APF Canada, SFU Partner on India Connect Program for Young Entrepreneurs


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) is pleased to announce the APF Canada-SFU India Connect Program, which was launched today in partnership with Simon Fraser University (SFU).

The APF Canada-SFU India Connect Program is part of a series of country-specific programs that provide financial support and work experience to Canadian post-secondary students in some of Asia’s fastest-growing markets. Through four-month co-op placements in India, SFU students will develop their skills in entrepreneurship and innovation, and will cultivate a global mindset while working in one of the world’s largest, youngest, and most dynamic societies.

Up to 12 SFU co-op students will receive an award of C$8,000 to cover travel and living costs, through a fund set up by APF Canada and SFU. There are two organizations that will host the SFU students. One organization is Zone Startups India, an international startup accelerator located in the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai, India. The other organization is the Deshpande Foundation, an institute located in Karnataka, India. Deshpande encourages the use of entrepreneurship and innovation as catalysts for change.  

“As Canada’s engaged university, SFU is committed to supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators,” said SFU President Andrew Petter. “Thanks to the support of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, this program will provide SFU students with new and exciting opportunities to collaborate on the world stage, while also building mutually beneficial relationships between India and B.C.”

“To capitalize on the remarkable growth in India, young Canadians need to be India competent,” said APF Canada President and CEO, Stewart Beck. “They need the India-related skills and knowledge to help them better engage with this dynamic country.”

“The India Connect program is an amazing opportunity for SFU students to gain essential international experience; build their project portfolios with critical business, communications and problem-solving skills; and engage in challenging, once-in-a-lifetime projects with world-class partners Desphande Foundation and Zone Startups India,” said Ian Hand, director of Zone Startups India as well as executive director of SFU Business Acceleration & Innovation Networks and VentureLabs.


About the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada:

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada is dedicated to strengthening ties between Canada and Asia with a focus on expanding economic relations through trade, investment and innovation; promoting Canada’s expertise in offering solutions to Asia’s climate change, energy, food security and natural resource management challenges; building Asia skills and competencies among Canadians, including young Canadians; and, improving Canadians’ general understanding of Asia and its growing global influence.

The Foundation is well known for its annual national opinion polls of Canadian attitudes regarding relations with Asia, including Asian foreign investment in Canada and Canada’s trade with Asia. The Foundation places an emphasis on China, India, Japan and South Korea while also developing expertise in emerging markets in the region, particularly economies within ASEAN.

Visit APF Canada online at www.asiapacific.ca

About Simon Fraser University:

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded more than 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is Canada’s leading comprehensive research university and is ranked one of the top universities in the world. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 150,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.

APF Canada Media Contact:
Michael Roberts
Communications Manager
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

SFU Media Contact:
Wan Yee Lok
Communications Associate