We are Toronto's next generation of innovators, scientists, and entrepreneurs who want to solve the world's biggest problems.

TKS Toronto is now full.

Sign up to get notified when applications for the 2023/2024 program open.

TKS is a 10-month global innovation program with weekly sessions. Students ages 13-17 apply and interview before joining.

The Basics

Eligibility

TKS Innovate is designed for high school students ages 13-17 years old. We run in-person programs for students in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver and the surrounding areas, and there is also a Global Virtual program open to students worldwide. We make exceptions for students taking gap years, to allow 18 year olds to join.


Tuition and Financial Aid

The fee for the in-person program is $589 CAD /month (+ $1000 deposit). If paid in full, a $500 discount will be applied, making the total $6390 CAD for the program.

The fee for the virtual program is $489 USD / month (+ $1000 deposit). If paid in full, a $500 discount will be applied, making the total $5390 USD for the program.

We offer financial aid (up to full-ride) for those who need it and merit-based scholarships for exceptional students who are accepted into the program. Students may apply for financial aid after they apply and are accepted into the program. There is no obligation to joining TKS if you submit an application and are accepted.


Application and Interview

To join TKS, you must be accepted. There is a written application and group interview process. We look for students that want to make an impact, are curious to learn about emerging technologies, and want to solve big problems. No prior experience or knowledge is required.


10 MONTHS, WEEKLY SESSIONS

Students are placed in a cohort of 30-40 people. Each cohort meets every weekend for 10 months (September – June). You will choose your specific date and time after you’re accepted into the program.

Ottawa Program Times

Saturday 3 PM - 6 PM EST

Toronto Program Times

Thursday 6 PM - 9 PM EST
Saturday 10 AM - 1 PM EST[Cohort Full]
Saturday 2 PM - 5 PM EST

Vancouver Program Times

Saturday 12-3 PM PST
Sunday 4-7 PM EST

Virtual Program Times

Thursday 6:30 - 9:30 PM EST
Friday 9 AM  - 12 PM EST or 3 PM - 6 PM EST or 5 PM - 8 PM EST
Saturday 9 AM -12 PM EST or 10 AM  to 1 PM EST to 4 PM EST or 2 PM - 5 PM EST
Sunday 5 PM to 8 PM EST

What you'll do at TKS

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Learn from world-class mentors 🦄

TKS Directors are here to support our students in discovering their interests and build meaningful projects. TKS Directors give students the motivation and know-how to make things happen.

TKS students also get access to a network of senior leaders from the largest startups and the world’s biggest corporations to help with their technical projects.

Participate in weekly sessions 🗓

Students are placed in a cohort of 30-40 people. Each cohort meets for three hours every weekend for 10 months (September – June).

You’ll get to select your cohort time once you’re accepted into the program.

Join a global community 🌏

In addition to their Ottawa cohort, students join a global community of like-minded young people where they can meet their best friends and future co-founders among 2000 students and alumni from 20 countries.

TKS facilitates friendships and relationships through our group challenges, community events, and our emphasis on setting up "Brain Dates" with other participants.

Solve real problems with leading companies 💼

During TKS, you will work on problems that companies haven’t solved yet. We call these Challenges. Challenges happen in Spring, and students have the choice of three companies to work with.

We believe the best way to learn is by doing, and if you want to learn how to solve big problems, then might as well get started now!

Learn about emerging technology 👾

TKS Innovators learn about how emerging technologies are disrupting our world.

Students learn about 40+ emerging technologies on our online platform. In our sessions, we go deeper into these technologies, both the ethical and legal implications, and students build projects that solve problems with these technologies.

Train your mindsets 🧠

“The mind is everything; what you think you become” – Socrates. In TKS, you will build a strong foundational mindset that will help you throughout your life.

TKS introduces and helps Innovators actively train mindsets like Thinking 10x, Antifragility, Stoicism, Boss Mentality, Gratitude and Growth Mindset.

Level up your skill set 🚀

TKS Innovators develop real-world skills through project-based learning that will help them excel in professional and academic trajectories.

