Experience Ventures

Interested in getting a head-start in your career? Experience Ventures creates paid entrepreneurial thinking placements with innovative companies in Canada. The program aims to inspire your creativity, resiliency, and future vision—so you can shape your future with the right skill set.
The Experience Ventures program will run from June 2021 to March 2022. Students may be able to participate in more than one Experience Venture, but will only be able to receive funding for one event.

An entrepreneurial thinking placement is a structured, short-term paid opportunity with a startup or social venture that has partnered with Queen's. The goal is to empower you to develop and apply entrepreneurial thinking skills aimed at making you ready for your future.

Experience Ventures offers five types of entrepreneurial thinking placements:

  • Hack-a-thon or tech-a-thon: A one- to two-day event in which companies present students with real world challenges and ask them to provide innovative solutions.
  • Challenges: Taking place over several weeks, these require students to build out more complete solutions to social, business, design or community challenges.
  • Projects: Companies present students with a specific project, and Queen's matches it to talent from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.
  • Student-in-Residence: Students selected by the incubator receive unique opportunities to work with several companies over the course of a term.
  • Interdisciplinary Team Projects: Incubators create teams of students from more than one discipline and provide them with a project for a venture or group of ventures.

Entrepreneurial thinking placements build a bridge between today’s needs and tomorrow’s challenges. You will experience innovation first-hand and learn how to apply its principles in their careers. 


As a student, Experience Ventures placements will enable you to:

  • Apply in-class learning to the challenges and opportunities facing startups and social ventures.
  • Explore Canada’s evolving innovation economy.
  • Network and meet industry leaders and employers.
  • Discover the latest technologies being incubated in Canada and enhance your resumé with a unique experience.
  • Develop your work-ready skills.
  • Receive compensation for your placement.

Gain 5 important entrepreneurial thinking skills to prepare for careers in the innovation economy:

  1. Resiliency: Develop a growth mindset to persevere through challenges.
  2. Opportunity recognition: Reframe problems as opportunities for innovation.
  3. Action orientation: Accelerate learning through real-world feedback.
  4. Risk management: Develop strategies to manage ambiguity. 
  5. Systems thinking and/or trans-disciplinary thinking: Design innovative solutions across traditional boundaries. 

The required qualifications and application process differs for each placement. Please review the "2021-2022 Placement Postings" section below for a list of active postings to review each placements' requirements and how to apply.

For all placements students must be:

  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person on whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations.
  • Enrolled in any full- or part-time program of post-secondary study.

If you have any questions about eligibility please contact asc.el@queensu.ca

Employment Equity and Accessibility Statement 

The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Queen’s is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. In accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The University provides support in its recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant's accessibility needs. Candidates requiring accommodation during the recruitment process are asked to contact Human Resources at asc.el@queensu.ca.


Active Postings 

Standing Whale Challenge (postponed until September 2022)

World-renowned artist Edward Burtynsky has created Standing Whalea sculptural project based on the North  Atlantic Blue Whale, by far the largest mammal ever to have existed on the planet and that by some  evolutionary miracle, still lives among us.

The creation of Standing Whale provides a unique opportunity for us consider how we might positively become change agents as we address the impact that our actions have on the environment.  Humankind has the power right now to shape the world to either allow the continued existence of species such as the Blue Whale or lose them for all time. How might we ensure that the artist’s vision resonates with individuals from diverse communities that it is trying to engage with?


Previously Advertised Postings

Next Generation of Medical Simulation

Ingenuity Labs and UP360 is excited to partner with Experience Ventures to offer The Next Generation of Medical Simulation Hackathon. This experience will provide students with the opportunity to explore innovation at the cross-roads of medicine, engineering and design. Diverse multi-disciplinary teams comprised of undergraduate students from across Queen’s University can apply to compete in this paid opportunity. Students can apply as individuals or form their own teams of 4. One of the goals of this competition is to harness the power of diverse thinking from across the university, so highlight your unique strengths when applying.  

The hackathon will take place over the weekend of 5-6 March and has been designed to take advantage of Ingenuity Labs on-campus space in Mitchell Hall while allowing teams to also compete remotely. The design challenge will be broad ranging to encourage diverse designs while organizers will also provide hardware and software to encourage hands on prototyping.  

Date: March 5-6, 2022 
Hours Expected: 12 
Who is eligible: full- or part-time undergraduate students enrolled in any discipline at Queen’s University 
Stipend amount: $325 per student 
Number of Students Selected: 40 students in total, Students can sign up individually or as a 4 person team.   

