News – Extension Department

The latest information from the St. FX Extension Department in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

2020 Wallace Family Summer Internship Application is Now Open!

Supporting Student Entrepreneurship and Enterprise at StFX University

Innovative Enterprise Internships

The Wallace Family Summer Internship will provide StFX University (StFX) students with a self-directed learning experience that helps strengthen entrepreneurial skills through the exploration and development of their own innovative enterprise endeavour. Students who have an innovative idea and who are interested in starting a new venture, developing a new prototype or applying innovative approaches to a particular product or service are encouraged to apply. Interns receive coaching and assistance from StFX Extension Innovation and Enterprise Centre staff and faculty mentors and engage in learning activities that help them explore and develop an enterprise. Business incubation space will be provided to all interns and discussions with investors and partners are encouraged. Perhaps most importantly, interns have the opportunity to work together and participate in a learning experience for innovative student entrepreneurs – offering award winners the chance to network and be exposed to mini-seminars, guest speakers, and other entrepreneurial ideas.

The internships support full-time employment for StFX students for a 12 week period during the summer (April 27th-July 17th) period, the funding provided through the Wallace Family Entrepreneurship Fund. In 2020, there are four internships available, worth up to $6000 each, or $10,000 for a team. The internships are open to students enrolled in full-time study at StFX.

Application is made by completing this form and submitting it with the required documentation by emailed to the Extension Department at pbrophy@stfx.ca. Although not required in the application, students are encouraged to identify a faculty mentor from an appropriate area of expertise, whom they think would be a good mentor during the internship. It is anticipated that at least one meeting a month during the internship period will be required of the faculty mentor.

This year, as part of the application process, the top eight applicants will be required to pitch their idea during an Innovation Pitch event planned for March 6th, 2020. The five minute pitch will be assessed by the evaluation committee and used in awarding the internships. Further information about the pitch requirements will be provided to the selected applicants.

Applications must be submitted via email on or before the deadline of 4:30 PM on Friday, February 14th, 2020. All applications will be reviewed by a committee comprised of StFX staff and faculty and adjudicated based on the eligibility and review criteria noted in the next section.

Eligibility

StFX students enrolled in any year of a full-time program are encouraged to apply. To be eligible, students must have been enrolled in full-time studies in a degree program at StFX during the most recent complete academic term (prior to the application deadline).

Please note that the internship is also open to students who have just completed their studies but have yet to graduate; however, preference will be given to students who are returning to studies in September.

Students may not hold another student summer internship or another externally funded summer research internship (such as a NSERC USRA or NSHRF Scotia Scholar award).

Allocation of internships is based on consideration of the following criteria:

  1. Innovation and creativity: Degree of innovation and uniqueness expressed in the applicant’s New Venture proposal and at their five minute
  2. Sustainability: Likelihood of New Venture continuation and growth after the internship period
  3. Motivation: Level of motivation and desire to make the New Venture a reality as expressed by the applicant
  4. Learning goals: Relevance and contribution of identified learning goals to the development of the applicant’s New Venture
  5. Academic standing: Applicants should be in good academic standing

In addition to the internship described above, StFX will continue to promote and facilitate application to externally funded summer research internship programs such as the NSERC USRA and the NSHRF Scotia Scholars program.


GIVE Camp Application opened

GIVE: Girls in Venture & Entrepreneurship is a two-day summer camp for girls ages eight and nine. This camp will be divided into a learning and creating component, and a selling and marketing component. Students will learn the basic skills of an entrepreneur on the first day, and spend some time creating/packaging a product which they will have the opportunity to sell at the Antigonish Street Fair (Stroll the Main) the following day. GIVE will be donating a portion of their sales to a local charity.

Various games and activities will take place on the first day of the camp to teach the girls about costs, revenue, and profit. This will be important background information for them to receive prior to making their first sales to ensure that they are able to set appropriate prices for the items that they are selling.

Be sure to stop by the Antigonish Street Fair on July 4 between 10 AM and 3:30 PM to see what fun products Girls in Venture & Entrepreneurship have to offer.

 


Sandbox Discover Session 1

On October 23rd, Innovation and Enterprise Centre (IEC) interns Kelsey Bowman and Emma Logan facilitated the first Sandbox Discover Program session focusing on an introduction to human-centered design and interviewing.

