In 2020, more than ever before, one thing is clear: Change is happening and it’s happening fast. As the world around us changes, the needs of our customers change, and we need to adjust our offers. The way we work and the needs of our staff also change and we are faced with internal challenges. 

Businesses and teams need to be ready to adapt  – and do it fast.


Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre created this program so that you can learn the skills and tools you need to be able to adapt quickly, while truly understanding and meeting the needs of your customers and your staff. 

In this program, you will: 

  • Learn new customer research tools that allow you to understand your customers’ needs to a different level  
  • Learn tools that help you adapt quickly and – most importantly – with limited risk  
  • Immediately apply what you learn by working on your current business challenge with individualized coaching from our advisory team 
  • Connect & collaborate with other entrepreneurs in a supportive environment 

 This is possible thanks to the Design Thinking approach  a method that uses empathy and research, creativity and logic to help you think outside the box. 

 You’ll leave with 

  • new solutions to your current challenge 
  • better customer discovery tools 
  • a new way to approach problems and adapt 
  • resources you can apply right away 
  • new connections 


 Dates & time commitments 

This program is delivered fully online. 

  • Interactive online workshops on Mondays, 9am – 12pm.
    You’ll learn key Design Thinking tools, apply them to your challenge, and collaborate with other entrepreneurs.
    Though online, these workshops are highly interactive thanks to great online tools. 
  • (Tuesday, August 3) 
  • Monday, August 10 
  • Monday, August 17 
  • Monday, August 23 
  • (Monday, August 31)
  • Weekly 1 on 1 coaching sessions with our staff who are experts in Design Thinking and Business Counselling. We’ll connect via phone or video call. 
  • Weekly tasks to complete on your own time to work on your challenge – be that on your own or with your team. Remote collaboration tools are provided. 


Spots are limited. Apply now 

What do I need to bring?

This program is fully online – but here are some things you will need:

  1. A challenge you want to work on, for example 
  • How might we successfully branch out into offering tours, while setting ourselves apart from the competition? 
  • How can we provide an exceptional customer experience despite PPE made necessary by Covid? 
  • How can we help our staff stay motivated and connected while working from home? 
  • How might we test our new ID-Top offering while limiting costs and risk? 

We’re happy to help! Contact us if you are unsure if your current challenge is the right fit.

  1. Yourself and your team members
    You can bring up to 4 team members, at no additional cost.
  2. If you are a solopreneur, you can join on your own, or bring a ‘team for now’ and bring a mentor or other supporter 
  1. If you do have a small or large team, we suggest that you bring up to 4 people – ideally people with different roles and perspectives.

We’re happy to help you decide who to bring. Contact us

Tech Requirements  

  1. A computer with video camera and microphone for each member of your team 
  1. A stable internet connection (at least for Monday sessions) 

We will be using zoom & Mural (an online interactive whiteboard) – we will send you all needed information in advance and will help you learn how to use these as necessary. No downloads necessary, though you will be asked to create a free Mural account. 

Your team will have access to an online collaboration space on Mural, so that you can work together on your challenge between sessions, and have a place to access your work at any given point throughout the program. 


Thanks to generous support from ACOA and the Valley Regional Enterprise Network (Valley REN), we are able to offer this program at a highly subsidized rate of $299 per business. 




Find out more – join our free webinar







sign up for our free webinar



apply here


How do others use this thing called “Design Thinking”?

Manufacturer minimizes the risk for product development. Owner uses empathy to increase morale in the workplace Converting online traffic to increased sales after discovering an unexpected determining factor


Is this really for me?

Business Innovation Labs are for you if:

  • You are part of a small or medium sized business
  • you are looking to take your business to the next level
  • you want to make decisions informed by what your customers or employees really want
  • you want to bring cutting-edge processes & excellence into your team
  • You can bring a team of 4-7 people from your business (staff, owners, advisors, partners, etc.)


more questions about design thinking or the labs? ready to bring your challenge to the lab?





“I found the design thinking challenge to be extremely useful. I did not realize that empathy was such an effective tool for defining a problem and developing possible solutions.” – Matthew Reid, Design Thinking workshop: Doctors & Digby. “Thank you Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre for hosting a Design Thinking workshop with Enactus Acadia. Through the design thinking process, our team was able to pinpoint our areas of weakness concerning member engagement and brainstorm solutions with empathy in mind.” –Samantha Stegen, Enactus president. “The instructors were very friendly and interactive in the tasks. They provided great knowledge and experience and I also get to take some of that home with me. I am glad I had the opportunity to attend this session and I look forward to participating in the future.” – Jake Selig, Design Thinking workshop: Doctors & Digby.


Contact our facilitators:  

Anne Stieger Tom Dalmazzi Leanne Strathdee
Entrepreneurship Facilitator & Business Counsellor Community Entrepreneurship Facilitator Innovation and Incubation Manager
585-1476 585-1805 585-1743