Building Programs
Fellowship Alumni Network

Fellowship Alumni Network

“Have a feeling of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together.”
(Chavis & McMillan 1986)

Evolution of the Alumni Network

  • 2017: It all began with just 34 members from the 2015 cohort. They started gathering informally in Toronto and Halifax, lending their expertise to VFC events and sharing insights at training camps. These initial connections laid the foundation for a strong tradition of meaningful engagement.
  • 2018: The network expanded with the 2016 graduates joining in and continuing to organize their own casual meetups.
  • 2019: Recognizing the potential to enhance alumni engagement, Sam Daviau, a 2015 alum, interviewed 40+ alumni and worked closely with staff to brainstorm formal programming. This collaboration birthed the Alumni Council, co-chaired by Sam and Micha Saade. They started planning the first Alumni Summit—a weekend envisioned to reconnect, learn, and inspire.
  • 2020-2021: Then came the pandemic, throwing a curveball into plans for the Summit. But the Council didn't let it deter them. They quickly adapted, setting up a Slack workspace to stay connected through virtual events and chats.
  • 2022: Finally, after two years of waiting, the first Alumni Summit launched. It was a significant moment, bringing together 64 members from all cohorts. With a 95% satisfaction rate, it's clear there was something special happening. It sparked a wave of excitement, with more members applying to join the Alumni Council and showing up to virtual session and in-person regional events.


Building on the previous year’s momentum, the Alumni Council began to formalize what, how, and when Alumni are invited to gather and contribute so they can drive positive impact for VFC, and for each other, including:

  • Judging Selection Events
  • Opening their calendars to “Office Hours” for prospective Fellows
  • Speaking at Fellowship Training Camp, and ongoing virtual Fellowship training sessions
  • Designing a Mentorship Program for Alum + current Fellows
  • Maintaining a community in the Slack workspace
  • Organizing an annual Alumni Summit
  • Organizing in-person Regional Events in 6 cities across Canada
  • Offering virtual Alumni sessions and storytelling nights

Meanwhile, we worked on formalizing the systems that appropriately resource and support this work. 2023 brought new rigor to contact management, communications strategies, data collection, and reporting. This infrastructure enables the Council to reach more Alumni with better-aligned opportunities to engage with one another, and with VFC.


hours of volunteering from our alumni
of Alumni are between 25-29
identify as a POC
are likely to refer VFC to a friend/colleague
are employed in Software / Information Technology
currently or have previously considered themselves a founder/co-founder
have Published an article, paper, book, or other publication
of our Alumni make between $50,000-$100,000
of our Alumni make between $100,000-$150,000

“Fellows maketh fellowship. I had the honour and privilege to meet, interact with and stay in touch with some of the most authentic, ambitious and intelligent people of our generation and right here in Canada [during the 2017 Training Camp].”

Nikhil (Nick) Punjabi
Nikhil (Nick) Punjabi
2017 Fellow
During Training Camp

Alumni Engagement + Impact

  • Attracting Students to Our Programs: VFC Alumni are brand ambassadors. By advertising their achievements and promoting their experience, they expose prospective students to success stories and potential career paths starting at VFC.
  • Supporting Current Participants in Their Career Development: Alumni mentor program participants and offer valuable role modelling and advice to students a few steps behind them in their careers.
  • Supporting Other Alumni in Their Career Development: Alumni support each other in career advancement. Community members share networking opportunities, position openings, referrals, hire one another, and even go into business with one another.
  • Expanding VFC’s Employer Pool: Alumni hire participants and alumni and recommend them to other companies who then apply to be part of the VFC community of employers.

These impacts result from 3 years of intentional efforts to build a highly engaged Alumni Community.

VFC’s Alumni Community is a notable example of how strengthening engagement of alumni as a community can meaningfully advance strategic goals and create new opportunities.

“Venture for Canada has provided me with the most transformative bridges of my life, between the person I grew up wanting to be and the person I am today, which have included my professional opportunities as well as introductions to some of the most important and treasured people of my life in the forms of coaches, roommates, and best friends. Thanks to Venture for Canada, I feel as though I’m a part of something larger than myself.”

Mateo Peralta
Mateo Peralta
2019 Fellow