E co-op alum elevates students' employability skills 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Esteban Veintimilla (BMath ’18), founder of 1Mentor, speaking on a stage at a University of Waterloo Velocity event

By: Ryan Kehoe (he/him)

To help students prepare for a rapidly changing workforce, Esteban Veintimilla (BMath ’18) founded an education tech company called 1Mentor. The company recently received recognition as a top 100 tech company to watch for in 2022.

Following four traditional co-op work terms, Veintimilla (he/him) transitioned into the Enterprise Co-op (E Co-op) program to build on his vision for 1Mentor. "I did two degrees, one in Mathematics and one in Business,” says Veintimilla, co-founder and CEO of 1Mentor.

Esteban Veintimilla (BMath ’18), founder of 1Mentor
Esteban Veintimilla (he/him) (BMath ’18)
E Co-op student and 1Mentor founder

"The term that I learned the most was the term that I was working on my startup and doing
E Co-op.” In E Co-op, students earn co-op credits while starting their own business.

His experience as a co-op student helped drive Veintimilla’s passion for education tech. His company, 1Mentor, is an AI-powered platform that enables higher education and students to navigate the rapidly changing job market.

The app provides personalized recommendations to prepare individuals for the future of work.



The learnings that you get from working on a startup are unique.
E Co-op might be one of the very few chances that you get to have an experience like this. I would highly encourage students to try it out.



Advising co-op students

On top of his role at 1Mentor, Veintimilla is an advisor for students entering their first co-op work term at the University of Waterloo’s Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business. He finds that advising draws similarities to his company’s mission and enjoys preparing today’s learners for tomorrow’s work.

Through his experience as an advisor working with first-year students, he realized that many students were not developing the skills employers are looking for and would often struggle to find a co-op position. He founded 1Mentor to help these students understand what they need, develop skills demanded by industry, and land valuable work experience.

Veintimilla told Waterloo News, "Our platform uses AI to analyze higher-ed data and more than 100 million job postings. It finds and converts insights into the information students need to achieve their career objectives.”

The organization works with four universities, two in Canada and two in the United States, to provide students with these key skills. The universities 1Mentor works with can fix skill gaps with the platform's help to develop more employable skills for students.

Inspired by co-op

Veintimilla is such an admirer of co-operative education that he hopes to expand the work-integrated learning currently available in Latin America. He wants others to have similar experiences to what he had at the University of Waterloo.

"I thought that the co-op system was just beautiful," says Veintimilla, "I had a study term, I had a work term, study term, work term. It was amazing how much you're able to learn to apply the learnings you get from university, and really get a taste of what the world of work requires from you."

Veintimilla says E Co-op provided him with valuable experience and allowed him to see what being an entrepreneur would be like.

"The experiential learning that you get when you work as an entrepreneur and try to achieve your vision, I think it's something that - I don't know if everyone should try it out, but I highly recommend people to at least consider it."