Some skills TKS Innovators develop during the program are experimentation and research, writing articles and newsletters, presenting, data analysis, video editing, networking, collaboration, critical thinking, leadership and project management.

Access to Events and Opportunities 🗓

Develop your personal TKS portfolio earn access to internships, conferences, and guest speakers.

These events are earned, not guaranteed.

“We do so many different things in sessions, ranging from global sessions, hackathons, challenges with real companies, science and technology and life discussions.”

Naila

Here's what you'll be doing during the program

You will develop the knowledge, skills, and mindset to make an impact in the world over 100 hours of live sessions, workshops, and activities.

Success in TKS

📅 September
- Align on success in TKS
- Skills: LinkedIn, Medium, Google Calendar, Calendly, Newsletters.
- Skills: Building Friendships
- Mindset: Unconventional thinking

Brain-Computer InterfacesBrain-Computer Interfaces

Brain-Computer Interfaces

Explore the philosophical and ethical implications of BCIs. Skills: How to learn quickly. Mindset: Boss Mentality

TKS HackatonTKS Hackaton

TKS Hackaton

Solve a big problem using knowledge from the explore topics. Skills: Ideation + Brainstorming. Mindset: Done > Perfect All-cohort session. Extended time.

Introduction to the Focus ProcessIntroduction to the Focus Process

Introduction to the Focus Process

Introduction to focus framework and goal alignment. Clarity on what focuses are and feel motivated to build. Skill: Writing Mindset: Figure it out.

🗓  December: Global Session🗓  December: Global Session

🗓 December: Global Session

Network with the TKS Global community, launch mentorship, team building. Skill: Building meaningful relationships. Mindset: Authenticity.

Gene Editing Part 1Gene Editing Part 1

Gene Editing Part 1

Predict the implications of genetically modifying life. Understand the companies leading the industry. Skill: How to get mentors. Mindset: Celebrate Others.

Gene Editing Part 2Gene Editing Part 2

Gene Editing Part 2

The ethical implications of genetically modifying life. Thoughtful discussions around ethical scenarios. Skill: How to read technical articles. Mindset: Seek Understanding.

No session over winter breakNo session over winter break

No session over winter break

An In-Person Space to grow,
Build and Hack

Toronto students ♥️ TKS

TKS Innovators from Toronto join us from a variety of high schools and student organizations.
Read real student reviews from TKS students in Toronto below.

Unmol Sharma
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Shiza Charania
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Dev Shah
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Want to join TKS?
Secure your spot on our waitlist for the 2023/2024 Program.

Meet the TKS Toronto Directors

Meet our incredible directors. They are here to support our students in discovering their interests and build meaningful projects. TKS Directors give kids the motivation and know-how to make things happen.

Kim Parnell
TKS Ottawa Director

Kim is a serial entrepreneur that has been involved in a wide variety of ventures – from organizing conferences & events to TV hosting & production to founding, and later successfully exiting, a commercial cleaning company. Kim’s most recent venture was co-founding the data architecture startup Truebase. Using the internally developed, open source data notation “Truth”, Truebase works with many different types of companies across Canada, the US and Australia, to create highly structured data models in the form of ontologies.

These ontologies are used to power various business systems such as knowledge graphs, semantic networks, intuitive search, recommendation engines and various machine learning models. Kim loves working with creative & curious individuals, specifically, the young ambitious ones. She has served as an entrepreneurship coach for organizations such as YES (youth entrepreneurship arm) and as a mentor to the startup incubator, Founder Institute. She works closely with educational institutions like Georgian College (Big Data Analytics Program) as an industry advisor, and helps provide students with real world project experience. She is a frequent speaker on technology topics and shares much of her entrepreneurial journey on her various social media accounts.

Niloo Ravaei
TKS Toronto Director
Niloo has worked with prominent startups in San Francisco and Toronto, and was a founding member of Clearco (formerly Clearbanc), a billion dollar e-commerce lending platform run by Dragon’s Den judge, Michele Romanow. She's also worked as Head of Education at Blockgeeks, the world’s premier blockchain education platform, where she was a thought leader and advocate for blockchain technology.

