*Get paid to collaborate with an interdisciplinary group of students and learn design thinking by actually doing it! 

What is design thinking?

Design thinking is a future-ready innovation skill that helps leaders better understand problems and create solutions that work for the people they are designing for. It is an iterative process that asks you to ‘step into someone else’s shoes,’ question your assumptions, brainstorm, and ultimately imagine great new ideas!

What does the program look like?

The Experience Ventures Design Thinking Program is an 8 week program designed for students who are passionate about creativity and innovation. You will lead a hands-on project that tackles a genuine challenge for a startup in our community.

  • Successful applicants will be matched with a group to work on a challenge for a startup organization that you identify as interesting to you.
  • A weekly workshop will introduce you to the steps of design thinking and guide you through implementation.
  • You can expect to spend approximately 5 hours weekly applying your learning outside of class with your group.
  • At the end of the course, you will present your solution to the startup
  • Walk away with a design thinking certificate, learn a new way of thinking and leading, and *get paid for your experience!
Winning teams will take home up to $5000 in prizes!

Applications are now closed.

Challenges provided by:

Optinum Professional Corp. is a niche accounting firm, specializing in finance and social impact for social enterprises and non-profits. PATCHES 360 Inc. is a social non-profit agency, dedicated to providing communication consulting, non-clinical social services, and programs for youth. Redeem Clothing Recycling is committed to providing convenient and easy clothing recycling solutions in city of Toronto and the surrounding areas. Chartwells, Humber's Food Services provider, offers a variety of on-campus dining options to suit your needs and your budget. The Fitness Timeline is a network of fitness trainers who deliver classes at their clients' convenience on driveways and in parks. Packt provides businesses with durable reusable packaging alternatives and easy-to-implement recovery and sanitation solutions to keep the products moving.

Program schedule

October 4, 6pm-8pm

Kickoff Session
Meet your group and learn about your challenge

October 11, 6pm-8pm

Design Thinking, Needs, and Using Empathy
Learn about design thinking, and how to empathize with users to identify needs, problems, and opportunities

October 18, 6pm-8pm

Interviewing, Surveying, and Ethnography
Practice primary data collection tools, including how to interview users and conduct research

- Reading Week -  
November 1, 6pm-8pm

Defining the Problem
Identify the insights gained through data collection and start naming the underlying problem that needs to be solved

November 8, 6pm-8pm

Building a Solution
Practice collaboration through brainstorming to identify a solution that is best suited to solving the problem

November 15, 6pm-8pm

Prototyping and Testing
Understand what is meant by prototyping and testing, and identify methods to test your solution

November 22, 6pm-8pm

Presenting your Solution
Develop a final pitch to communicate your solution and recommended plan for implementation to the organization 


Students will receive an $525 honourarium. Eligible students:

  • Are registered in a postsecondary education institution
  • Are Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons to who refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and,
  • Are legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations.
  • Must complete an onboarding module before beginning the experience.
Applications are now closed.