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Application Deadline: Arts & Science Entrepreneurship Program Summer 2016

April 10, 2016 @ 12:00 pm

Work Hard, Earn Course Credit, Build a Product

Application deadline: noon Sunday 10 April 2016

Come to an information session at the DCSIL Lab
1pm Tuesday March 22nd
3pm Tuesday April 5th

Questions? Email DCSIL Director Mario Grech: mario@cs.toronto.edu

Grad students: please email Mario directly for application instructions.

Undergrads: please choose one of the application streams below.

  No programming experience?

Earn credit for CSC204H+CSC454H


Are you an upper-year student in the humanities, social sciences, life or physical sciences? Is there an idea or information from your field that could change the way people interact with each other or with the world? Are you someone who can bring projects to life through your management skills, leadership, or communication skills? Do you have an idea that you could turn into a business, if only you knew how to make a website or a mobile application?You do NOT need to have experience in programming or software or business development to apply. Students with different skill sets will be matched in complementary teams.

So: perhaps you’re a geography student with an idea for a GIS application. Maybe you’re an anthropologist and you want to develop a smartphone app related to social behaviour. City planning, communications, culture, art, biology, linguistics, and other Arts and Science fields can be applied in exciting ways in startups and other entrepreneurial opportunities.

Apply HERE

  Programming experience?

Earn credit for CSC490H+CSC454H


Do you have a tech-based entrepreneurial idea that you want to explore this summer? Want to learn the business of software, create a business plan, develop a software prototype, and be ready to pitch to investors by the end of the summer?Or maybe you have strong programming skills but no place to apply them? Does the startup world fascinate you but you haven’t come up with a compelling idea? Do you want to partner with someone who does?

Bring your own idea, or perhaps partner with with a geography student with an idea for a GIS application, maybe work with an anthropologist who wants to develop a smartphone app related to social behaviour. You might work with a digital arts student who has a great idea for a mashup website. City planning, communications, culture, art, biology, linguistics, and other Arts and Science fields are all potential sources of ideas.

Apply HERE


The Arts & Science Summer Entrepreneurship Program, run by the Department of Computer Science, is a 12-week intensive program. You will immerse yourself in developing your entrepreneurial idea with a multidisciplinary team that you’ll form from among the people admitted to the program. You’ll earn course credit — CSC454 The Business of Software and either CSC204 Collaborating with Computer Scientists or CSC490 Capstone Design Project as appropriate — plus you’ll have access to mentorship, workshops, venture capitalists, and domain experts.

Over the course of ASEP, you’ll learn how to complete the following deliverables: a business model canvas, financial and business plans, a pitch deck, and a practiced pitch aimed at business and technology experts. Non-programmers will learn how to work with programmers: the patterns and terminology they use, the challenges they face, their tools, and how they communicate. Programmers will build a working prototype.

The program involves lectures by instructors and industry leaders, technical and entrepreneurial workshops, networking opportunities, and a demo day at the end of the summer.

Details & Objectives

This program introduces you to the nature, structure, and dynamics of the contemporary software industry. It focuses on the key factors involved in hypothesizing, validating, and executing a viable business model to launch and sustain a successful tech-based (software and/or hardware) business venture as a company founder or as an employee of an established company.

Program objectives include a meaningful understanding of:

  • The business concepts and principles behind creating and launching a successful software venture.
  • How to produce, present, and critique business proposals and plans for software ventures, and how to develop business simulation and forecasting models in support of these plans.
  • How to converse with and present to investors, executives, judging panels, incubators and accelerators.
  • Upon successful completion of the course, you will have first-hand experience of the stages, processes, and challenges involved in transforming an idea for a software application into an investable business venture, and will be ideally positioned to begin launching your own software venture.

In ASEP, you will learn techniques and methodologies that will give you a distinct career advantage after graduation, whether or not you intend to work in a tech field. It is designed to give you a true-to-life experience of the thought processes behind successful business ventures, which apply whether you are planning on creating your own startup or working for an established employer.

You and your team will devise a cool, innovative solution to a significant market problem. This will involve researching your customer base, forming and testing hypotheses, and producing a value proposition that will form the basis for your business model. You will investigate your customer base and market by identifying the key activities, resources and partners needed for fulfillment. This process culminates in a business model that both makes sense in a financial context and resonates with a venture capital (VC) audience—the kind of audience who will eventually be visiting the class to critique your final product.

Guest speakers and panelists include entrepreneurs and investors that are currently active in the industry. Each will share their unique real-world experiences, insights, and perspectives on the future of software and software entrepreneurship.
Application deadline: noon Sunday 10 April 2016

Questions? Email DCSIL Director Mario Grech: mario@cs.toronto.edu


April 10, 2016
12:00 pm
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