Her work in AI also led her to start her own company, Hello Iris, which was backed by leading startup accelerator, Techstars, and used Natural Language Processing to predict human behaviour.

Students are guided by world-class mentors

TKS students get access to a network of senior leaders from the largest startups and the world's biggest
corporation to help with their technical projects

Tonya Bogolan
Scott Penberthy
Ted Graham
Stea Nanushi
Ryan Gariepy
Piotr Mierzejewski
Nicolas Schiefer
Nazneen Rajani
Michelle McBane
Kai Hudek
Julie Hansen
Elizabeth Caley
Dr. Bill Cheniak
Bhavya Shah
Anna Baird
Andy Anthony
Adam Molnar
Ali Amin
Alana Podrx
Rey Mestrapa
Marga Heras
Casandra Mangroo

“I met some TKS students at the Collision conference, and it was ridiculous how smart they were. I had a conversation on particle physics with a 13-year-old, it didn’t seem unusual at the time – those kids are amazing.”

Tobi Lutke
Founder and CEO of Shopify

You Will Work With Leading
Companies and Startups

Each year, in Spring and Fall, students get to solve real challenges using advanced problem-solving frameworks, and the McKinsey and Co consulting method.

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United Nations

This year, our Innovate students are working with the United Nations where students are working in teams to research and develop solutions to empower women and girls in developing countries to thrive in the digital economy.

Xprize

TKS Activators (second-year students) helped XPRIZE figure out how to get 1000 teams to submit proposals to Elon Musk’s carbon capture prize. TKS innovators had to figure out not only how to improve the quantity of submissions, but also the quality of submissions.

Instacart

Instacart tasked TKS Toronto students with the following problem: how do we improve the shopping experience for Instacart customers?

Lego

LEGO needs to consistently and effectively engage with teens – a key demographic for achieving their mission to inspire the builders of tomorrow. Traditionally outside of their target market, LEGO must think outside of the box in order to get teens to interact with their brand. TKS innovators were the perfect people to solve this challenge.

Past challenge partners

What happens after TKS?

We're so glad you asked...

Join TKS Activate

Activate is TKS' optional second year program that goes deeper into the foundational skillsets, mindsets and knowledge developed in TKS' Innovate program. Students put the technologies they learned in the Innovate program to use to tackle the world's biggest problems, including medical errors, poverty, climate change and more. They also work to understand how the world works, through PIE challenge, root cause analysis, so they can build projects to implement and start making impact.

This program is offered to TKS Students who have completed one year of the program and is by invitation only.

Enroll in University

TKS alumni often choose to attend University upon graduating from high school. 90% of our students choose to enroll in STEM degrees following the program.

TKS Students have been accepted into prestigious programs such as Harvard University's Computer Science Program, University of Toronto's biomedical program, and alternative programs such as Shopify's Dev degree.Globally, our students have also been accepted, and in many cases received full or partial scholarships to University of Pennsylvannia, Stanford University, John Hopkins and more.

TKS also is a nominating partner for the prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholarship, a four-year undergraduate merit scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chape Hill. The scholarship fully covers tuitoin, books, room and board, as well as four summers of travel and experiential learning.

Start or join a company

TKS alumni have launched companies into entrepreneurship, often based on projects they created in TKS. Many alumni have raised significant amounts of funding in health tech, 5G tech, blockchain and Web3.

Other TKS Alumni have elected to take a gap year and begin working. Innovators have been hired directly to companies like Zapata, Fusion Electronics, CIBC, Microsoft, Xanadu, Rapyuta Rotics in Tokyo to name a few.

How to join TKS

Your journey starts here 📝

The first step to joining TKS is to submit a written application. There are five questions, designed to help us see how you think. We do not look at grades and there are no prerequisites to joining.

