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Home Applied Research and Innovation Blog 2017 April 07 Experiential Program for Early Stage Entrepreneurs

Experiential Program for Early Stage Entrepreneurs


When developing a new business, it’s important to ensure that a viable Business model is developed and validated before full scale execution.

Centennial College’s Lean Canvas Training and Development is an experiential program for early stage enterprises facilitating hands-on development of validated business models and planning to build the business.

The program is modelled on Steve Blank’s Customer development process which has been adopted world over including Stanford, Berkley, NYU and several US government departments. The business model of any business can be represented by Business Model Canvas having nine elements. The program uses Business Model Canvas as a score card and involves searching, iterating, developing and validating these nine elements among others, using learning by doing process in the field aided by coaching and mentoring. The participants also work on market, competition and understand financials as they develop and validate value proposition for customer segments, revenue model, Channels, cost structure, partnerships and key metrics. The process is applicable to any business, regardless of sector.

Lean Canvas Training and Development program is part of Business Innovation and Growth Program at Centre of Entrepreneurship supported by National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). Four early stage Founders in this program made lessons learned presentations and the iterations based on the customer development done by them as well as pitched their business on March 8.

At this event founders showcased the following businesses: B-You-Nique, an event design and décor company established by Bernadine Osei-Kwabena, a certified wedding planner with the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada with experience in event design, planning and décor; Jananas Frozen Desserts, a non-dairy treats company founded by Jan Brown based on an idea she had while travelling in BC, Jan has relevant work experience in restaurant and ice cream business; Maineth, a software company with a cloud based SAAS, a focused project management solution for underserved subcontractor sector, founded by Kush Sood, who grew up around the construction and architectural millwork industries with business development experience; and 12 Gates Property Services, a one-stop-shop property management business founded by Oseye-Patricia Oseye, experienced in property management and a member of the Institute of Municipal Assessors.

The session offered an opportunity for positive feedback, constructive criticism, and ideation, with a litany of diverse perspectives. Members of Centennial College’s Applied Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Services (ARIES) were on hand as well, offering pointers and asking questions.

Presentation of lessons learnt shares the journey and the progress of developing and validating Business Model. This is great reflective learning exercise forcing founders to assemble these in presentable formats and answer any questions as well as gather feedback and insights. A great pitch is often the only entry to securing funds or venture capital for business expansion or start up. The practice business pitches above, were timed and kept to a strict time limit, ensuring the messages are comprehensive but distilled right down to the core to be succinct.


All founders really stepped up and rose to the occasion. We wish them all the best, and will continue to offer supports at the Centre of Entrepreneurship.