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Necessity is the mother of invention

Gina Patterson
Director of Programs

2020 threw many of us into crisis. How was anyone supposed to be productive this year? And most of this is not going away any time soon. The global pandemic put humanity’s systemic inequities on display. If we want to address them, it seems clear to me that we can no longer afford to prevent people with great ideas from being able to live them out. We need as many people creating new value for our aching world and the crises we face as possible.

VFC’s role in this complex journey is to create a kick-ass bench and get them played. To find and foster the next-gen of leaders. Folks with the tools, self-awareness, skills and networks to solve real problems, carve their own paths, and move the needle. A bench full of diverse, marginalized voices so long missing from the startup ecosystem needed to have a full conversation. This is what we are passionate about. This is what we work for every day.

We are a registered charity and a startup at heart. We live the entrepreneurial sensibilities we teach about. This manifests in our approach to the types of products and services we create, how we create them, who we employ, the culture we cultivate, and how we work with our clients, partners and participants. We directly attribute our ability to adapt and thrive through a challenging year to these entrepreneurial sensibilities.

In a lean, stress-filled year for each of us, personally, professionally and emotionally, we saw over a thousand students choose to intern and hone their career paths while at school; We helped passionate Fellows struggle through hiring freezes and a flooded labour market to claim positions in startups across Canada. We innovated to find ways to connect deeply with each other and our clients through a screen. The following pages offer a glimpse behind the curtain at the results of the work of our superstars. We couldn’t be prouder.

“There is a symbiotic relationship between high-growth people and high-growth companies, and our VFC Fellows live and breathe this philosophy”
Zakir Hemraj Zakir Hemraj CEO & Co-founder