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Real-world experience

As a Ryerson student, you don’t have to wait until you graduate to gain career-ready skills and experience to put on your resume.

Not just for entrepreneurs, Zone Learning is for anyone who wants to get practical experience in what it takes to build an initiative/venture from the ground-up. You can initiate your own projects or contribute to existing ventures involving faculty, business and community partners. As a graduate student, collaborate with potential users on highly practical applications of your research.

Want to learn more? Please contact us. See our Frequently Asked Questions or contact us.

10 zones to put your learning in action
DMZ #1 university-based incubator in North America and #3 in the world (UBI Global, 2015)
320+ startup companies incubated or accelerated
3,400 students in or completed a specialization in Zone Learning
25% of all zone ventures have a commitment to social impact
300,000 ft2 of innovation spaces on campus


If your question isn’t answered below, please email

Zone Learning is a new model of experiential learning built to prepare students for the 21st century workplace by providing opportunities for them to work on real projects, causes, companies or startups. Our 10-zone network offers Ryerson students the chance to solve real-world problems, learn new skills, and gain tangible experience within one of the most vibrant cities in the world. Zone Learning is:

  • Meeting other like-minded individuals; excellent networking opportunities
  • Tangible experience that strengthens your resume or portfolio
  • Soft skill development, like teamwork, communication and problem-solving
  • Getting others excited about your cause or idea
  • Access to workspace, programs, mentorship and workshops to learn skills that grow your idea

Both higher education and the job market in Canada are shifting to focus more on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Ryerson is at the forefront of this shift, and is dedicated to equipping its students for success in our changing economy. By getting involved with Zone Learning, you learn teamwork and collaboration by working on real-world projects. What better way to start a job interview than by describing the experience you gained by developing and launching your own project?

Graduating from university with the experience of having started your own company or social venture, or being part of a team of individuals from across faculties and programs that worked together on a project or startup with real-world impact, tells employers that you’re ambitious, creative, willing to take risks, and able to build bridges to people with different kinds of expertise.

Zone Learning at Ryerson is intended to engage students from all disciplines because we understand that collaboration is one of the key elements to success. For example, an interior design student may have a great idea for a new product but might need the expertise of a marketing student to get a business started. Zone Learning was designed to give students access to the resources—both material and human—necessary to get ideas off the ground.

Entrepreneurial skills and experience are beneficial to everyone--not just those who identify as entrepreneurs or would like to start their own business--and one of our primary goals is to provide multiple entry points into Zone Learning. Many companies, when hiring, are interested in candidates who have experience as well as education, and students who can add entrepreneurial activities through Zone Learning to their CVs will have a distinct advantage in the job market.

Yes. You are initially admitted to one zone, which serves as your home, but because Ryerson’s zones are connected to each other, your “home zone” director and staff will help you find opportunities to participate in other zones and benefit from their resources and communities.