Applications are reviewed weekly and students are invited to interview on a rolling basis.We highly encourage you to apply early as there is limited Financial Aid and spaces in each program.

🗓.  Regular Application Deadline: May 31

Apply Now

Hey, what's up, hello 👋

If you're invited to this next step, congratulations! Less than 40% of our applicants are invited to an interview. This is your chance to meet your Future Director and leave an impression.

This will be a group interview on Zoom with up to four other prospective TKS students. We'll send you some tips to prepare so you can crush it.

If you've made it this far, you'll definitely want to talk to your parents about the program if you haven't already.

Show us what you've got 😤

Many students will be accepted or rejected at this stage.

But, we may want to see a little bit more from you before we make a deicsion. If you are asked to participated in a challenge, to write about a topic of your choice. We'll give you guidelines and a playbook on how to write a high quality article.

You CAN sit with us!

This is big news! If you crushed your application, your interview (and maybe the challenge), you may be offered a space in TKS.At this stage, you'll participate in an information session about TKS with your parents so you can have a forum to get all your questions answered. Joining TKS is a big decision, and we want you and your family to be fully informed.If you'd like to apply for Financial Aid, now is the time to do so.

Financial Aid

After you are accepted into TKS, you will be able to submit a request for financial aid if you require it. TKS provides up to full-ride scholarships for students with significant financial restraints.

Welcome to the party 🥳

At this stage, you will select your cohort, pay your deposit to secure your spot.

Before the program starts, you'll be invited to Slack, our internal channel, and we will send you some resources to help you get up to speed over the summer. We can't WAIT to help you grow, learn about technologies, and access all the resources you need to make an impact on the world!

Cost and Financial Aid

TKS offers flexible payment options as well as merit- based and needs-based financial support.
Our application process is needs-blind. Requesting Financial Aid will not affect your admittance into TKS.
We will work with you individually if you're accepted into the program to ensure the program is accessible and affordable for your family.

Pay in Full

$COST

Monthly Payments

$589/Month
$1000 Deposit

Cost

Monthly
Yearly
$500 CAD Discount for One-Time Payment
$589 CAD / Month for 10 Months
+ $1,000 Deposit
TKS offers flexible monthly payment options.
Scholarships and Financial Aid available (up to full-ride)
Pay by credit card, debit card or wire transfer
Limited availablity: deposit needed to secure program space
$6390 CAD / Year
Pay in full and receive a $500 Discount toward Tuition
Scholarships and Financial Aid available (up to full-ride)
Pay by credit card, debit card or wire transfer
Limited availablity: deposit needed to secure program space

Have questions? You're in the right place.

If you can’t find the answer to your question, please contact us. Our contact information is located at the bottom of this page.

Tuition and Fees
WHAT IF I CAN'T AFFORD IT?

We believe that personal finances should not stop ambitious students from joining TKS. Accepted students can apply for needs-based financial aidonce they’re accepted into the program. We also provide merit-based scholarships for exceptional students who are identified during the application process.

HOW MUCH DOES THE PROGRAM COST?

The fee for the in-person program is $589 CAD /month (+ $1000 deposit). If paid in full, a $500 discount will be applied, making the total $6390 CAD for the program.

The fee for the virtual program is $489 USD / month (+ $1000 deposit). If paid in full, a $500 discount will be applied, making the total $5390 USD for the program.

We offer financial aid (up to full-ride) for those who need it and merit-based scholarships for exceptional students who are accepted into the program. Students may apply for financial aid after they apply and are accepted into the program. There is no obligation to joining TKS if you submit an application and are accepted.

WHAT DOES MY TUITON GO TOWARDS?

TKS tuition helps fund a world class team and program experience, and unlocking exciting opportunities, like internships, employment opportunities and University scholarships, for Innovators in the program.

TKS offers merit-based scholarships and needs based financial aid to ensure the program is accessible.

Program
COVID-19 RESPONSE

We understand the risks of COVID-19. As an organization, we have taken the precautions that governments and authorities are advising to reduce the spread of the virus.

