University of Victoria student graduates as business owner

University of Victoria engineering students are being given a unique opportunity. They can graduate with a master’s degree—and a stake in a successful business.

Four UViC Engineering students by the names of Torben Werner, Jeff Crowe, Will Fraser, and Logan Volkers, are participating in the Engineering Entrepreneurship@UVic pilot project. They have completed the first eight months of coursework: a combination of graduate-level engineering and MBA entrepreneurial studies. And now, are ready to spend the next three semesters in Ottawa working with executives at Wesley Clover, a world-class investment company, to choose a high-tech business opportunity.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for students. They’re meeting weekly with Owen Matthews, executive vice president of Wesley Clover. They’re connected to very successful local business leaders who are eager to coach them. Nowhere else can students access a professional network like this,” says Dr. Thomas (Ted) Darcie, the UVic electrical engineering professor who helped develop the pilot.

In 2009, Wesley Clover founder and chair Sir Terence Matthews was named the Faculty of Business’ Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year. The annual award acknowledges an inspirational entrepreneur who has had a significant and positive impact on the global community through his or her business leadership. The first team of students will graduate in May 2011 with a Master of Applied Science and a diploma in entrepreneurship, and equity in a business they helped form. Applications are now being taken for the September 2010 class of Engineering Entrepreneurship@UVic.