RBC uOttawa CO-OP Entrepreneurship Program

 RBC uOttawa COOP Entrepreneurship Program - Investing in students, unlocking their potential

What is the RBC CO-OP Entrepreneurship Program?

The RBC CO-OP Entrepreneurship Program will set the standard when it comes to helping students develop an entrepreneurial mindset. RBC’s investment of $450,000 over three years will provide significant new opportunities for entrepreneurially-minded CO-OP students. It will allow them to test ideas and learn the myriad skills needed to get a business off the ground and either graduate to running a full-fledged operation or take part in further incubation programs.

Rather than hoping for a position with an existing company, RBC CO-OP Entrepreneurship Program participants will learn how to become successful entrepreneurs. By investing in students with the passion to develop their entrepreneurial skills, RBC will be creating employment and wealth, while fostering the kind of innovation that is needed for future prosperity.


Three types of entrepreneurial ventures

  1. Business idea or project: Dedicate time to getting your business idea or project off the ground.

  2. Entrepreneurial Apprenticeship: An entrepreneurial apprenticeship provides you with experiential learning opportunities so you can develop your entrepreneurial mindset and innovation skills. This practice-based form of entrepreneurship education gives you the freedom to pursue projects that promote learning by doing and employing new technologies.

  3. Placement in a small start-up where students are exposed to the entire business: Complete a traditional CO-OP placement in a relatively new small business. These placements are designed to introduce you to all aspects of business management.


Who can participate?

CO-OP students from all faculties can apply to the RBC CO-OP Entrepreneurship Program.

  • Applicants should take an entrepreneurship course at the University of Ottawa before applying.
  • Applicants wishing to work on their own business venture should meet with Stephen Daze or Hanan Anis before applying.


Startups that wish to hire a CO-OP student

  • Startups that wish to hire a CO-OP student as part of this program must offer an on-site educational experience in which the student develops an entrepreneurial mindset. While the student can play a particular role within the startup, he or she must also be provided with various learning opportunities and exposure to the ins and outs of running a startup.


What are the advantages for participants?

  1. Four full months to work on cultivating an entrepreneurial edge
  2. Receipt of a $10,000 scholarship and the possibility of receiving an additional $5,000 to continue with your project part time over the next term
  3. Access to core resources and various support services


How to apply - students?

Please fill the online form and make sure to consider the following deadlines:

Targeted Work Term
Application Deadline


March 1


End of March


July 1 (of the year before)


End of July


November 1 (the year before)


End of November


How to apply - startups?

Startups that wish to hire a CO-OP student should email Marc-André Daoust. In the email, please answer the following questions:

  • What type of work will the student be doing?
  • How will you ensure the student receives an on-site educational experience that develops his or her entrepreneurial mindset?
  • Describe the learning opportunities and exposure to the ins and outs of running a startup you will be able to provide.

Be sure to include your company name, company contact person, the program(s) of study you’re interested in recruiting from, the term you’re recruiting for (e.g., Winter 2018, Summer 2018, Fall 2018) and your phone number.


2016 Recipients

Justin McLeod
Mechanical Engineering

Faculty of Engineering

"ING Robotic Aviation Inc. paired with the RBC uOttawa Entrepreneurship CO-OP Program has really allowed me to channel my ambition. ING has given me full ownership of my 3-axis gimbal project, and I can now honestly say that I’m much more prepared to run an engineering services business if ever the opportunity arises. I still have an immense amount to learn, but this work term has really allowed me to soak up a large amount of information in an environment that I can definitely see myself in in the future. I may sound like a broken record, but you need to be open to learning something new and sharpening your skills every day."

Link to the blog:


2017 Recipients

Daniel Laframboise - Software Engineering

Faculty of Engineering

"Throughout the winter of 2017, I had the chance of a lifetime to work for a local early-stage startup called Welbi. This was an incredible opportunity that allowed me to develop not only technical skills but also soft skills, something larger companies simply can’t offer. Working with Welbi made it possible for me to experience the ups and downs that startups go through every day and taught me to be able to adapt quickly and change priorities on a dime. The founders I worked beside every day—who had given up the chance of a stable career to instead take their shot at changing the world through innovation and technology—served as a huge inspiration. I’ll be forever thankful to RBC, the University of Ottawa CO-OP staff who helped set up the work term and Nick and Elizabeth from Welbi for giving me the opportunity."

Holly Todd - Marketing

Telfer School of Management

"Working to build my own business was definitely challenging this past summer, but it was also very rewarding. My business, Sprout, which I run as part of the uOttawa student group Enactus, sells fresh produce and instructional meal kits in areas that lack access to healthy foods. I was able to turn my passion for creating positive social change into a job, and I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer. I learned so much as an entrepreneur that I know I wouldn't’ have learned if I’d worked at a traditional summer job. It was definitely a great ride and I look forward to what’s ahead! We’re expanding to a third location in the next few weeks and hope to bring Sprout to more locations across Ottawa over the next year.

Link to the blog:

Edna Gisela Urrego - International Development and Globalization

Faculty of Social Sciences


"Startup Garage is a very dynamic program, with something always going on. My goal is to support Startup Garage’s companies’ portfolio. I help startups — who have few human resources and a heavy workload — reach their milestones. My position is exciting and flexible. I can be involved with and learn from different industries and initiatives. I also participate in the follow-ups on the progress of each company during our bi-weekly meetings. Startup Garage invites several serial entrepreneurs and experts from different fields to share their expertise and talk about their experiences. We are exposed to a wide variety of topics such as marketing, finance, sales and legal matters and participate in workshops on essential skills for entrepreneurs, like how to efficiently pitch your business. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn and get inspired by local entrepreneurs."

Links to the Blogs:





2018 Recipients
Brent Jensen

Brent Jensen, Public Administration

Faculty of Social Sciences

“Having the opportunity to work alongside a group of entrepreneurs providing new and innovative ways of solving problems was one of the greatest professional experiences I have had to date. What I have taken away from this experience is the knowledge and insights about what it takes not only to run a business, but also to be successful. During my time at Desk Nibbles, I was challenged to learn new skills, given much more responsibility, and definitely put outside of my comfort zone, which is where the best personal growth happens! I’m incredibly thankful to RBC, uOttawa, and Desk Nibbles for making this a reality. I could not recommend applying to this program enough! ”

Link to the blog: www.chequelist.wordpress.com 

Steven Bui

Steven Bui, Accounting

Telfer School of Management

“For my parents, entrepreneurship was integral to their transition into Canadian society. When they emigrated from Vietnam, they knew the best way to become part of the Ottawa community was to contribute to it directly. My parents are an inspiration to me and through their success, I’ve been enticed by the idea of starting my own business and being able to give back to the Ottawa community. When I saw that RBC and uOttawa were providing an opportunity to work with a start-up, I knew that the experience would be very valuable and unlike any other job I’ve worked so far. Since starting at MicroMetrics in January, I’ve been exposed to the start-up world and what skills are an absolute necessity to succeed in this environment. I will carry the skills that I have developed through this experience for a lifetime and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me next! ”

Link to the blog:




For more information

Please contact Marc-André Daoust (CO-OP Programs). 




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