Entrepreneurial Co-op

The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta proudly presents an unprecedented opportunity for undergraduate students with an entrepreneurial spirit: the Entrepreneurial Co-op (E Co-op) work term placement. This program is a testament to our commitment to cultivating innovation and entrepreneurship among our students, allowing them to earn co-op credit while transforming their innovative ideas into viable businesses.

The E Co-op work term placement is distinct from traditional co-op programs. Instead of working as employees for established businesses, students participating in the E Co-op program become innovators for their own start-up companies. This real-world experience provides invaluable insights into the life of a business founder. Our E Co-op students have access to our state-of-the-art facilities including the Elko Garage, The Pod, and the NanoFab, as well as desk space to explore and test their engineering designs. A series of workshops and seminars are also available to help hone business skills and knowledge.

To support this venture, the Faculty of Engineering offers financial assistance in the form of stipends to eligible students during the initial pilot launch of the program. This support is open to co-op students from all engineering disciplines who possess a well-developed idea, a clear understanding of their target market, and a robust ambition to succeed as entrepreneurs.

Furthermore, students in the E Co-op program are given access to a vast network of mentors, entrepreneurs, industry partners, and professionals. This community can provide invaluable assistance in developing a plan for your idea and guiding your efforts toward the commercialization of a product or service.

The E Co-op program represents a unique learning experience and a potential career path for its graduates. It equips students with the skills to either continue with their business venture or leverage their entrepreneurial knowledge to secure better employment opportunities. Through this program, students will gain a realistic understanding of what it takes to bring an idea to market, guided and supported by professionals on campus, all while earning course credit for their work term in collaboration with the Engineering Co-op program.

Apply to the Entrepreneurial Co-op Program

Winter 2024 applications are now open. Apply through Job #67542 on campusBRIDGE.


Questions? Contact us:


Benefits of an Entrepreneurial Co-op Work Term

Hands-on Experience

An entrepreneurial co-op provides hands-on experience in starting and running a business, allowing students to gain practical skills in areas such as product development, marketing, finance, and customer service.

Networking Opportunities

An entrepreneurial co-op can provide valuable networking opportunities, allowing students to meet and learn from experienced entrepreneurs, business professionals, and potential investors.


Many entrepreneurial co-ops offer mentorship programs, which can provide  students with guidance and support as they navigate the challenges of starting and running a business.

Resume Building

An entrepreneurial co-op can be a valuable addition to a resume, demonstrating to potential employers that the  student has experience in entrepreneurship and a strong work ethic.

Personal + Professional Growth

An entrepreneurial co-op can be a transformative experience, allowing  students to develop new skills, gain confidence, and discover their strengths and weaknesses.

Entrepreneurial Mindset

An entrepreneurial co-op can instill an entrepreneurial mindset in students, encouraging them to think creatively, take risks, and pursue their passions.
Potential for future business opportunities: An entrepreneurial co-op can provide students with the skills and connections needed to start their own business ventures in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are applications assessed?
Applications are assessed by the Selection Committee. They review all applications, conduct interviews with shortlisted teams, and evaluate the feasibility, work scope, and SMART objectives of the proposal.
This timeline is tight - how will I be informed if I am selected?
You'll be informed in the same way as other co-op placements if you are selected.
What about IP? What does that mean and how does that work?
Intellectual Property (IP) refers to assets like patents and trade secrets. It's complex to protect, but resources are provided for E Co-op teams. Only disclose what you're comfortable with and seek advice once accepted into the program.
How will I be evaluated throughout? Who is involved?
You will have regular meetings with your advisors for feedback. Your evaluation is composed of a midpoint evaluation, a student report on the work term, and a final evaluation.
How does remuneration work?
You'll meet CEWIL Canada accreditation requirements through in-kind benefits and potential funding from awards and grants.
What kind of facilities and resources are available?
Available facilities and resources include the Elko Garage, the ICE Engineering Incubator, the NanoFab as well as our partners such as eHUB, Student Innovation Centre (SIC).
Funding is a barrier, what are the options?

While funding can be challenging, students are expected to seek self-funding, grants, or external funding. There's also the Innovation Award available, providing funding at three assessment points.

What are SMART objectives?
SMART objectives guide goal setting and stand for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.