Frequently Asked Questions

Application and Admission


Why is this being offered?

To stimulate economic growth in BC and to find new ways to increase economic value derived from taxpayer dollars spent on academic research.

How will it benefit me in the future to accept this opportunity?

This opportunity could benefit you in career advancement with other companies or with getting a jump on starting your own business. If successful, you will receive a substantial ownership position in the company created to commercialize your work.

How does it benefit the University of Victoria, Wesley Clover and the Alacrity Foundation?

Alacrity and the University of Victoria fulfill their mandate to stimulate economic activity in BC and train future leaders for the Canadian high-tech industry. Future Alacrity activities are funded by equity ownership in the new companies. Wesley Clover becomes a shareholder and investor in these new companies.

What kind of recognition would completing this opportunity have in industry?

Starting up your own company is always impressive to employers, as it demonstrates initiative and leadership. You will also develop an extensive network of professional contacts as well as achieve an advanced degree (MASc) and a business diploma.

Would it be possible to pursue this opportunity if living in areas other than large city centers with the resources to offer such an opportunity?

Due to the teamwork involved in the project it is important that everyone be in the same place.

What will be my ownership in the new company?

The ownership of the company will be divided roughly equally between the student team, Alacrity Foundation, and Wesley Clover.

How many of these companies succeed?

This is a new endeavor, but for years Wesley Clover has been doing what resembles the project part of this degree. Entrepreneurship ventures always come with a small risk and therefore we cannot guarantee that your company will succeed. With hard work and dedication from the team, it is more likely that a company will succeed. Wesley Clover's extensive network and market presence is strong validation of the model.
For more information see the Wesley Clover website:

How do you choose teams? Will the sponsors participate in the decision making?

We will all work together to chose teams based on interviews and observation to determine which mix will make the best team.

What are the current students working on?

The project is currently being defined and is expected to involve data mining at large-scale.


How long will it take to complete?

5 semesters (20 months) is expected. The project and courses will be carefully managed as we have commitments to our investors.

What kind of time and effort is involved?

The academic load is compressed into 2 semesters, during which time the project is defined and planned. The third and following semesters are dedicated to the project and you will be competing against the global marketplace. To win, you will need to put in considerable time and effort, often under pressure to deliver.

How large are the classes?

Class sizes for graduate classes tend to be small allowing for strong student-faculty interaction, but sizes will vary depending on the course. Engineering Entrepreneurship@UVic itself will admit up to 10 students per year.

Does any other school offer a similar opportunity? And what are their results?

Though there are other schools that offer combined business and engineering masters degree programs, we are unique in offering you a chance to start your own company in partnership with industry giants at the same time.

How can I afford to finance my education?

Entrepreneurship@UVic is fully financially funded by government (BCIC, Alacrity Foundation) and private sources (Wesley Clover). We encourage NSERC PGS-M scholars to join us. Each student selected will receive a fellowship from Alacrity and the University of Victoria totaling roughly $33,000 over the 5 semesters.

Does this apply to only certain fields of engineering, or is this not even limited to engineering graduates?

You must have a bachelors in engineering to apply for Engineering Entrepreneurship@UVic. Projects of current interest have a strong software component and center on applications involving broadband, enterprise and mobile communications.

What is the extent of business training?

The business courses occupy roughly half of the first semester. During the entire 20 months the team will interact extensively with business leaders from Wesley Clover, UVic Business and the local high-tech community.

Is the business training integrated into the MASc curriculum or completely separate?

The MASc and business diploma courses will be taken at the same time. The project work will happen mostly after all course work is completed.

Would the business training be intimately related to the business you are starting (e.g. business-plan writing, planning and strategy)?

The business courses focus on entrepreneurship and much of what is needed to get started.

Is this a watered down version of an MBA and MEng or could this be a possibility?

The amount of course work for the MBA and MEng is greater than that of the business diploma and MASc. Engineering Entrepreneurship@UVic is focused on the project and learning by hands-on implementation, rather than coursework.

Application and Admission

What qualifications are necessary?

Interested individuals require a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or a Bachelor of Software Engineering (BSEng).

What are the admission criteria?

You must qualify for admission into the Graduate studies program. See Admission Requirements.

Will the sponsors participate in the selection of new students?

Our sponsors and business leaders, particularly those at Wesley Clover, have valuable insight into what makes a good entrepreneur. We will certainly be engaging them in evaluating applicants.

When is the admission deadline?

The following deadlines are based on September admission to the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering:

Applications for domestic students must be received by May 31. However, given the special nature of Entrepreneurship@UVic, late applications may be considered. Please contact us.
Applications for international students must be received by December 15. Note that all applicants must prove their authorization to work in Canada upon completion of your studies. A student visa does not suffice.
See Graduate Studies Dates and Deadlines

How much it will cost?

Each student must pay tuition for Graduate Studies. See Tuition and Fees.

How do I apply?

You can either request an application through our form or follow the Admission Checklist on the Graduate Studies website. Make sure to indicate Dr. T. E. Darcie as your supervising professor. We also require a personal statement be included with your application and it should cover the following topics:

  • Why are you interested in becoming an entrepreneur?
  • Evidence of leadership, communication skill, teamwork skills, project management experience, initiative.
  • Describe non-technical roles you feel you could play on a high tech team.
  • Any other factors that you feel make you suitable for this opportunity.
  • Statement of authorization to work in Canada, not just a student visa.
When your application is complete, please send a copy of your personal statement (PDF) as well as the student number you are given (V00XXXXXX) to our email address

Can I apply on my own, or do I need a team?

You do not need a team to apply.