market, industry, or competitor information you can use for your startup or small business venture

When: Wednesday, March 6, 12-2 p.m.
Location: Instruction Lab, second floor, Gerstein Science Information Centre
Instructor: Carey Toane, Entrepreneurship Librarian,

Register now


Market Sizing Basics

You already know what databases and other library resources are available for basic business research. But what do you do if you can’t find the numbers you need in a prepackaged market research report? This workshop builds on the foundation learned in Introduction to Business Resources, using available resources and strategies to answer your questions about market sizing, and help you make your own estimates.

You’ll leave with:

  • An understanding of how market researchers produce market sizing figures
  • Some examples to use when strategizing your own market sizing estimation model
  • A list of primary and secondary data sources to work with

When: TBD
Instructor: Carey Toane, Entrepreneurship Librarian,


Startup Job Search

Overview of information to aid students in finding and preparing for jobs in start-ups, as well as developing strategies to research start-ups using online and subscription resources.

  • Identify jobs and types of work available in start-ups through research in traditional and non-traditional resources;
  • Search for and evaluate company information using websites, social media, subscription resources and other resources;
  • Build connections with people working start-ups based on the outcomes of their research.

When: Wednesday, March 20, 2019, from 11 am to 12 pm
Location: ONRamp, RBC Innovation Hub, 100 College St.
Instructor: Theresa Owusu, Coordinator, Student Success Resources, U of T Career Centre.

Register here

Advanced sessions

Primary Research Strategies and Tools for Startups

How do you know if you have a winning product/service concept? This workshop will introduce you to market research methods, techniques, and tools that are relevant in a startup environment and help you to gather relevant information that could impact your innovation. This hands-on workshop will focus on primary research as the key to uncovering customer insights and unmet needs.

You will: 

  • Learn fundamentals of market research

  • Identify the relationship between your research and your idea
  • Develop appropriate research strategies for your startup
  • Take advantage of free or low-cost tools available to all
  • Understand common market research methods such as customer interviews and surveys
  • Avoid common pitfalls during the market research process
  • Take advantage of free or low-cost tools available to all
  • Conduct primary research ethically and be respectful of participants’ privacy

Next session: March 28, 2019, 12 - 2 p.m.
Location: Instruction Lab, second floor, Gerstein Science Information Centre
Instructor: Joe Lee, MBET, CMRP

Register now

Joe Lee is a seasoned professional with over 10 years of experience in market research and a proven ability to drive results through product and program development. He has experience across multiple industries such as education, healthcare, IT, and non-profit. He holds a Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology degree from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto. 

If you have any questions, please contact Entrepreneurship Librarian Carey Toane,


Data Resources for Entrepreneurs

Explore proprietary and open datasets that can inform your market research or power your technology. This interactive session will identify sources of marketing, consumer, demographic and economic data.

Participants will learn to:

  • Identify types of data
  • Navigate major databases/portals available through the library and on the web via hands-on experience
  • Critically evaluate the suitability of data resources to meet their needs

Next session: TBD
Location: Instruction Lab, 2nd Floor, Gerstein Library
Instructor: TBD

If you have any questions, please contact Entrepreneurship Librarian Carey Toane,



Resources for Patents Research

Find out what makes your technology unique and who else holds patents in your space. This basic DIY patent searching workshop includes an introduction to open web databases for patent searching, an overview of classification systems, and examples of prior art searches.

You will learn:

  • How to read a patent document quickly and efficiently
  • The advantages and limitations of various online patent resources
  • Strategies to build effective searches using keywords and classifications

Next session: TBD
Location: Gerstein Library, Instruction Lab, 2nd Floor
Instructor: Michelle Spence, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Engineering and Computer Science Library,