Frequently Asked Questions

1) Why should I attend the ZerotoStartup Program?

From a technology perspective, we are in exponential times and experience in making technology is essential. High growth startup firms are the largest employment base. They require talent that can hyper collaborate and take on many different tasks. At ZerotoStartup, you will gain experience in contributing in a startup model, and at the same time, learn how to leverage your strengths and the strengths of your peers. The ZerotoStartup program integrates real world concepts to ensure we understand who we are building for and how to build a business around them.

2) Who qualifies for the ZerotoStartup Program?

Youth between ages 12 – 17 with application that demonstrate a keen interest in the experience.

3) How do I know if I fit the criteria to apply?

You will receive an acceptance upon review of your application. We are not screening based on grades or school performance. We are looking to engage motivated youth.

4) Do I need any previous experience or skills to take part of the program?

No previous skills are required. An open mind, willingness to learn, and an inquisitive mind are key.

5) Who will be my classmates?

Applicants who registered and are accepted from the age demographic of 12 – 17 years old.

6) How long is the program and when does it run?

The program is 13 weeks long. Sessions will run on Saturday from 1 – 4:30 pm.

7) If I’m accepted, do I need to attend the program full time during the period it is run?

It is highly recommended that you do. During the first four weeks, you will gain knowledge and skills in technology making, business concepts, and learn about your strengths. From weeks 5-13 you will be pitching ideas, forming teams, and bringing your team’s idea to reality.

8) What resources are provided to participants during the program?

Hardware components necessary for building will be provided along with equipment (3D printers, laser cutter). Laptops will be available, however we recommend you bring your own laptop.

9) How will the program curriculum be delivered?

The curriculum will be delivered through hands-on learning. Therefore students will get to immediately try all concepts learned. Weeks 1-4 will build on technology components (learning hardware and software), design thinking, business model canvas, and you will get to learn more about your strengths having completed your talent dynamics assessment. During week 5, you will get to pitch an idea centered on solving a sustainability-centred problem that Toronto is facing. Everyone will vote on the ideas that they feel are best and teams will be announced before week 6. From week 6-12, you will bring the product to reality and develop the relevant business content to support the startup. Teams will present to a panel judges on week 13.

10) What topics will be covered in the ZerotoStartup Program that will help me develop my skills?

  • Robotics (microcontrollers and sensors)
  • User experience and user design
  • Website development
  • Application development
  • Business model canvas
  • Personal brand, how to articulate what value you offer
  • Collaboration
  • Design thinking

11) Is the program only for Business and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) students?

No. This program has STEM and Business content integrated but is equally valuable to arts-oriented students. Each startup needs a combination of the hacker, hipster and hustler profiles. The hipster is defined as the trendsetter and the designer. The hustler is the person looking to make money and sell the idea. The hacker is the maker of the technology. Technology know-how is intrinsic to participation in the future economy. Artistry is required to make any product appealing.

12) Do you offer any accreditation or certificate upon completion?

At this point, there is no formal accreditation or certification. ZerotoStartup is being created with academics, industry and makerspaces along with Talent Dynamics for Young People. These organizations are all well-reputed and have intentionally included extremely relevant content for youth.

14) Who can I contact if I have more questions?

15) What is the Talent Dynamics assessment?

Talent Dynamics is an assessment used by companies to identify the strengths of their employees to accelerate trust and flow. It originates from Wealth Dynamics used by thousands of entrepreneurs, helping them achieve their goals. Talent Dynamics was later modified for young people to help parents understand their kids, for youth to articulate their value for employment, and for youth to discover where their strengths and passions lie.

16) How much does it cost?

Our introductory offer for this program is $700.

17) What is the theme?

The theme is Future Cities. Participants will be given problems or challenges that Toronto is facing on sustainability. For example, waste diversion in condominiums is not meeting the goal of 70%. As of 2013, the diversion was 26%. How do we leverage technology to change these behaviours? Toronto continues to need to coordinate traffic signals with traffic flow.  There are more skyscrapers under construction in Toronto than New York City, Chicago or Mexico. By 2019, almost 80% of our downtown stations will be at capacity.What are some ideas to help our city coordinate traffic? How can we use technology to reduce our electricity consumption?