We are planning to have in-person city programs operating in September 2021. We will also offer the ability to attend any session virtually for students registered in a city program. This option is for those who might be uncomfortable attending in-person programs for a period of time.

In the event of regional lockdowns, we will host sessions online. We’ve worked hard this year to optimize our online delivery of sessions using our innovative platforms as well as new learning techniques to minimize screen time and maximize team building.

If more than 70% of the in-person sessions are held virtually, we will reduce the in-person tuition price to match our virtual tuition price. The refund of the difference between the in-person and virtual tuition will be provided in June 2022.

We’re committed to being the gold-standard of education (there’s a reason why the World Economic Forum recognized us as a “School of the Future”). From the beginning, we’ve made large investments in our digital platforms and online infrastructure. This means that we’re 100% prepared for any situation to happen, and if physical distancing continues, we believe that we’ll still be able to deliver an incredible experience. Here are some of the things we have in place:

  • We’ve developed our own online portal (think of it like LinkedIn meets Google Classroom). Students from all TKS cities can connect with each other here, while also learning about emerging technologies.
  • We use a communication tool called Slack, which allows students to interact throughout the week.
  • We are using Zoom, a video conferencing platform that enables us to create monitored breakout rooms, as well as interactive features like whiteboards and polls.
  • We’re hosting special guest speakers from companies like Tesla and NASA, digitally.

We are fully confident that we will deliver a life-changing experience that will impact the trajectory of our student’s lives.

Our full COVID-19 policies and procedures are available here.

DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TECH OR CODING BEFORE JOINING TKS?

No, you do not require any prior knowledge about technologies or coding. Many of our students get exposed to these areas for the first time in TKS.

Students work on tech or science projects outside of sessions. We have online tools and resources to help anyone learn — no matter the level.

HOW LONG DOES THE PROGRAM RUN FOR?

TKS is a 10-month program (Sept-June).

Students can re-apply for the program each year. Many students stay in the program for several years.

WHAT'S THE TIME COMMITMENT?

There are 3-hour sessions every week. Usually, these sessions are on the weekend.

The students who grow the most in our program invest the most time outside of the sessions into the projects they create while in TKS. Typically, this is usually 6-10 hours each week.

There’s no homework in TKS. But, we’ve built our own learning platform for students to dive into emerging technologies/sciences and build their own projects. Students participate in project-based learning at their own pace.

HOW IS TKS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER STEM PROGRAMS?

TKS isn’t just about STEM; our goal is to train the world’s next thought leaders, CEOs and innovators to impact billions. This isn’t a tech boot camp. We’re a human accelerator.

We believe leveraging exponential technologies is the best way to scale impact. TKS trains students on developing both hard skills and soft skills.

We provide students with guidelines, resources and mentors to build expertise in fields of emerging technologies and sciences.

Our secret-sauce is the emphasis on soft-skills. We model our curriculum after top innovation institutions like MIT, Google and Stanford. Students learn about:

  • Networking
  • Presenting
  • Building confidence
  • Philosophy
  • Having thoughtful discussions
  • Consulting frameworks
  • Design
  • Negotiation
  • Mindsets
  • Mental models
  • Branding
  • Leveraging curiosity to explore various areas of STEM
  • Building friendships

WHAT CAN I STUDY IN TKS?

TKS has 40+ internal learning modules where students can learn about a variety of emerging sciences and technologies.

Each student can “explore” these learning modules. They include a few hours of hand-picked learning articles and videos.

After some exploration, students choose a “focus” area. We provide them with guidance on how to complete a “focus.”

Within each focus, students develop depth of knowledge in the topic through our project-based learning approach. This includes creating articles and videos around technical research, building algorithms/computer projects yourself, or interviewing researchers in the field. By joining TKS, students have access to our learning frameworks, guidelines and approaches.

