This off-season, Team 865 ran their second financial literacy seminar series, this time brought to you by the Wealthsimple Foundation. The seminars covered many topics such as grant writing, FIRST scholarships, sponsorship acquisition, budgeting and paying for post-secondary education. These seminars ran weekly from November 10th to December 8th, with speakers from 865, their community, and industry experts.

856’s business team first came up with the idea to run a virtual fundraising seminar series in the fall of 2020. Since they didn’t have access to their machine shop in the 2021 season to run their DREAM project, 865 decided to emphasize the financial aspect of sustainability to help teams through these unprecedented circumstances. With this new format in mind, they invented their Fundraising and Sponsorship Seminar Series to help teach teams financial literacy with regard to sponsorships.

The first series, with 10 FRC and FTC teams participating, ran bi-weekly from January to March with a culminating competition in April. Each seminar tackled a different financial topic such as grant writing, local sponsorships and alumni retention, raising money as a non-covid charity, partnerships, and delivering a pitch to companies, all valuable skills that students can learn. As a team, 865 planned, organized and moderated the seminars and learned valuable skills such as connecting with professionals and running effective virtual events. They had also gathered 7 speakers and panelists from the community such as NBA Canada, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Motorola Solutions Foundation, FIRST, MaRS DD, and TD. As part of the series, 865 awarded up to $1500 CAD to two different teams, 7456 and 4946, for winning the pitch presentation. The purpose of the pitch competition at the end of the seminar series was to make sure students can use and apply what they have learned to reduce the financial barrier and launch them into success.

During the 2021 offseason, 865 wanted to improve on the financial literacy seminar series by having both content that is specific to FIRST robotics as well as content that can help with paying off post-secondary. Members from 865’s business team reached out to Wealthsimple Foundation, a partner with similar core values on financial literacy and paying for post-secondary education, to become a title sponsor for this year’s seminar series. With 865 working with the Wealthsimple Foundation team, they created their 2021 financial literacy seminar series with new topics and speakers. Some of their 2021 speakers and panelists included AHC, FIRST Canada, and experts from Wealthsimple and the Wealthsimple Foundation. The seminars, with 4 FRC and FTC teams, ran weekly from November 10th to December 8th, covering topics such as grant writing, FIRST scholarships, and paying for post-secondary education.

All their seminars from last season and this off-season are available on 865’s website at and their youtube channel at https:/ 865 would also like to thank Wealthsimple Foundation for their amazing contribution in assisting the team in bringing this year’s financial literacy seminar series.