News – Innovation and Enterprise Centre

The latest information from the St. FX Extension Department’s Innovation and Enterprise Centre in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Sandbox Creativity & Innovation bootcamp

The NS Sandboxes are excited to announce the return of their summer bootcamp program! The Creativity and Innovation Bootcamp is designed to provide post-secondary students from across the province with an opportunity to discover more about their own ability for creating unique and impactful responses to real-world challenges.

Dates for 2018: Sunday April 29th, 2018 to Friday, May 11th 2018

Over two weeks students will participate in an immersive (full-time) experience that will introduce them to a suite of approaches, tools and mindsets that will unleash their creative potential and amplify their capacity for innovative problem solving. At the core of the program is design thinking (also referred to as human-centred design).

Human-centred design offers problem solvers of any stripe a chance to design with communities, to deeply understand the people they’re looking to serve, to dream up scores of ideas and to create innovative new solutions rooted in people’s actual needs.


Through interactive workshops, learning games, independent experimentation and exploring the world outside the classroom, participants will apply their design thinking skills to a central design challenge that will tackle an issue facing Nova Scotia communities.

Program Overview

Week #1: April 29th–May 6th (including the weekend of May 5-6)

  • Everyone checks into residence @ Acadia University on Sunday, April 29
    Community building activities to ensure the foundations for collaborative innovation are solid.
  • Introduction to human-centred design through cases (stories from the real world) and a full-day simulation.
  • Launch of the Design Challenge that will guide program activities
    Focus on “Inspiration” – where do innovative ideas come from…understanding people and behavior before the problem.
  • Early “Ideation” – use your new insights about human behavior and the collaborative potential of interdisciplinary teams to brainstorm hundreds of potential ‘solutions’ to the design challenge

Week #2: May 7th–May 11th

  • Iteration! Engage in numerous activities that allow your ideas to grow and evolve.
    Build digital storyboards for the idea(s) you’re most excited about and present these storyboards to the bootcamp community.
  • Experience what it’s like to build hybrid ideas – taking the most interesting features of different ideas to build a new idea!
  • Work with our delivery team to discuss how to incorporate the bootcamp experience into your career development plans – cover letters, interviews and resumes.


  • You are paid to participate! That’s right…we understand your time is valuable and the summer months are often critical for generating income to pay for school next year. In order to make it possible for you to participate we are offering everyone a $1000 stipend + travel.
  • You apply as an individual and we’ll assign you to a team when you get here.
  • This is a full-time, residential program – everyone is living in Wolfville, NS for the duration of the program. In order to participate you need to be able participate in the entire program. This element is important as it allows you to create a powerful, creative, collaborative community – ideal for innovative problem solving. Accommodation, meals and travel to/from Wolfville are covered for all participants.
  • The program is relevant to students from all academic disciplines – in fact, it’s necessary that we have a vibrant collection of expertise and perspective at the program.
  • This is more than a two-week summer camp. Skills developed in this bootcamp are in high-demand by employers and start-up companies alike. In addition to developing your skills in human-centred design, we’ve developed a program that will allow you to practice and develop skills related to collaboration, creative problem solving, communication and networking. We’ll work with you throughout the program to ensure you’re comfortable talking about how your bootcamp experiences are relevant to any place of work.


Space is limited in this program so please complete the following form to apply. Additional information about the program will be disseminated directly to all who are accepted.

Application deadline is Wednesday, April 4th at 4:00 pm

The application for can be found here


2018 Wallace Family Summer Internship Application is Now Open!

2018 Wallace Family Summer Internship Application is Now Open!

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 (May-July) period, the funding provided through the Wallace Family Entrepreneurship Fund. In 2018, 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.

Find more information here.


Spotlight Series Video Competition

Spotlight Series Video Competition Results

Third place – $300

Congratulations to our third-place winner, Sam Gan, for sharing his frosh year entrepreneurial venture – Trekker Tuck. To begin his journey, Sam recognized an opportunity where he could develop a cost-effective business to provide an array of snack items to students in the MacKinnon Hall residence at StFX. Due to the lack of late night food options available within a short walk of MacKinnon Hall, Sam saw a chance to provide snacks to students in residence for the cost of the item plus a small fee. Sam kept records of his inventory in an Excel file and was constantly adapting to changing customer preferences. Sam is a local entrepreneur that leveraged his position in a residence of 130 students to provide valued goods to students in a mutually beneficial setting.

Congratulations Sam!


Innovation Pitch Event

November 3rd marked the first-ever Innovation Pitch Event that was co-hosted with Dr. Neil Maltby, a professor at the Schwartz School of Business, and the Innovation and Enterprise Centre. The event was created to serve as a platform for students with innovative ideas for new products or services to share their ideas and receive constructive feedback from an audience of motivated students, local business owners and industry professionals. Due to networking efforts of the Innovation and Enterprise Centre, the event drew in a diverse crowd of participants from various disciplines and audience members.

This year, with the support from the StFX Extension Innovation and Enterprise Centre and the relationships created with various faculty stakeholders across campus, this event had tremendous success in attracting students in the university to come forward and express their interests in product development.

4th year BBA Entrepreneurship student, Hannah Chisholm, shared her product pitch known as Egg-citables – a plant-based egg substitute product that is aimed at meeting the needs of people with egg allergies or choose not to consume products made with animal by-products. Hannah was able to use the Innovation Pitch Event to critique her product and go-to-market approach while considering suggestions from industry professionals after successfully completing her summer internship with the Wallace Family Internship this past summer.

Furthermore, Michael Keough, a 4th year BSc Human Nutrition student, pitched his Apple & Blueberry Pomace-based snack product idea. Despite still being in the early product-development stage, Michael was able to capture the attention of the professional audience members with his innovative idea of creating a food product that is environmentally conscious and nutritious that compliments the current market trend towards healthier snacks. From this event, Michael was able to use the feedback from the audience members to help him get a better understanding of his offering, what will drive demand and other important considerations. Michael was thrilled to be able to get constructive feedback from proven members of the local business community and looks forward to continue developing his product.

The StFX Extension Innovation and Enterprise Centre looks forward to collaborating with other interest-groups and organizing more opportunities like the Innovation Pitch Event to spark entrepreneurial spirit on campus.


Conversation for the Common Good Series to Antigonish

Thursday October 26, 2017, StFX Innovation and Enterprise Centre partnered with Common Good Solutions (CGS) and the Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia (SENNS) to bring their Conversations for the Common Good Series to Antigonish. These gatherings are designed to bring entrepreneurs and change-makers together with residents of the local community to act as a starting point for addressing a challenge their community is facing, or simply to learn more about what social enterprise is and how it can work for the local community.

As our rural communities continue to struggle with youth retention and economic prosperity, social enterprise provides an exciting opportunity for rural business to thrive; meeting not only the goal of building businesses and creating jobs, but also working to solve some of the social and environmental challenges our communities are facing.

The event featured a number of local social enterprises including Krista Thompson of Paqtnkek First Nation. Krista lives in Paqtnkek First Nation and is the founder of the Mi’kmaq Crafters’ Association. She is an avid Mi’kmaq crafter who has brought together talented Mi’kmaq crafters and artisans from across Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Quebec to form the board of this new non-profit organization. The Mi’kmaq Crafters’ Association provides high quality cultural, social and entrepreneurial opportunities for Mi’maq artisans in Atlantic Canada.