Students typically complete two focuses in one year of the program. Some examples of topics we offer:

  • Alternative Energy
  • Material Science
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Brain-computer Interfaces
  • Viruses
  • Cellular Agriculture
  • Blockchain
  • Space Exploration
  • Cancer treatments
  • Virtual Reality
  • Metabolomics
  • … The list goes on.

Students can study whatever interests them. If the topic they’re passionate about isn’t available, they’re still able to complete a “focus” in it.

IS TKS AN EXTRACURRICULAR OR A SUBSITUTE FOR SCHOOL?

TKS is an extracurricular program. Students attend school during the week and attend a TKS session on the weekend. However, we do have optional opportunities that may pop up during the week. Again, these are optional.

After TKS
WILL TKS HELP WITH GETTING INTO UNIVERSITY?

Our priority is to prepare students for the real world. During the program, students work on unique projects and create a personal portfolio that can be used when applying to university.

Some TKS students have gone on to attend world-class universities, and many have gotten incredible scholarships. We do not have a university feeder program, but TKS focuses on building skills to prepare students for life.

Examples of schools our students attend:

  • Harvard University
  • University of North Carolina, Morehead Cain Scholars Program
  • Stanford University
  • UC Berkeley
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • UC San Diego
  • University of Waterloo
  • University of Toronto
  • Queens University
  • Minerva Schools at KGI

WILL I GET AN INTERNSHIP THROUGH TKS?

TKS has partnerships with companies that may provide internship opportunities to select students. During TKS, we work with students to secure internships with leading companies like Microsoft, Deloitte, and KPMG, while also training them on how to be successful in these positions. This enables students to add tremendous value to the organizations they work with, while also maximizing their learning experience. Internships must be earned by their portfolios and the work they put into the program by the students and are not guaranteed.

However, throughout the program, we teach students value skills like networking and building their own projects.cold-emailing got a slight negative impression from a parent.

WHAT HAVE TKS STUDENTS ACCOMPLISHED IN THE PAST?

Our students are re-defining what teenagers can do. Some examples are:

To learn more, check out our student spotlight page.

HOW DOES TKS SUPPORT ITS ALUMNI?

TKS doesn’t stop after the 10-month program. We want to support our alumni during their journey towards impacting billions.

We have an online platform and global community for our past and current students. They have access to our TKS resources, learning modules and mentors.

We are also building an investment fund for startups founded by TKS Alumni, while also creating relationships with top-tier organizations to help them recruit talent to solve hard problems.

Sessions
WHAT HAPPENS IF I MISS A SESSION?

If a student is unable to attend a session due to conflict in schedule, they’ll have to let their program directors know at least 48 hours in advanced so that Directors can place them in another session time in that week, either in-person in their city, or join a virtual cohort.

WHEN ARE THE SESSIONS?

Sessions are held at various times throughout the week and weekend and accomodate for students living in different time zones. Once you are accepted into the program, you will choose which cohort time works best for you.

Check out each program page to view the exact sessions time for the 2022-2023 program.

Application
WHO SHOULD APPLY FOR TKS?

Any high school (or gap year) student that is ambitious, driven, curious, and wants to make an impact on the world.

If you aren’t a great presenter or you don’t have technical programming skills, don’t worry. Those are skills we train.

But you DO need to be open to learning new skills by pushing yourself and committed to putting in the effort! (Seriously, this isn’t going to be a random extracurricular you go to once a week).

WHAT IS THE LIKELIHOOD OF GETTING ACCEPTED INTO TKS?

We don’t have a “quota” for the number of students we select. We only select students who we think can grow exponentially in our program and have a high degree of drive and curiosity. As a result, acceptance rates vary based on the number of applications and the city. Historically, the average acceptance rate has varied from 10-20%.

WHAT IF I'M TOO OLD FOR TKS?

Students can join TKS while they’re in high school and on a gap year.

We get this question a lot, but unfortunately, students who will be in University during the program are not eligible.

Other
TKS ISN'T IN MY CITY, WHAT CAN I DO?

We have a Global Virtual Program that is fully online! Students from around the world are able to join our Virtual program and learn together.

Need more help? Send us a message.

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