Case Study

Ryerson Case Study

How a major university adapted to provide tech skills training to graduate more digital entrepreneurs.

Context

In 2010, Ryerson University launched the DMZ, now Canada’s top startup accelerator. Over the past seven years, the DMZ has helped grow 312 startups and has cemented Ryerson’s reputation as a forward-thinking university. However, as competition for admittance into the DMZ increases, Ryerson noticed that fewer of its own students were making it into the 9% of startups that are admitted into the incubator.

Challenge

Benji partnered with Ryerson to help them equip the Ryerson community with the necessary hard skills to succeed as digital entrepreneurs. The training had to be accommodating of tight student budgets and busy schedules.

“How do we train students in ever-changing modern technologies and methodologies while keeping within their limited budgets and schedules?”

Solution

In conjunction with the DMZ Sandbox, we identified the core skills that would increase the likelihood of a student becoming a successful digital entrepreneur. Benji’s domain experts then curated curriculums around these topics with world-class content and created relevant engaging in-person activities and hands-on projects.

Ryerson learners are grouped into learning cohorts who meet in-person at the DMZ Sandbox in downtown Toronto, where they go over course material together and do the assigned activities. Groups are formed around students’ availability, delivering the flexibility needed to work around busy student schedules.

Ryerson subsidizes tuition costs for its students, so students get 60 hours of in-demand skills training for only $100 per course, which is more than 20x more affordable than courses taken with competing education providers.

Impact

The Ryerson student community now has access to 60-hour foundational courses in web development, product management, user experience design, and digital marketing, each with 10 in-person sessions. The affordability and flexibility of Benji courses makes readily accessible the resources students need to become successful digital entrepreneurs.

Matt Parson

Over the past 6 years, Matt has been in the field of Higher Education getting his start at UBC then launching Canada's premier design and technology school, RED Academy. As an avid chef, you can find Matt either cooking and learning more about the future of education or eating and learning more about the future of education.
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