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Certificate in Entrepreneurship

If you’re thinking about starting a new business or are building one, the Certificate in Entrepreneurship will guide you through key strategic decisions and planning milestones.

You’ll reduce your startup risk by developing and validating your business concept using the latest tools and strategies. You’ll also accelerate the growth of your business by building realistic business, marketing and financing plans that target the right market with the right strategy and messaging at the right time.

Participants will work one-on-one with instructors and meet successful entrepreneurs to gain real-world insights to apply to their business.

MaRS co-created the Certificate in Entrepreneurship with the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. The Certificate program launched in October 2013 and is currently offered at the St. George campus.

Learn More about the Certificate in Entrepreneurship

What you’ll learn

  • Use lean startup methodology to understand your target customer
  • Validate and build a sustainable business model
  • Develop a marketing plan that reaches target customers
  • Build and manage a strong, competent team
  • Manage your finances using key financial statements and tools

Certificate requirement(s)

You have three years from the start date of your first course to complete the certificate. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) exemption may be granted for one course.


Foundations in entrepreneurial management
This intensive course will give you the latest entrepreneurial management techniques to accelerate your startup’s growth with minimal risk.

Market Discovery & Customer Intelligence
This course will help you better understand your customers and market so you can make the right strategic, product and marketing decisions in your new venture.

Business Model Design
To start a new business, you need to find a sustainable, profitable business model that provides value to your customers.

Marketing and sales for entrepreneurs
This interactive course will teach you how to build your startup by using the sales and marketing tactics best suited to your target customers.

Building and managing your team
Learn how to build and manage a strong, competent team to ensure that your new business succeeds.

Finding and managing financing
If you’re thinking of starting a business, this practical five-week course will demystify the practice of early-stage finance.

Register for a course


Angela M. Tancock
Angela is a qualified CPA, CA with 15 years’ extensive experience in the finance and accounting field working in all aspects of finance and operations across industries, including manufacturing, distribution, mining and financial services. Most recently, she served as the chief financial officer for Macquarie Banking and Financial Services North America. She has in-depth knowledge of all aspects of financial reporting, forecasting and strategy, and has been a member of numerous strategic committees and management and due diligence teams throughout her career. In 2012, she co-founded Scalability Inc., a back office company focusing on the small- to medium-size business space. Angela is also a facilitator at MaRS Discovery District, where she has developed and delivered workshops on key finance topics for technology entrepreneurs around the province.

Gordon MacDonald
Gord specializes in executive-level HR consulting to organizations where HR leadership is needed on an interim, advisory, contract or project basis. Prior to establishing his own consulting firm, HR Solutions, Gord worked in various senior-level HR roles in highly successful organizations, including, Genworth Canada, LoyaltyOne, American Express and HRG Canada. He brings expertise in: human capital strategy; building talent and strong teams; building strong corporate cultures; employee engagement; and leading change. Gord has a Bachelor of Administration from Concordia University and holds SRHR and GPHR designations. He also sits on the Advisory and Honorary Partners Committee for Special Olympics Toronto, and is a member of the Strategic Capability Network.

Keri Damen
Keri Damen is a program leader, intrapreneur and instructor who manages the academic and business success of a growing portfolio of cutting edge, market-driven business programs designed to advance the careers of learners at U of T’s School of Continuing Studies. Prior to joining SCS full-time, she designed its Certificate in Entrepreneurship experiential program where she currently teaches the Foundations of Entrepreneurial Management course to aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs. As the Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at MaRS Discovery District, Keri was dedicated to helping entrepreneurs successfully bring their ideas to market via education created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. She envisioned, marketed and scaled a comprehensive suite of programs and content from inception to becoming Canada’s largest entrepreneurship education provider with live programs reaching tens of thousands of entrepreneurs and online resources viewed by millions of people around the world. The flagship program Entrepreneurship 101 won Startup Canada’s Entrepreneurial Effect Award for outstanding achievement in advancing entrepreneurship in Ontario in 2014. Keri has a BA from UBC and an International MBA (IMBA) from the Schulich School of Business at York University. In her personal time, she is an avid thinker and speaker about the new world of work and learning and how everyone from new grads to leaders can survive and thrive in the new economy.

Mark Elliott
Mark Elliott founded Venture Accelerator Partners almost seven years ago to provide part-time sales and marketing services to growing firms. Over that period of time, VA Partners has worked with over 60 startups and growing businesses. Some of the sales and marketing highlights for VA Partners include helping a transportation firm grow from 2 to over 50 clients; closing new revenue of $300,000 for a software firm; finding over 200 leads a year through social media for a design firm; and managing an inbound marketing strategy that consistently generates 40 leads a month. The VA Partner team is actively involved in the startup community in the GTA, KW, Hamilton and the Golden Horseshoe. Mark has almost 20 years of sales and marketing experience, including work with a leading Fortune 500 technology firm and one of the world’s largest moving and relocation companies.

Usha Srinivasan
Usha is the Vice President of Learning and Insights at MaRS. Specific to market intelligence, she has built a unique service offering for Ontario entrepreneurs by engaging 22 business database vendors and a wide range of staff (from Information specialists to MBAs). Her background includes over 20 years as a researcher in various capacities, including work at Frost & Sullivan, a leading global market research and consulting company, where she published key research papers, consulted for companies of varying sizes and managed a group of analysts to provide quality research. She has worked with global clients such as GE, Siemens, Veolia, American water, IBM, Honeywell and Brita, conducting specific industry analysis, market sizing, market share analysis, due diligence on acquisition targets, new market entry strategies etc. She holds a BSc in Microbiology from the University of Bristol and a PhD in Environmental Sciences from the University of Abertay, Scotland. She is a member of the MRIA (Marketing Research Intelligence Association).

Joseph Wilson
Joseph is the Director of Business Development for Spongelab Interactive, a software company that solves problems in the education industry. He was previously the Senior Strategist in the Education Technology Cluster at MaRS Discovery District, a cluster of over 200 education entrepreneurs in Toronto. He gave advice on customer development, structuring pilots, securing funding and researching learning outcomes in order to allow high potential startups to scale. At MaRS he also helped create the Entrepreneur’s Toolkit Workshop series, the Future Leaders youth camp and the Entrepreneurial Thinking Toolkit for teachers. Prior to his work at MaRS, Joseph taught high school level physics, math and credit recovery for 5 years, and was nominated for the Premier’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2009. He won the T. Eta Award of Excellence in 2002 for his work teaching with University of Toronto’s Science Outreach. He has written widely on topics of entrepreneurship, science and culture for the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Spacing Magazine, NOW Magazine, Betakit and Edsurge. Joseph has a Hon. B. Sc. With High Distinction from the University of Toronto.