What is AgENT?
AgENT is an extracurricular program at Lethbridge College that provides experiential learning opportunities for students to develop foundational skills in innovation and entrepreneurship. Students involved in AgENT have the opportunity to build their creative confidence and entrepreneurial mindset, helping them become agents of change. Entrepreneurship is about turning ideas into action; it's not just about starting a business. Visit with our team today to learn more about why we believe all students need these skills.
AgENT brings together students and industry to explore opportunities in innovation and entrepreneurship. Students from all disciplines will brainstorm, design and test solutions for real-world challenges.
This free initiative is open to all Lethbridge College students.
“I have always had a passion for inventing and dreaming up big ideas, then somewhere along the line I forgot that. Being involved in the AgENT program has re-ignited my passion for dreaming big and believing in the impossible.”
- Bryan Ross, Accounting 2019
We have an important mission for you.
Join Lethbridge College’s AgENT program and you will collaborate with other students, participate in workshops, listen to inspiring guest speakers, and work with mentors to solve real-world challenges. You will have opportunities to pitch your ideas to experts with the chance of winning awards and seeing your idea put into action.
Lethbridge College student-entrepreneurs are ready and eager to find solutions to the challenges you are facing in your business or industry.
As an industry partner in AgENT, you will guide student-entrepreneurs as they innovate and problem solve during our inspiring Mentor Meet Ups.
We are looking for industry partners to bring our students real-world challenges and act as mentors as they work to find innovative solutions.
- Guest speakers
- Mentorship and advising
- Special events
Opportunities for students
- Gain skills in innovation and entrepreneurship
- Develop an entrepreneurial mindset
- Learn to think outside the box
- Become a changemaker in our community
- Build a professional network
- Make industry contacts for employment opportunities
- Get “real-world” experience
- Start a business
Opportunities for industry
- Receive innovative solutions to your challenges
- Expand your professional network
- Promote your business
- Make contact with potential employees
AgENT is designed to introduce new students to the world of entrepreneurship and innovation. The world of work is different in the 21st century and it will continue to evolve. The rapid advancement of technology is speeding the process of change. As a young person today, you likely feel that you are facing more complexity than previous generations. We don't disagree. In fact, we believe that you must learn to utilize tools and skills to sort through this complexity and to create opportunity from it.
In AgENT, we believe it is our role, as post-secondary entrepreneurship educators, to help prepare you as a highly employable graduate. We must build your transferable skills and knowledge in so that you can problem-solve outside traditional boundaries; act with speed, fluidity, and agility; synthesize data; collaborate in multidisciplinary environments; and empower each other’s creativity.
Entrepreneurship education is about more than teaching students how to start businesses. It is about helping you realize that you can co-create the future by focusing on actions within your control with a network of committed participants. It is about teaching you to invest in ventures only as much as you can afford to lose, to embrace the unexpected, and to turn surprises into opportunities. It is about showing you how to take inventory of “who you are, what you know, and who you know”, and using these means to turn ideas into action.
The AgENT program includes four unique learning experiences:
AgENT 001: Inspiring Innovation
The first level of AgENT focuses on generating awareness and interest in innovation and building through a focus on Human Centred Design and Design Thinking. These four interactive workshops will challenge your creativity and allow you to apply your skills to a real-world problem.
AgENT 002: Exploring Entrepreneurship
The second level of AgENT focuses on building the entrepreneurial mindset. In these four interactive workshops you'll develop the foundational skills you need to kick-start a project or even start to think about launching a startup business.
AgENT 003: Exploring Entrepreneurship
In this level, we our team provides one-to-one advising so that you can start turning your ideas into action. This may be through the establishment of a startup, a social innovation/enterprise, hosting an event, and more.
Be a ChangeAgENT
The goal of this workshop is to inspire the development of student-led social action/enterprises relating to ending poverty and hunger; creating healthy communities and well-being for all; promoting equity, inclusion, and diversity; and protecting our environment. Our work together will be focused on exploring the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
AgENT works closely with members of the local community. Early in our development, we sought input from representatives from diverse sectors of the agriculture industry to inform our programming; specifically, the challenges we would pose to our student-entrepreneurs. As well, we are very lucky to have an engaged team of industry mentors available to guide our students' project work throughout their time in the AgENT program. We are now expanding beyond agriculture to assist many other industries present in southern Alberta.
AgENT is continually seeking industry partners to bring our students real-world challenges and opportunities and to act as mentors as our student-entrepreneurs work toward innovative solutions.
“Investing in our youth is essential to the sustainability of the agriculture industry. The AgENT program provides industry with an amazing way to connect and foster the next generation of agriculture entrepreneurs by encouraging innovation, diversity and knowledge development. It has been an honour to be a mentor this past year and to see the incredible future of our industry first-hand with the students in AgENT. I know the future of agriculture is in great hands.”
- Melody Garner-Skiba, Executive director, Alberta Sugar Beet Growers, and vice president, Rocking Heart Ranch
The Innovation Ecosystem
AgENT operates within Lethbridge’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with our partners in the Regional Innovation Network of Southern Alberta (RINSA). To learn more about RINSA and see a calendar of local events, visit rinsa.ca.
AgENT refers its participants to additional resources and networking opportunities throughout the innovation ecosystem. We recognize that no one is an island and that helping our participants to build a professional network must be a cornerstone of our programming.
Lethbridge College created AgENT thanks to a generous $2.5 million gift from Cor Van Raay.
“With this gift, I am saying we need in the future very good farmers who know how to market their crops and who know how to work the futures market. They need to know about all the things that a businessman in town needs to know – plus they have to know about how to put the seeds in the ground. I thought there was a real need – not just for farmers but for people who work on the business side. There is a shortage of people who have a real passion for agriculture and who want to go that route. We need to raise more kids thinking agriculture is something good.”
– Cor Van Raay