A small group of StFX students attended the first of three sessions to be held in preparation for a design challenge weekend in which the IEC Sandbox students will compete against other sandboxes across Nova Scotia at the end of November, 2018.

One highlight of the session was an activity called Tag Team. Participants took a few minutes to write down some of their individual strengths and positive attributes on sticky notes. They were then given a large poster board to collaboratively create “the ultimate team member” using some of their own skills. After they created this imaginary team member, they introduced it to myself and Emma. This was a great activity to have attendees reflect on their own strengths, as well as to see how they benefit a team. It brought out great creativity among the group and many laughs were had because of it. Sandbox Discover Activity

Using the above illustration to guide their introduction, the group explained that their ultimate team member speaks multiple languages, is a great listener (hence the large ears), is wearing a watch to indicate that it has great time management skills and is never late. It has a big heart and cares for all members of the team. This team member is also educated, loves to read, and never gives up.


Canvas Clothing Company

Canvas Clothing Company is a local business started by two grade twelve students, Michael Putnam and Sam Silver. Michael and Sam began their partnership through Summer Launch, a program developed and led by the StFX Extension Innovation and Enterprise Centre. Canvas Clothing is a company working with local artists and organizations to create unique pieces of clothing. The pair started this business to bring exposure to local art and to learn how to run a business, all while having some fun!

When asked how they came up with their idea, the boys said that they have both thought about creating and designing clothes in the past and that it is something that they are both passionate about.  They pointed out the fact that a lot of clothing brands collaborate with other brands so they thought that it would be great if their brand collaborated with local artists and organizations. Michael and Sam say that this will be a great way to support local and bring exposure to this area.

This is what led them to collaborate with the art department within the L’Arche community, Hearts and Hands. 20 percent of their profits made from the shirt sales will go back to Hearts and Hands. They currently have three designs (see picture below); one heather navy featuring Anthony Burns’ art, a gold design with Tommy Landry’s flower art, and last but not least, Kelly Farrell’s harbour piece on a white shirt. The shirts come in sizes extra small to triple extra-large. They will be available for sale at the Antigonish Farmers’ Market on Wednesday, August 1st from 4:00-7:00 PM, located at 30 James Street.

The Summer Launch program finishes up at the end of August but Michael and Sam will continue working on their business throughout the year. They hope to release more collections in the future. For more information and to stay up to date on where they will be selling their product, follow them on Instagram (@canvas.clothingco) or email them at info@canvasclothingco.ca. Michael and Sam are very excited to be supporting the L’Arche community during the Special Olympics and are wishing the best of luck to all of the athletes!


Summer Launch Celebration 2018

On Wednesday, July 25th another workshop was held for the Summer Launch participants at the StFX Extension Innovation and Enterprise Centre. Facilitated by Summer Launch coordinator, Kelsey Bowman, the workshop was centered upon delivering an effective pitch for your business, idea, or project. This included step by step instructions on how to develop a pitch, tips for non-verbal communication, and how to effectively express your pitch in a clear and concise manner. After learning about pitches, everyone took time to create their own pitch for their business venture. They each presented their pitch to the group with a two minute time maximum and received feedback from the group.

 

Summer Launch participants Jake Breen (left) and Hilus Keay (right).

 

A roundtable discussion took place next. Each participant presented an issue or struggle that they are currently facing within their business. This was an opportunity to bounce their ideas off of the other Summer Launch students. Possible solutions to each problem were also suggested at this time. Throughout the workshop, potential collaboration points and ways that they may be able to help each other with their ventures were established. This included sharing contacts and discussing ways to promote each other’s products such as setting up in the same area and collaborating with a promotional strategy.

A final check out was held to receive feedback on how students are enjoying the program so far. Questions were asked such as “what have you learned and how has the Summer Launch program helped you this far”. This information will be used to shape the program in the following years. Some of the highlights from the feedback were that they found the bi-weekly logs to be extremely helpful when it comes to staying on track. The logs also resulted in a reflection of the previous two weeks as it requires them to answer questions that they may not have asked if they did not have to take the time to write these bi-weekly pieces. Another highlight noted was that the business model activity at the introductory workshop really allowed them to break down their business ideas and solidify a plan for the future as they move forward with their ventures. Participants said they have been learning lots throughout the program, but two main points included better time management skills and becoming more open to criticism and feedback.

The Summer Launch program will continue throughout the month of August, with their final reflection paper deadline set at August 20th.