North Forge Partners with the University of Winnipeg for Fourth Year Academic Credit
WINNIPEG, MB -In partnership with the University of Winnipeg’s Faculty of Business and Economics, North Forge Technology Exchange (North Forge) has announced that University of Winnipeg students will have the opportunity to join the North Forge Founders Program for fourth-year credit towards their Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree.
“Our government recognizes the importance of providing students with pathways to integrate work experiences with educational programming and we have identified it as a priority in our new Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy. This is an exciting new partnership that will enhance our shared strategic priority of supporting student success through experiential learning. Students will now have the opportunity to work directly with leaders in our entrepreneurial ecosystem which will help them learn new skills and develop their innovative, leading-edge business ideas at home here in Manitoba.” said Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration Minister Wayne Ewasko
The partnership between North Forge and UWinnipeg is a natural collaboration, with a unique opportunity to take lessons from the classroom and use these learnings to create a new business.
“Our ground-breaking partnership with the University of Winnipeg enables us to provide a unique and innovative entrepreneurial experience to students,” said Joelle Foster, CEO of North Forge Technology Exchange. “This is the first time this has been done in Western Canada. We are excited to pioneer this type of integrated learning, and believe this will be the first of many new partnerships that will help accelerate the economic recovery in Manitoba.”
Ultimately, this will lead to the development of critical thinkers that become the strategic leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. This type of partnership is not only innovative, but it bridges the gap between education and application, supporting the rebuilding of the Manitoba economy in the wake of the pandemic. By supporting students in this way, UWinnipeg demonstrates a forward thinking and a progressive approach to educating our future entrepreneurs.
“As entrepreneurs and students, we’re thankful the University of Winnipeg provides us with the opportunity to apply our knowledge to a real-world business opportunity through joint partnerships like the one with North Forge,” said UWinnipeg student Justin Baldwin, who, along with colleagues Francine Camia and Mack Borys, won the Virtual Hackathon event (organized in part by North Forge and UWinnipeg) in November. “Working with the experts at North Forge this term has furthered our understanding of the work that’s required to grow our start-up.”
The North Forge Founders Program provides an opportunity for UWinnipeg students who have completed the third year entrepreneurship course to validate their business idea and determine whether there is a viable market for their product or service. This research-based course, under the academic oversight of Rosalie Harms, Chair of UWinnipeg’s Department of Business and Administration, provides an opportunity for students to create a sustainable business model and develop a framework for validating it. If the market validation is positive, students would be supported and encouraged to launch their company.
“Through collaborative work-integrated learning opportunities like the one with North Forge, University of Winnipeg students are taking the lessons they’ve learned in the classroom and applying them in real-world situations,” said Dr. James Currie, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor. “The winning UWinnipeg Hackathon team of Justin Baldwin, Mack Borys, and Francine Camia are great examples of budding student entrepreneurs who are gaining important experience working with industry mentors as they bring their business idea to life.”
The North Forge Founders Program is designed to inspire and facilitate innovative entrepreneurs across a broad landscape in Manitoba to stimulate and strengthen the Provincial economy. For more information on how to join the Founders Program, please visit www.northforge.ca.
About North Forge Technology Exchange
North Forge Technology Exchange is a hybrid incubator/accelerator and the innovation partner for the Province of Manitoba. We fuel Manitoba’s innovation economy providing founders with award-winning mentors, rockstar subject matter experts and a new four-stage Founders Program. We have helped over 60 companies access over 180 million dollars in financing and created hundreds of jobs. Armed with Canada’s largest non-profit fabrication lab, we operate out of 27,000 square feet across Innovation Drive and Innovation Alley in Winnipeg, Canada.
About the University of Winnipeg
UWinnipeg is noted for academic excellence, Indigenous inclusion, environmental commitment, small class sizes, and celebrating diversity. UWinnipeg is committed to improving access to post-secondary education for all individuals, especially those taking non-traditional paths to university.
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