Is a Cohort The Best Way to Vet Potential Entrepreneurs? We’re About to Find Out.

Is a Cohort The Best Way to Vet Potential Entrepreneurs? We’re About to Find Out.

Since launching Stanley Park Ventures we’ve been taking entrepreneurs into our program on a one by one basis, and then a few months ago Jon suggested we experiment with a cohort – a group that would work together on the same problem over the course of an intensive one-day session.

This would give us the opportunity to get to know the candidates all at the same time, giving both us and them a chance to see if there was a fit. So we invited Blair Simonite who teaches entrepreneurship and innovation at UBC’s Sauder School of Business to join us and began mapping out the day. 


With plan in hand, we put the word out, and received over a hundred  applications from interested candidates. We interviewed over sixty people, and selected twenty – including one from Alberta and one from Saskatchewan – to participate in the first session happening this Sunday, February 15.

We sent each candidate a package which included a brief tutorial on how to develop a business model canvas and a case study. Candidates were then given several days to prepare a sample canvas based on the case study in order to demonstrate how much creativity, research, hard work and passion they can bring to a project.

We decided the case study had to be something they could really sink their teeth into, so we asked them to build a business model for creating a global, cloud-based network that would offer free, fast, and highly secure websites to anybody who wanted one.

This session is a first for us; we’re really looking forward to see how well this approach can help us get to know the candidates, how we’ll work together, and how we’ll develop ideas together. We’ll keep you posted.

Photo by Brian Talbot / License: CC 2.0

Mike Benna

I'm a technology entrepreneur that really enjoys the first half a dozen years of a company's life. I have lots of experience in all corners of B2B and B2C software development and SaaS companies. These days my interest lies mostly in business strategy, productive processes, company culture, data driven decisions, randomized trials, marketing, and of course optimizing nearly anything that's worth optimizing (as long as that's not premature).

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