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Campus Startups 101

A starting point for University of Toronto students looking for entrepreneurship opportunities and resources on campus

Courses and programs

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University of Toronto offers numerous credit-based courses and programs to help you learn about entrepreneurship and get you started with your venture. Some of these are affiliated with a campus-linked accelerator, and can be a way to build a startup while working toward your degree at the same time.

Browse a list of courses and programs on the U of T Entrepreneurship site

Search for a course using the Course Finder or on your academic faculty or division webpage.

New! Looking for a no-credit online or in-person option? Try these first.

Examples of U of T courses and programs

CSC454 The Business of Software
A popular balloted course offered by the Dept. of Computer Science, The Business of Software can be taken alone or alongside a Design Capstone.

ECO352 Economics of Entrepreneurship
Taught by an entrepreneur, this highly ranked Dept. of Economics course uses the Harvard Case Study method to bring real-world examples into the classroom.

IMC200 - Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Dubbed U of T's "flagship 'Intro to Entrepreneurship' course" by the Banting and Best Centre, IMC200 looks at taking laboratory discoveries into the marketplace, covering intellectual property, product development, company structure and decision making, marketing, and sales.

Emphasis in Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Innovation and Technology in Engineering (ELITE) Certificate
The Emphasis in ELITE offers University of Toronto MEng students a broad range of courses in leadership, finance and business, management, entrepreneurship and innovation. The first of its kind in Canada, the ELITE Certificate is targeted at engineers seeking to develop a more well-rounded skill set. The Certificate can be integrated into MEng programs offered by any of six departments in the Faculty.

Faculty of Medicine Translational Research Program
A course-based Professional Masters (MHSc) focused on training people who facilitate the development, design and translation of research and discoveries into contexts where they have positive impacts on human health.

Music Technology & Digital Media - Faculty of Music
The program uniquely combines creative experience and professional training in Composition, Performance, Production, and Distribution of technologically driven digital media.  Students work within and across these areas to develop their individual skills, and ultimately work together in teams across areas to realize professionally viable projects in ways that parallel real creative industry experience.

Rotman MBA major in Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The MBA major draws on courses in Business Economics, Finance, Strategy, Organizational Behaviour and Marketing to reflect the integrative nature of innovation and entrepreneurship. Includes a year-long course supporting startups at the Creative Destruction Lab.

Alternatives to credit courses

If a credit course isn't an option for you, there are alternatives available, including free U of T Library workshops and online resources.

Entrepreneurship 100: Conversations, a three-week series of in person-only interactive sessions with local entrepreneurs to learn about transforming ideas into successful businesses and who can help you along the way. Hosted by U of T Entrepreneurship and the Impact Centre.

Engineering Entrepreneurship Series
The goal of this series is to have real entrepreneurs come in and tell the stories of their companies and share their experiences—we invite recent graduates as well as a variety of veteran entrepreneurs for you to learn from. Hosted by U of T Engineering.  

MaRS Entrepreneurship 101 videos, slides and worksheets are available online, and cover ideation, business planning and models, intellectual property, sales and marketing, legal fundamentals, growing a team, and funding and investment principles and techniques.

Udacity online course "How to Build a Startup: The Lean Launchpad," created by customer development guru, entrepreneur, and author Steve Blank, is used as curriculum at U of T accelerators and elsewhere. (You might also want to read his book.) 

Creative Commons content from Y Combinator president Sam Altman's course at Stanford, How to Start a Startup, is openly available online.

U of T School of Continuing Studies offers five-week intro courses to aspects of starting your own business including business plans, sales and marketing, market research, HR and more. A certificate program is offered for those who wish to complete a suite of courses.

Toronto Public Library offers an eight-week Business Inc. course for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Several organizations in Toronto provide for-fee in-person and online instruction in coding and programming, including Ladies Learning Code, HackerYou, and Bitmaker. On campus, try the MADLab for free mobile app development and 3D printing support or a student club like IEEE.