150 Startups ...

Helping students navigate the development stages of their first business.

Concieved by Craig Elias and spearheaded by Bow Valley College, 150 Startups is a multi-year Alberta-wide initiative designed to build a more resilient economy and expand Alberta’s entrepreneurial capacity by creating more first-time Entrepreneurs at all 26 of Alberta’s publicly funded colleges, universities and polytechnics.

These student entrepreneurs then become the role models, mentors, and angel investors that inspire and support the next generation of aspiring and first-time young entrepreneurs.

We do this by having Alberta’s 26 colleges and universities collaborate so we all share ideas, develop resources, identify best practices, and, annually, guide 150 post-secondary students to Ideate and take the initial steps towards becoming a first-time Entrepreneur.

2024 Startup Bootcamp: Friday, May 10th to Sunday, May 12th

The summer skills development program and Lean Startup Challenges begin with a Startup Bootcamp where students and aspiring entrepreneurs learn and apply the Lean Startup method and Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas and have the chance to play the Norweigan board game Playing Lean

Playing Lean helps participants learn how to start a company or launch a new product without draining their bank account, bruising their ego or running their reputation.


 Tickets start at $20 for students and $30 for non-students, and all those who complete the weekend receive:

Come for just part of it, or stay for all of it.

Details and registration at – https://lu.ma/kick-off-weekend-20


September - April

Alberta’s Colleges and Universities run their own on-campus activities to expose students to entrepreneurship as a viable career option. Those interested in becoming an entrepreneur can start working on the 10 steps to turn their idea into a business. From January to March a series of on-campus presentations are broadcasted live and recorded for future use. At the end of April, each school selects who it thinks is its most promising first-time entrepreneur.

May & June

Those chosen to represent their post-secondary institution as the most promising first-time entrepreneur participate in a summer skills development program. The skills development program starts with a Kick-off Weekend where students and aspiring entrepreneurs learn and apply the Lean Startup method and Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas. The summer skills development program then continues with Lean Startups Challenges and twice-a-week web meetings.


June - August

Each school’s representative has the opportunity to compete for over $100,000 in cash and scholarships to Silicon Valley’s top entrepreneurship program.

Up to $50,000 in cash is made available through a series of Lean Startup Challenges, regional pitch-offs and a final province-wide pitch competition held during the Innovation Rodeo that runs the same week as the Calgary Stampede and gives away $25,000 in cash and awards $36,000 US in scholarships.

September - August

It is the intent of the program that when the following fall semester begins, each school’s participants then return to campus as Student Entrepreneurship Ambassador to inspire the next batch of 150 first-time entrepreneurs and help those from prior years to continue developing their businesses.


150 Startups is spearheaded by Bow Valley College.



If you have any questions or suggestions, you can reach the organizer of 150 StartUps (Craig Elias) by cell phone:  North America: +1.866.744.7904 | International: +1.403.874.2998  email:  [email protected] or by completing the contact form below the map.