New pilot project will help Memorial University students gain entrepreneurial experience

News release

Fellowship initiative will help graduate students develop business start-up skills

May 26, 2021 · St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Entrepreneurs play a key role in economic growth and job creation and their success is essential to Atlantic Canada’s economic recovery. That is why the federal government is working closely with post-secondary institutions like Memorial University to advance entrepreneurship and help grow the innovation economy.

Strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, today announced a non-repayable contribution of $139,000 to Memorial University’s Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office for a pilot fellowship project to improve graduate students’ innovation and entrepreneurial skills.

The Supporting the Local Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Project will offer fellowships to 27 Memorial University graduate students to nurture their entrepreneurial spirit, and provide them with practical business start-up skills and experience in bringing new technologies to market.

Today’s announcement is further proof of the Government of Canada’s commitment to support entrepreneurship, innovation and small businesses. 


“Now more than ever, we need entrepreneurs and innovators to help us build back better and grow a robust economy. That is why we are pleased to support Memorial University’s fellowship initiative. It will better equip Newfoundland and Labrador’s future business leaders and entrepreneurs for success and help to create a stronger Atlantic Canadian economy.”

-   The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Our province is home to some of Canada’s most creative and innovative entrepreneurs. We need them to keep innovating. With this funding, 27 graduate students at Memorial University will gain valuable business start-up experience and support to bring new technologies to market. This is how we build a more prosperous future for our province.”

-   The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl

“Memorial is proud to play a central role in building a prosperous future for Newfoundland and Labrador. Motivated graduate students are gaining practical leadership skills while start-ups move forward with their innovative ideas. This is an exciting investment in our future business leaders.” 

-   Dr. Neil Bose, Vice-President (Research), Memorial University

Quick facts

  • The project includes the Insight Business Consulting Program, which matches graduate students in the Faculty of Business Administration with local start-up companies. Students and start-ups recently submitted applications and four matches have been made for the spring semester. There will also be an opportunity in August for students and start-ups to apply for the fall semester. 

  • Some graduate students will also work within the Translational R&D Program to evaluate the potential of their research for commercialization. There are four students participating in fellowships in this part of the program for the year.

  • The funding announced today is through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program.


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Economic

Development and Official Languages

Paul McGrath

Director of Communications

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency


Jeff Green

Manager, Communications

Office of the Vice-President (Research)

Memorial University


Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: