Are you a student entrepreneur, changemaker or team ready to commit to your start-up full-time for a semester? eCoop allows you to receive a financial award while working full-time on your very own start-up—complete with dedicated mentorship and space from Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection.

Great business ideas don't just happen after graduation. Aspiring entrepreneurs may find inspiration from a class or as part of a group project, the lab or their experiences out driving change in the world.

At SFU, students don't have to sideline their dreams to pursue an education. Thanks to our paid individual and/or team eCoop experience — the first of its kind in Canada — they can have both.

With mentorship and space from our friends at Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection, individuals or teams of students in the eCoop program receive a $10,000 financial award and earn university credit while focusing full-time on their start-up. There are currently two types of eCoop: 

Charles Chang eCoop

Every semester, up to three spaces will be awarded to either individual undergraduate students or team mates from any faculty. There aspiring entrepreneurs can earn co-op credit, a financial award, bi-weekly mentoring, and access to co-working space and workshops through  Venture Connection. Apply in the semester before you intend to do eCoop.

Tech e@SFU Team eCoop

Every fall, teams completing the Tech e@SFU program have the opportunity to apply as a team for a paid team eCoop, which includes a financial award, mentorship, co-working space, workshops, and access to prototyping funds. Apply after completing Tech e@SFU in the summer before you intend to do eCoop. 

Each individual team member who wishes to be eligible for eCoop must complete an application. Application process for Charles Chang eCoop and Tech e@SFU eCoop are the same for Fall 2020. See below for details

Criteria for eCoop

Students interested in eCoop will need to be accepted into both the Venture Connection Incubator program and their faculty’s co-op program.

Considerations for selection of Venture Connections Incubator program include:

  • Quality of expression of interest
  • Quality of idea (a real market and need must be identified and backed up)
  • Quality of application
  • Feedback from Mentor Meet mentor
  • Breadth of skills on team (Team eCoop only)

Considerations for admission to the co-op program may include the following, but please check in with the co-op program for your academic discipline before applying and alert them of your interest in eCoop: 

  • Minimum CGPA of 2.2
  • Between 40 – 110 credits
  • Good financial standing with SFU (no financial holds)
  • International students only: valid co-op work permit acquired before eCoop term starts

Frequently Asked Questions

About eCoop

What is eCoop? 

Students from any faculty interested in creating and growing their own start-up can get paid through a $10,000 eCoop financial award while earning Co-op credits. In addition, students gain access to mentors, specialized workshops and co-working space at SFU Surrey Venture Connection, while developing their start-up on a full-time basis for a semester.

Who is eligible for eCoop?

SFU students from any faculty are eligible for Charles Chang eCoop. SFU students completing the Tech-e@SFU program are eligible for Tech e@SFU Team eCoop.

I am an international student on study permit in Canada. Am I eligible for eCoop?

Yes! Contact your home Co-op program when applying to eCoop. For additional information, see “Participating in eCoop.”

What startup support will I receive during my eCoop?

As a part of eCoop you will be enrolled in Venture Connection's Incubator program where you will receive:

·         Weekly mentoring sessions with one of their Mentors In Residence
·         A $10,000 financial award
·         Networking opportunities
·         Specialized start-up venture workshops
·         Event tickets (per availability)

Participating in eCoop

What steps do I need to take to participate in eCoop? 

1) Apply to eCoop by completing all steps under “Apply for Fall 2020”
2) Apply to SFU Co-op

**Please note:

  • Even though you do not have to be enrolled in Co-op at SFU before considering eCoop, you are strongly advised to apply to the SFU Co-op Program as early as possible. This is to ensure that you meet the requirements outlined in the SFU Co-op curriculum before starting your eCoop semester.
  • Normally it takes one semester to meet the SFU Co-op curriculum requirements for NEW Co-op students. The assignments are easily manageable when completed within one semester (about 6 - 12 hours of work). However, this process does take some time so we recommend that students start planning early. 


Intended eCoop semester Application Deadline for eCoop Application Deadline to SFU Co-op
Spring 2020 (January-April) November 15, 2020 November 15, 2020
Summer 2020 (May-August) March 15, 2020 March 15, 2020
Fall 2020 (September-December) July 15, 2020 July 15, 2020


When should I apply to eCoop?

Students should apply during the semester BEFORE they intend to do eCoop.

