Entrepreneurship Coop (eCoop)

  • Undergraduate
  • 1 Semester
  • Fall Semester
  • Spring Semester
  • Summer Semester

Are you a student entrepreneur, changemaker or team ready to commit to your start-up full-time for a semester?

Entrepreneurship Coop (eCoop) allows you to receive a paid salary while working full-time on your very own start-up—complete with dedicated mentorship and space from the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship.

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.

In the 4 months I spent on eCoop, my non-profit business grew immensely and sustainably. I secured over $75,000 in funding during this time, and we doubled our reach. Working with mentors allowed me to reflect on current practices, learn from others, and adapt our current systems to reflect those of organizations that are currently where we want to one day be.

Chloe Goodison,
3rd Year Health Sciences Student

Charles Chang eCoop

Every semester, up to three spaces will be awarded to either individual undergraduate students or teammates from any faculty. There, aspiring entrepreneurs can earn co-op credit, a paid salary, weekly mentoring, and access to a co-working space and workshops through the Chang Institute.

Apply in the semester before you intend to do eCoop.

Criteria for eCoop

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

Considerations for selection of Chang Institute 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 a Mentor Meet mentor

Selected finalists will be invited to virtually present their pitch on July 18.

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 


Applications for the Fall 2024 (September – December) term are closed.

Stay tuned for eCoop Spring 2025 (January – April)!

eCo-op includes a $10,000 salary while you work on your entrepreneurial ventures.

For questions, please email us at cip_changinstitute@sfu.ca.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is eCoop? Students from any faculty interested in creating and growing their own start-up can receive a $10,000 salary over the co-op work term while earning Co-op credits. In addition, students gain access to mentors, specialized workshops and co-working space at SFU Surrey Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship office, 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 the Chang Institute’s Incubator program where you will receive: 

·         A $10,000 salary over the co-op work term
·         Networking opportunities
·         Specialized start-up venture workshops
·         Event tickets (per availability)
·         Weekly mentoring with one of their Mentors


What steps do I need to take to participate in eCoop? 1) Apply to eCoop by completing all steps under “Apply for eCOOP”
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 Spring (January-April)
-Apply by November 15th

For Summer (May-August)
-Apply by March 1st

For Fall (September-December)
-Apply by July 3rd
-Finalists pitch on July 18th
When should I apply to eCoop?Students should apply during the semester BEFORE they intend to do eCoop.


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 as early as possible in the semester BEFORE you intend to do eCoop. Students MUST complete the SPARK workbook and meet with a mentor prior to applying.

Selected finalists MUST be available to pitch (virtually) on July 18.
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.


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 day 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 to receive the eCoop Award. Please note that you pay your own Co-op tuition and supplementary fees directly to SFU for your eCoop semester, as you do for regular tuition 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.
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 15-week, full-time commitment. If you don’t complete the full duration, you may not receive the full amount of the award.

What to Expect

Do I receive the $10,000 right away?eCoop students receive a $10,000 salary over the course of the term. The amount is received in the form of bi-weekly paychecks.
What mentorship support do I get? eCoop students receive dedicated mentorship on a weekly basis from a Chang Institute Mentor-In-Residence!
Where will I be working?Students receive access to a co-working space during their eCoop term. The Chang Institute has two office spaces – one at SFU Surrey, and the other in Vancouver at the Charles Chang Innovation Centre. Students are expected to be present in the Chang Institute office at least 80% of the time, with a minimum of 2 days per week at the Surrey office.
Are there any additional commitments?eCoop students are automatically enrolled in the Entrepreneurial Competencies Club, a great place to learn and discuss entrepreneurial ideals, successes, and failures from some of business’ greats, and network with Chang Institute Incubator startup teams. Participants listen to and discuss entrepreneurial stories shared via podcast. The sessions are hosted by Chang Institute mentor and SFU professor, Doug Fast. These weekly sessions are a great way to build the core entrepreneurial skillset and apply it to a business or idea. 
Are there any vacation days?Vacations days will be available as per BC Employment Law. Extended vacations or prolonged absences will not be permitted so eCoop may not be the right fit for you. Students are encouraged to apply for an eCoop term in which they can meet the attendance requirements. 
How can I get the most out of my eCoop experience?To get the most value out of the eCoop experience, we recommend taking full advantage of the resources available to you. Whether it be the mentorship, Entrepreneurial Competencies Club, opportunities to collaborate with fellow eCoop students and change makers in our spaces, there is never a shortage of options! All we ask is that you remain open to learning new skills. Teachability is important, especially in the eCoop program!
Should I treat my eCoop like a full time job?Yes, eCoop students are expected to work full time hours in support of their venture during their term to get the most value of their experience. This includes tracking your daily activities and progressions throughout the eCo-op. Full time hours include an 8-hour work day complimented by 1 hour in break time.

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