Who the Fellowship Program is NOT FOR

Who the Fellowship Program is NOT FOR

We’re super excited about Venture for Canada’s Fellowship Program 2023, and we know a lot of you are. The applications for the 2023 cohort will be opening this fall.

What started with a Training Camp in 2015 and 35 Fellows has evolved to a community of +380 startup and entrepreneurial leaders. It’s going to be our 9th run at this, and we’re often asked, “Who exactly is this program for?”

To help you, your pals, peers, significant others, and your larger social network understand what you’re signing up for, we made a list of who it’s not for. 

That way, you can self eliminate, or they can point to why you shouldn’t do it so you can avoid any “I told you so!”

While everyone eligible for the program is welcome with a metaphorical hug the size of an elephant, the program is not for everyone. 

That hurt. But we tell it like it is. 

There’s a reason for it. There are traits that VFC Fellows just have regardless of their lived experience, educational background, interests, hobbies, and geographic location. VFC Fellows fit squares into round pegs, are a mixed bag of apples and oranges, and can spot all the best things since sliced bread. 

So…despite genuine interest and excitement for the program, or if you’re hesitant about the program and any of these sound like you, then it’s probably not the best place to invest your time and energy. 

  • You’re not curious 
  • You’re just not that into learning about new things. 
  • You’d rather prefer to take things as they are and not dive deeper. 
  • You’re very closed-minded and would never think of challenging the status quo.
  • You’re not interested in redefining entrepreneurship or career success.
  • You really really want a traditional (linear) career path like being a dentist, we need those, but it’s just not us. 
  • You’re not interested in exploring the world of entrepreneurship. 
  • You don’t want to invest in meeting a new community of driven peers. 
  • You don’t like to make space for others and find it difficult to watch others succeed.
  • You don’t like the sound of participating in Training Camp with entrepreneurial skills learning, industry networking, jobs at startups….and so much more.
  • You don’t want to deal with ambiguity, ever.
  • You like a clearly defined set of responsibilities (what we’ve come to know calm 9-5). 
  • You need a break from school and the “hustle” mindset
  • You don’t value perseverance, practice, and learning how to apply and hone skills. 
  • Your dictionary omits the word “Community”
  • You think in the very near term and aren’t interested in the asset of a lifetime network.
  • You’re not very passionate or driven; the idea of innovating or taking initiative scares you and you’d much rather settle where you feel comfortable.
  • Connecting with others to build connections, offering and receiving mentorship, and give back to the community sounds like a nightmare. 
  • You’re the “Know-It-All” brand ambassador – this relates to the first point about curiosity, right? What is entrepreneurship with answers to all questions? A myth!
  • You’re, quite literally, a robot or an ant: After listing all these human characteristics, you might think we’re kidding. We’re not. If you love repetitive, singular-minded tasks and have a sheer dislike for sometimes getting into uncomfortable situations, then this isn’t it. 

At last, you can take a sigh of relief. 

We’re done listing the not-so-peculiar traits of those for who the program is not for. We’re considering both what it takes to really gain the value of the program and what it takes to succeed in a job at a startup.

If you identify as any of those, you might want to reconsider joining the VFC Fellowship Program, but if you have even the tiniest inkling that you want to change that characteristic, it may be for you after all.