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Course combines business, the arts, and engineering

The Telfer School of Management recently launched the  Entrepreneurship Foundry Course, which, like entrepreneurship itself, is a product of a variety of disciplines and skills.

The course, which is wrapping up its debut semester at the U of O, is a joint collaboration between the Faculty of Engineering, Telfer School of Management, Faculty of Arts, and Startup garage, an organization that funds and promotes entrepreneurship at the University of Ottawa.

The course involves U of O professors from different faculties—Stephen Daze of the Telfer School, Hanan Anis from the Faculty of Engineering, and Elena Valenzuela from the Faculty of Arts.

“This course shows students enrolled in the Faculty of Arts how they can channel their acquired skills and creativity into creating their own job and path,” said Valenzuela.

“Entrepreneurship courses are some of our more popular electives, over the last decade we’ve seen a more greater and growing interest,” said Daze. “This is part of an evolution of entrepreneurship courses on campus, and in part from us recognizing the growing interest and demand from the student population.”

“Change is a constant reality of today, more and more of our new graduates will change jobs and work for small businesses,” said Anis. “There are many success stories (of young entrepreneurs) from Ottawa that our students can look at and say ‘hey, that could be me!’”

The course is open to anyone on campus, and the diverse group of students currently enrolled is a testament to the growing interest across campus. Current students in the course hail from the social sciences, engineering, business, international relations faculties among others.

“It doesn’t matter what faculty you’re from, the process and the skills are all the same,” said Daze.

The goal of the course is to help students take the next step in the entrepreneurial process—rather than just learn about it, they get to actually start their own business.

Anis says taking classes in entrepreneurship is a way to learn about starting your own business in a safe, organized manner. On top of that, you have the chance to network with many successful entrepreneurs in class.

“(We’re) teaching students to iterate quickly, and that learning is going to customers and get feedback from them and modify your business model,” she said.

She added that university is the perfect place to learn and make mistakes. “I always say the university is a safe sandbox,” she said.