Queen's Innovation Centre

Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre
Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre

QICSI 2017 Blog #1: And so it begins!

If you passed through Goodes Hall at the beginning of May, you might have caught a glimpse of the QICSI bootcamp that prepares the 2017 cohort for the exciting summer to come. You may have wondered about the groups of students in blazers mixing and mingling during the lunch hour in the atrium. From the outsider’s perspective, the bootcamp might seem like a summer camp with a business casual dress code.

So much more than a summer camp...

The bootcamp is a two-week MBA-style intensive series of training sessions and workshops that covers the important parts of starting a company from the ideation stage to marketing the finished products to potential customers. The sessions are led by professors who are experts in the field with breakout sessions to allow students to apply the material to real life situations.

A typical day begins at 8:30 am with a presentation or workshop followed by another session in the afternoon. Throughout the bootcamp, there are endless opportunities for students in the cohort to network and find out the types of projects their peers are interested in. Students are also provided with important case studies as well as copious amounts of coffee and food to keep them energized throughout the day!

Many would say that the highlight (and perhaps most intense part) is the bootcamp weekend at the Donald Gordon Conference Centre (DGCC), which culminates with a mini pitch competition that takes place in the middle of the bootcamp. For an entire weekend, students are divided into teams to develop a venture over the course of 48 hours and then pitch their idea to a panel of judges at the end of the weekend. While it was an intense experience, it was a teaser of what’s to come this summer.

By the end of the bootcamp, participants have most of the necessary skills and knowledge to start their own companies and are ready to begin their entrepreneurial journey. 

Stay tuned for our next entry and the progress of our teams throughout the summer!