Volta - Academy


Volta Academy helps future Founders go from a big idea to a viable tech-enabled startup.

With the support of Volta mentors and Founders, over the course of 12 weeks participants will learn how to test and validate their idea, outline an MVP and grow a scalable startup. This program is meant for individuals who want to take their idea to the next level and learn the basic fundamentals of how to grow a startup. 

Throughout the 12 weeks, each session will focus on a different theme. Program content varies between each Academy, and is developed based on participant feedback and industry trends. Sessions take place once a week on Mondays from 6pm to 8:30pm with program intakes in September and February.

We have reserved several complimentary seats in the Program for underrepresented groups in the community; those selected will also receive a six-month Network Membership to ensure they have dedicated space to build out their idea. To apply for one of our complimentary seats, we ask that you self-identify on your application. Those selected will be notified by our team and must meet all other criteria for the Academy Program to be selected.

Submit your application

Supported by:


The next Volta Academy will take place in September 2021. 

  • Applications open: July 20, 2021
  • Applications close: August 29, 2021 (11:59pm)
  • Applicants selected and notified: on or before September 3, 2021
  • First session: September 20, 2021, from 6pm to 8:30pm

Please note: Those participating in Volta Academy must register as an individual and not as a team/company. Regardless if you’re working with someone to execute the same idea, you both must apply on an individual basis and be accepted to attend.

Cost: $300 ($250 for Volta Network Members*)

*Must sign up and be accepted for Network Membership by September 3, 2021 to receive the discount.

Sessions covered during the Winter 2021 semester:

Week One: Introductions, ABCs and business model canvas

This session will introduce participants to the support Volta provides and the future Founders in their group. Participants will also be guided through the business model canvas and the basic terms every startup entrepreneur should know.

Week Two: Are you ready to startup?

You’ve got an idea and you’re excited to get started, now what? In part one of this two-part workshop, Matt Cooper will outline a step-by-step method for pressure testing your idea and avoiding the most common startup missteps Founders face.

Week Three: Validating your idea

In part two of this two-part workshop, Matt Cooper dives deep into executing the Build – Measure – Learn Feedback Loop through conducting customer research.

Week Four: Branding, product design and no-code apps

In this session, participants will walk away with an understanding of how to build a brand for their startup, as well as tips for effective product design that they can introduce into their roadmap.

Week Five: Building diverse and inclusive practices from the start

As you validate your idea and develop your products, where do diversity, equity and inclusion fit in? Now is the time to make that connection.

Week Six: Creating your online presence

In this session, the facilitator will focus on some key components that Founders should include on their landing pages and social media platforms to create and elevate their online presence.

Week Seven: Pitch fundamentals

Participants will learn the fundamentals of crafting a winning pitch and cover the best and worst practices for developing a pitch.

Week Eight: Product management 101 + tech basics

Participants will explore basic product management concepts, including finding product-market fit, prioritization and product planning, tracking key metrics, working with developers and designers during product development, and more.

Week Nine: Legal considerations for your business with McInnes Cooper

With the support of program partner McInnes Cooper, participants will learn about the various legal aspects related to operating a tech-enabled startup.

Week Ten: Wooing Investors and customers through writing

Dr. Dawn Henwood will lead you through an interactive workshop to help you clarify and validate your early messaging.

Week 11: Funding your business

This session will feature a Founder who will speak to various facets of funding your business.

Week 12: Virtual Pitch Night

Participants will get to practice what they’ve learned in the previous sessions during the Volta Academy pitch competition. The competition will give participants five minutes to present their company to a panel of judges.

Volta Academy Application Form

The application period is now closed.