Term in Review: Co-op on the EDGE

Posted on March 25th, 2019

Group photo of the Co-op on the EDGE students and the mentors and leads of the program
From left: Gursimar Anand, Garrett Hall (Mentor), Mohammed Patla, Aswad Mirza, Julien Arpin, Khalifa Salisu, Laura Dunkley (Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre) and Chris-Beth Cowie (Program Lead)

Co-op on the EDGE is a new approach to co-op for Sheridan students looking to build their own ventures. Students have access to mentorship, training sessions and a collaborative community of entrepreneurs to help them develop their own ventures – and receive co-op credit.

As part of the program, we asked students to reflect on their experience building their businesses and working with the EDGE team. At the mid-point of the term, here’s what some of them had to say:

Julien Arpin | FloTexting

Julien from the Co-op on the EDGE program smiling

FloTexting has come a long way in the last few months. What’s particularly interesting is that the progress made wasn’t quite like the progress that would have been expected. My opportunity with EDGE has introduced me to an environment that allowed, perhaps even required, me to look beyond the specifics of my program with Sheridan in order to embody the mindset of a successful business leader. This shift could be described as an ongoing sequence of growing pains, and I’ve enjoyed the challenge.

FloTexting has now formed a business partnership with EDGE client Feely Piano School, who will use our Daily Operations Support Package to send homework notifications to students, get their feedback, assist in their learning and more. EDGE is serving the purpose I hoped it would from my initial enlistment; connecting me with people that can carry this vision forward.

Aswad Mirza | Web AAM

These last few months have been a really pleasurable and educational experience for myself. I’ve learned various aspects about business that I wouldn’t have known had I not been a part of this program – such as social enterprises and the business model canvas. The program has taught me two things: my business is not JUST my product/service, and does not revolve around just one customer.

Gursimar Anand | Celebration Season

I have been fortunate to be able to develop my own venture while also meeting my co-op requirements at Sheridan. The last couple of months in the Leap Labs and mentorship sessions have been very rewarding as I’ve been solidifying my business plan and learning more about my target market through in-person surveys.

Currently, I am working with Sheridan students on my marketing and CRM plans to increase sales. These learnings will help me differentiate in the hyper-competitive environment of clothing retail. As well, I have been able to network with industry professionals and share details about my venture with the Honourable Mayor Bonnie Crombie, MP Omar Alghabra and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry The Honourable Navdeep Bains. These are opportunities new entrepreneurs would have difficulty finding themselves and the support from EDGE has been instrumental in this learning period.

Khalifa Salisu | MUSE2IT

Since I’ve started, EDGE has helped me further define my business ideas with each assignment and group meeting. I have conducted surveys with hundreds of potential customers to find out what they want, and used templates to define key points in my business and challenge areas of its operation.

Additionally, I was provided a mentor who assisted myself and the other entrepreneurs with 1-on-1 meetings. These meetings helped with determining focus areas for development, problem definition, and general marketability of our ventures.

Originally I had started with multiple business concepts, but EDGE has helped me narrow it down to one, and I am now focusing my efforts on creating a social media platform for avid music fans.

If you are a co-op eligible student at Sheridan, applications for Co-op on the EDGE are open for the Summer 2019 term. Learn more and apply today.

Learn more about the Co-op on the EDGE program in this Sheridan Curiosities feature: Choose Your Own Venture