Seven-day Entrepreneurial Boot Camp 2019

What is it?

Our seven-day intensive business boot camp is designed to help transitioning Canadian Forces members and veterans rapidly advance their entrepreneurial and business skills and knowledge. Each boot camp class is comprised of 20 burgeoning entrepreneurs from across Canada who arrive with a business idea and a passion to learn.   There is no cost to participate due to the generous support from program funders and sponsors.

Boot camps are held on campus at four Canadian universities:  Université Laval, Dalhousie University, Memorial University, and the University of Regina between May and August each year.

Are you interested? 

In just one week you will:
learn best practices in marketing, social media, finance, business planning, and accounting from business school faculty. Professors have condensed years of experience into lectures and practical workshops delivered over seven days
be paired with a student who focuses on your unique areas of need such as accounting, Excel spreadsheets, market research or navigating the unfamiliar world of social media  
participate in mentoring forums with local entrepreneurs
practice and polish pitching your business idea
and work on a plan to take your business to the next level. 

Who is it for?

Our seven-day boot camp is designed for transitioning Canadian Armed Forces and Reserve members of any age who:

  • Are within twelve months of an honorable release.

  • Have been honorably released from the military within the last two years

  • Have been or will be medically released (no time restrictions)

If you’ve already done your research, seriously considered the benefits and challenges of working for yourself, and moved beyond the “idea” stage of your own business, our boot camp might be right for you. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and make it happen!

Think you’re ready to apply for boot camp? If you’re still in the idea stage and want to find out more about what it takes to launch and run your own business, consider our free one-day entrepreneurship workshop, or one hour POE Connects call.

Full Eligibility Requirements

Support of your Commanding Officer is required.

All applicants should consult a Personnel Selection Officer (PSO Transition counseling) and/or SISIP Vocational Rehabilitation Program (VRP) Counselor, if you’re a SISIP VRP client, and inform your Commanding Officer of your application to the program.

You are eligible for the program if you are:

  1. A Canadian Armed Forces member who has been or will be medically released, including:
    (1)   Regular Force members who have successfully completed developmental period one (DP1);
    (2)   Primary Reservists who are occupation qualified and have completed 21 months out of 24 months of consecutive full-time Class “B” service at the time they sustained the injury or illness; and (3)   Primary Reservists who sustained an injury or illness on Class “C” services for which they will be medically released.

  2. SISIP VRP Clients as referred by SISIP VRP.

  3. A Regular Force CAF member who has been or will be honorably released, other than medical release, under QR&O Article 15.01. Eligibility requires that you have successfully completed developmental period 1 (DP1).

  4. A Primary Reserve Force CAF member who has been or will be honorably released under QR&O 15.01 other than for medical reasons. You must be occupation qualified and have completed two years of consecutive full-time Class “B” service, or have served no less than eight years of Class “A” service, or have served a minimum six-month deployment in international operations.

What to expect?

In order to pack it all into just seven days, you'll be staying in residence and spending most of your time on campus. During the day you attend lectures, workshops and panel discussion on topics such as marketing, social media, finance, human resources and presentation skills. In the evenings, there are networking events and time to work one-on-one with student mentors focusing on your specific business needs. 

Confidence Sells!   
One of the toughest earned and most valuable take-aways is the 30 second business pitch. You may start the week searching for words or struggling to explain your business. By Saturday you’ll have honed your idea, narrowed your target market and be able to professionally pitch to anyone in 30 seconds or less including bankers, future customers or future suppliers. 

After boot camp:
you’ll continue your progress by working one-on-one with our Entrepreneur-in-Residence for coaching and support 
you’ll receive a catalogue of free entrepreneurial resources available in your community. Most regions have at least one organization selected by POE as the best first point of contact for a face-to-face meeting or a telephone call. 
you become a POE alumni joining 449 other graduates who regularly connect online or over coffee for networking and support. 

What to bring:
A laptop if you have one
Work you’ve done already (business information, research) 
The dress code is business-casual for most days and business wear for networking events including the graduation ceremony on Saturday evening. 
Comfortable walking shoes or athletic clothing.  The week is long and intense. We recommend adding exercise to your daily routine for mental and physical health.

Sample seven-day boot camp schedule 

2017 boot camp impact on skills and confidence

What past participants have said:

“The program is invaluable. The diversity of education offered guarantees you come away with many more tools than you had prior. All 20 of us benefited from this program. Not all had the same needs or the same level of need, however, the structure of the program ensured that each of us would benefit greatly from the experience”.  2015 Graduate.”
“It was one of the most memorable and valuable experiences of my life. I came out of that week a completely different person after so much growth and education. It's a life changing opportunity that nobody should pass up.“ 2015 Graduate”
“It helped me better recognize and evaluate the skills I acquired during my career. This in turn increased my confidence in my business model.”  2015 Graduate.”

2018 Boot Camps: 

Université Laval: Quebec City, QC (en français) – mai 2019
Dalhousie University: Halifax, NS – June 2019
Memorial University: St. John’s, NL– July 2019
University of Regina: Regina, SK – August 2019


Boot camp

  Due date

 Acceptance date 

 Université Laval (French) 

 April 12, 2019    

 April 18, 2019        

 Dalhousie University  

 May 5, 2019

 May 9, 2019

Memorial University & University of Regina     

 May 25, 2019

 May 30, 2019

If you apply before May 5th, you will be eligible for all three English boot camps. We encourage you to apply early.

2019 Boot Camp Application 

There are three sections to this application: personal and CAF service information; questions about your business idea; then an opportunity to share your passion for entrepreneurship. It’s a competitive process.  Complete and focused applications have a greater chance of success.  

For those voluntarily releasing, our ideal candidate is within 1-2 years of transitioning out of the CAF or recently released within 1-2 years. There is no time limit associated with those CAF members medically releasing. Full eligibility information is available under Who is it for tab? 

Applications are evaluated on the following criteria:
1. Proximity to release date
2. Personal readiness
3. Business or business idea readiness
4. Entrepreneurial spirit 


Boot camp

  Due date

 Acceptance date 

 Dalhousie University 

 May 5, 2019

 May 9, 2019

 Memorial University & University of Regina     

 May 25, 2019

May 30, 2019

Those applying before April 12, 2019 are eligible for all boot camps so apply early.

Tips for applying:

1. The suggested range for long answers is 50-150 words. We recommend cutting and pasting responses from a Word document into the application form to prevent possible loss of work. 
2. In the business section, add details illustrating your business idea is well thought out and focused. If you’re having difficulty, consider these questions: How did the idea came about?  Was there a need? Can you do something better? Have you connected with anyone in the industry? What mental and physical leg work have you done?  
3. Please include accomplishments and personal successes while in the military.   
4. For the entrepreneurial spirit section, let your passion shine through.  “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” – Lori Greiner.  Are you that passionate? What’s driving you?   
5. Think about what you hope to gain from the week. How you are uniquely positioned to utilize this opportunity going forward?  

The application form below works with virtually all web browsers updated in the last two years (i.e. Apple Safari 5 or later, Firefox 30 or later, Chrome 18 or later, Internet Explorer 9 or later.) If your application won’t submit or you don’t receive a confirmation email, contact for a downloadable version.  Note: The DND firewall or other factors may impact the web form’s functionality. Try applying from a different computer first. 

On behalf of the program partners, sponsors and supporters thank you for applying and good luck!

* Apply with a non DND email address. Do not use This ensures links function properly in follow up communication. Once submitted, a confirmation email is automatically sent. If not received, apply again checking for email address typos.

We recommend cutting and pasting responses from a Word document into the application form to prevent possible loss of work. 

* Required