Our Impact
Entrepreneurial skills Development

Next Step Summit 📖

At a glance

A virtual sneak peek of our fellowship program.

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registrants across Canada
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speakers
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panels, workshops and drop-in booths
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attendees submitted applications for Fellowship
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attendees were selected as 2023 Fellow
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satisfaction rate

Opportunity

Today’s graduating students face a daunting challenge when entering the workforce, grappling with a lack of career clarity and confidence amidst a rapidly evolving job market, increased automation, and rising living costs, while also yearning to make a meaningful impact through their careers. 

Recognizing this opportunity, the Next Step Summit was launched as a virtual event to provide graduating students and recent grads with an opportunity to gain clarity on their post-graduation plans and explore potential next steps in a startup environment. 

Approach

The Next Step Summit was strategically designed to achieve multiple goals:

  • Internally, it aimed to raise awareness of the 2023 Fellowship Cohort and attract top talent early in the admissions process. By offering a free and accessible preview of the program's value, the event served as a platform to showcase the benefits and attract prospective applicants.
  • Externally, the Summit provided an opportunity for participants to explore the benefits of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, build meaningful connections, and equip themselves with the tools and confidence needed to launch their professional journeys. 

The Summit spanned an afternoon and featured a lineup of 12 speakers, including successful startup founders, recent graduates, industry experts, and VFC Fellowship Alumni. The agenda comprised engaging panel discussions, interactive workshops, drop-in booths, and networking sessions with students and employers from across Canada.

  • ❓ Panel: What Comes Next? With Recent Grads
  • 💡 Panel: How To - Be a Founder; Work with Founders
  • 🔍 Job Seeking Booth
  • 🚀 How to Become a VFC Fellow
  • 🙌 Giving (and Receiving) Feedback Like a Champ
  • 📊 Panel: How Can Gen-Z Make Their Mark on the Workforce
  • 👣 A (Draft) Plan for After Grad
  • 🤝 Networking

Impact

Screenshot of attendees

The Next Step Summit proved to be a transformative event for participants, equipping them with confidence, connections and clarity to navigate the complex landscape of post-graduation.

“I got to say, this event was an absolute gold mine! The event had panel discussions and even a virtual space for job seekers to connect with companies hiring. My favorite part of the event was a panel discussion on "How Can Gen-Z Make Their Mark on the Workforce" which featured Brianna Blaney, Matthew Lombardi, Alex Baccellieri and Una Lounder. I listened to every word you guys spoke and your advice was gold. Shout-out to Venture for Canada. The event setup was amazing and there were invaluable resources available like career prep workshops! A message to students and recent grads: I highly recommend you guys look into these types of events as they will help you connect with future employers, people who are in the workforce, and other students and recent grads who are also on the job market. Can't wait for the next Summit!”

Muhammad Hannad Ahsan
Muhammad Hannad Ahsan
Healthcare Management Student at Humber College

The panel discussions provided advice and perspectives on career paths, entrepreneurship, and making a positive impact in the workforce. Attendees gained inspiration and confidence in their career aspirations, acquiring practical skills and strategies for job seeking, feedback management, and goal-setting.

Drop-in booths with VFC staff offered a safe space for participants to ask questions about the Fellowship Program and receive guidance to align their next steps with their desire for impact. As a result of the event, 25 participants proceeded to apply for the Fellowship Program, with 12 of them ultimately selected as Fellows, representing 29% of the 2023 cohort. 

The Next Step Summit's success highlights the importance of building relationships with key stakeholders, leveraging existing contacts, and providing value to external audiences. Overall, the Summit proved itself to be an excellent recruitment and awareness tool, and a second iteration of the event was held in February 2023 for the Fellowship’s winter admissions process.