Applying to SFU Co-op

What is Co-op?

Co-operative Education (Co-op) is an educational program that formally integrates the students’ academic studies with relevant, paid work experience.

SFU Co-operative Education has received accreditation from Cooperative Education and Work Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL). SFU Co-op is a member of World Association for Cooperative Education (WACE), Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL), and Association for Cooperative Education in British Columbia / Yukon (ACE).

For additional information regarding the SFU Co-op Program, click here.

I have not yet applied to SFU Co-op. What are my next steps?

Contact your home Co-op program as early as possible regarding when and how to join SFU Co-op in preparation for eCoop.

I have already applied to SFU Co-op. What are my next steps?

1) Make sure you have completed Bridging Online I (BOL I). BOL I is a two-week + two day online course. Topics include: Skills Transfer and Communication Tools. If you are unsure if you have completed BOL I, contact your home Co-op program.

2) Meet the requirements of your home Co-op Program for NEW Co-op students. Requirements include completion of: resume, cover letter and interview workshops; meeting with Co-op Career Advisor or Coordinator

I have already met the requirements of my home Co-op program for NEW Co-op students. What are my next steps?

Apply to eCoop! Follow the steps under “Apply for Fall 2020” as early as possible in the semester BEFORE you intend to do eCoop.

I just want to do eCoop and work on my start-up. Why do I need to spend time on topics such as skills transfer and communication?

Developing your own start-up requires a wide range of skills far beyond your expertise in a specialized field. It is important to learn and develop your skills and effectively transfer them to your start-up.

Consider these questions:

  • What skills could you develop while dealing with team dynamics, making tough decisions, and interacting with prospective investors and clients?
  • What skills and personal qualities do you need to overcome disappointments and setbacks, which can be an inevitable part of developing your own start-up?

Why do I need to complete Co-op workshops on resumes, cover letters, and interviews in order to participate in eCoop?

If your goal is to grow your start-up so that someday you will hire people to work for your business, you need to understand your own strengths and weaknesses regarding resumes, cover letters and interviews. You will also benefit from a deeper understanding of the hiring process.

Completing eCoop

I have been selected for eCoop! Now what? 

Congratulations! Please complete the following regarding Co-op:

1) Notify your home Co-op Program
2) Enroll in a Co-op practicum course for the eCoop semester
3) Enroll in Bridging Online II (BOL II) **BOL II is a one-week + two days online course. Topics include: transition to and engage with your workplace
4) Speak to your home Co-op program about dropping all your academic courses for the eCoop semester.

Can I take courses while on an eCoop term? 

No. Co-op semesters require full-time hours of work.

As a student entrepreneur, you will likely devote most of your time to your start-up while on an eCoop semester. You should focus your attention on your start-up. In addition, you are expected to actively engage in work-integrated learning throughout your Co-op semester. Courses, assignments, and exams can create work overload and can hinder the growth of your start-up and your learning during your eCoop semester.

Can I take or keep a part-time job while on an eCoop term?

No. Your priority during the eCoop semester is developing your start-up.

How do I receive my eCoop financial award?

You will be connected to the relevant contacts at the SFU Work Integrated Learning department for imbursement of the eCoop Award.

Please note you pay your own Co-op tuition and supplementary fees directly to SFU for your eCoop semester, as you do for regular courses and other Co-op semesters.

Do I have SFU student status while on an eCoop term?

Yes. All SFU Co-op students enrolled in a Co-op practicum course (Co-op term) maintain full-time student status for the semester.

Can I complete my eCoop semester outside of Canada?

Yes, if your start-up requires you to spend the eCoop semester outside of Canada, you will gain additional resources from the SFU Co-op Program, enroll in SFU Co-op’s Bridging International Learning (BIL). The goal of BIL is to help you prepare for your Co-op experience outside of Canada and enhance your learning in a global context.

What do I need to complete during the eCoop semester?

Start of the term: learning objectives, additional assignments depending on the home Co-op Program
Middle of the term: site visit (with a Co-op coordinator)
End of the term: work term report, presentation (to eCoop review panel), updated resume, self-evaluation

How long is the duration of the program?

It is a 16-week, full time commitment. If you don't complete the full duration, you may not receive the full amount of the award.

Applications are currently closed for Fall 2020 (for individuals and teams)

They will open up again November 1st for the Spring semester!