Learn more about the event on the Next Generation of Medical Simulation webpage.

National Hackathon 

Participate in the local Queen’s University competition, as part of the Experience Ventures National Hackathon competition. You will work within teams comprised of your peers and supported by challenge mentors and wellness professionals to develop innovative solutions to the challenge problem. Select finalists from the local Queen’s competition will have the opportunity to present their winning challenge solution to a national panel at the end of March. 

For the hackathon’s inaugural year, the theme will be wellness, zeroing in on developing innovative, wellness-focused solutions to enrich the lives of Canadian post-secondary students. Wellness is a complex, multifaceted, and nuanced concept, and the National Hackathon will challenge you to engage with the individual dimensions of wellness, including mental health, physical health and nutrition.

Dates: March 1-9
Hours Expected: 16 - 20
Who is eligible: full- or part-time undergraduate students enrolled in any discipline at Queen’s University*
Stipend Amount: $325.00/ students | Opportunity to win up to $2,500.00 for National winners
Number of students selected to participate: 17
Application due date: February 21, 2022 at 11:59 pm. 

Learn more on the Experience Ventures National Hackathon webpage.

*Only students who are Canadian citizens and who have not previously participated in a Queen’s EV placement opportunity are eligible.

Social Innovation Hackathon

The Social Innovation Hackathon is an engaging immersion into the world of social innovation and its implications for using business as a catalyst for social change. You'll have the opportunity to work in a team to create innovative solutions for social impact challenges that growing dynamic organizations are facing today.

Your team will begin by reviewing a challenge provided by a sponsor company and will have one week to engage with the problem and brainstorm potential solutions. Your team will then provide a pitch deck presentation detailing your unique ideas and resolutions. Participation is entirely virtual.

Date: February 5 - February 12, 2022
Hours Expected: Estimated 8 – 10 hours for the duration of the event
Who is eligible: All current Queen’s students in 1st, 2nd and 3rd year
Stipend amount: $325.00 / student | $5,000 cash-prize for winning teams*
Number of Students Selected: 45

*contingent on completing 8 hours with the organization post-event.

Edge of Lyme Case Competition - Leader Positions

The Department of Biology is looking to recruit six student leader positions who will be responsible for coordinating the Edge of Lyme case competition event. The week-long event aims to raise awareness for the consequences of tick-borne diseases (e.g., Lyme Disease) and facilitate an interdisciplinary approach to disease prevention, treatment, and management.

FILM 511 - Imagining Digital Future for the Art Museum / 3.0 units

In one course, you can change the course of museological history. Help reimagine Agnes and what the 21st-century museum can be. Join Agnes’s Youth Advisory Council, build your own network, receive a stipend and hands-on real-world experience. You can have a say in the future digital platforms that engage diverse museum audiences and inform innovation in the digital sector.

  • November 2021–March 2022
  • Queen’s Students across all disciplines in years 2–4 are eligible to apply
  • $825 stipend, 120 hours
  • AGNES and the Department of Film and Media partnership
  • Download the poster

Students in Residence

Working with chemistry researchers, you will be part of a vibrant interdisciplinary research environment with opportunities to learn about the fascinating ways our scientists are working to create a better world, while contributing your unique perspectives and methodologies. Not only will you gain practical and professional experience, you will also have the opportunity to connect with members of the Queen’s Chemistry Innovation Council (QCIC) which provides a forum for idea exchange, advice for innovation, and a network to potential employers in global industries or agencies related to chemistry and science.

(Un)hacking Downstream Consequences - Student Placements

The McDonald Institute is pleased to partner with Experience Ventures for unique virtual student placements that focus on building innovation networks, future preparedness, and making an impact. This is a paid opportunity for up to 35 full- or part-time undergraduate students enrolled from 2nd year and above in any discipline at Queen’s University. 

(Un)Hacking Downstream Consequences is a deconstruction of the typical hackathon. The event will occur online over 10 days between February 22, 2022 to March 3, 2022 with both synchronous and asynchronous pieces. This is a non-competitive event focused on championing collaboration and good-will amongst participants. Students will be placed in small cross-disciplinary groups to brainstorm unique solutions to problem sets held by Institute-identified problem holders. The goal of the experience is to develop and apply entrepreneurial thinking and skillsets for resiliency, opportunity recognition, action orientation, risk management, systems thinking, and trans-disciplinary thinking.


Is your company interested in participating in an entrepreneurial thinking placement? Download our info-sheet or contact asc.el@queensu.ca for more information.