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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 other workshops. Workshops are open to all students, faculty and staff at the university.

Entrepreneurship Research Workshops

The workshops on this page are part of an Entrepreneurship Research Skills Co-Curricular Record as recognized by the University of Toronto. They are open to all U of T students, faculty, and staff. A valid UTORid is required to access library databases. Registration is required.

Please note that all U of T library workshops have moved to an online platform. The fine for missed workshops has been suspended for March 2020 until further notice.

These workshops are organized into introductory and in-depth levels. See descriptions below for more information. All other related workshops are detailed in the navigation sidebar on the left side.

If you have a question about a workshop, please contact Entrepreneurship Librarian Carey Toane (carey.toane@utoronto.ca) or the instructor listed in the workshop description.

Introductory sessions: Upcoming

Launchpad: Campus Resources for U of T Startups

Orientation to campus resources for those with startups or interested in startups, including accelerators, courses and programs, library resources, commercialization, funding opportunities, and 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: January 2022
Location: Online via Zoom (participants will receive a link prior to session start)
Instructor: Carey Toane, Entrepreneurship Librarian, carey.toane@utoronto.ca

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Industry research for startups

Whether you are on the edge of a new industry to looking to enter an established sector, you need to quantify and understand the industry players, segments, and size. This workshop introduces you to existing sources of industry information such as market research reports and trade journals, as well as provides strategies to help you do your own analysis and estimations. 

In this session you will: 

  • Become familiar proprietary and open sources of industry information
  • Learn to read a market research report in five minutes
  • Explore models for DIY industry analysis
  • Take away tools and frameworks for synthesizing and analyzing your industry

When: Winter 2022
Location: Online via Zoom (participants will receive a link prior to session start)
Instructor: Mariana Jardim, Liaison Librarian, Management, and Computer and Mathematical Sciences, UTSC Library, mariana.jardim@utoronto.ca

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Company and Competitor Research

For participants of all disciplines interested in learning more about researching companies and finding competitor information. Includes an overview of subscription databases and publicly available resources for company research.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Evaluate different types of company information and understand the differences between public and private companies
  • Find both direct and indirect competitor information
  • Practice finding company documents and reports

When: Jan-Feb 2022
Location: Online via Zoom (participants will receive a link prior to session start)
Instructor: Holly Inglis, Public Services Librarian, Milt Harris Library, Rotman School of Management, holly.inglis@rotman.utoronto.ca

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In-depth sessions: Upcoming

Researching your 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.

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: November 10, 2021, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Location: Online via Zoom (registrants will receive a link prior to the session start)
Instructor: Carey Toane, Entrepreneurship Librarian, Gerstein Science Information Centre (carey.toane@utoronto.ca)

Register now

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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 strategies and methods such as customer interviews and surveys
  • Identify the relationship between your research and your idea
  • Avoid common pitfalls during the market research process

When: Fall/Winter 2021
Location: Online via Zoom (participants will receive a link prior to session start)
Instructor: Carey Toane, Entrepreneurship Librarian, Gerstein Science Information Centre (carey.toane@utoronto.ca)

Register now

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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

When: Winter 2022
Where: Online via Zoom (registrants will receive a link prior to the session start)
Instructor: Michelle Spence, Engineering and Computer Science Librarian, Engineering and Computer Science Library, michelle.spence@utoronto.ca