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Innovation UBC Hub

About Entrepreneurship@UBCO

Entrepreneurship@UBCO offers UBC Okanagan students, faculty, staff and recent graduates training and mentorship support to explore their startup ideas, build connections within the Okanagan innovation ecosystem, and develop the skill set needed to launch a successful new venture.

This includes venture-building programs, incubation spaces, and mentoring and investment opportunities. Our e@UBCO Accelerator, located at the Innovation Centre in downtown Kelowna, provides the UBC community space to interact and access support to transform their ideas into viable ventures.

e@UBCO Lean LaunchPad (LLP) Accelerator Program

Program Details

Our e@UBCO Lean LaunchPad (LLP) Accelerator Program is designed to equip individuals and teams with the entrepreneurial skills and resources needed to build successful ventures. It is a market validation program designed to help participants address a market need.

The non-negotiables

  • At least one team member is affiliated with UBC as either a student, faculty, researcher, recent graduate or staff member
  • Teams are required to attend all six workshops, two CEO Strategy Forums, and commit to regular, ongoing work with your mentors
  • Your concept addresses a specific business, social, environmental or economic problem
  • You have a defined theory of change and are willing to measure and work to maximize your impact

What we look for

  • Coachable teams that are open to feedback, embrace collaboration, and have positive attitudes
  • For Tracks 2 to 5: a compelling concept that is innovative, delivers measurable impact, and has the ability to scale
  • A serious commitment on behalf of the entire team to growing the venture, as well all participating in all relevant e@UBCO events, roundtables, and coaching sessions

Mark your calendar

  • Application deadline: September 13, 2019
  • Interview period: August 1 – September 13, 2019
  • Program start: September 26, 2019

Program Tracks

The LLP Accelerator program runs once per year over a 6-month period and includes five tracks for each level of entrepreneurial readiness. Tracks are designed to address each stage of the entrepreneurial journey – from skill-building and take-to-market strategies to finding the right customers and securing funding opportunities.

Kick off your journey in September by participating in a ‘Youthful Cities Hackathon’ challenge to help Kelowna attract young professionals to live and work.

Over the next six months, you’ll team-up with like-minded colleagues from engineering, management, computer science, health sciences and digital media to develop your solution and prepare for the e@UBCO Quick Pitch Challenge in March.

You’ll attend six lunchtime Entrepreneurship Basics Roundtables on-campus between September 2019 and March 2020 and participate in two CEO Strategy Forums downtown at The Innovation Centre, where you’ll learn from CEOs who have built successful ventures.

The semi-finalist and finalist competitions will be held in January and February and the top three teams will compete to win valuable prizes.

Along with the Entrepreneurship Basics Roundtables and CEO Strategy Forums, you will utilize an online series of workshops and exercises designed by e@UBC Vancouver and the UBC Sauder Business School.

You will receive private coaching sessions with a team of business mentors, where you will report on your progress.  Each session will help you identify where you have fallen short, answer key questions, and set new goals.

You will also receive pitch coaching and your mentor panel will help you prepare to compete in the venture category of the e@UBCO Quick Pitch Challenge.

You are passionate about your solution and have a viable value proposition.  You know who your customers are, what your minimum viable product is, and how your customers will pay for it.  Now it’s time to create your product, build your venture, and raise funds.

Over an intense six-month period, you will work one-on-one with a business mentor to identify and refine the goals and milestones most critical to your venture. During this time, you will receive ongoing support outlined in Track 2.

You will also have access to our co-working space and meeting room in the Innovation UBC Hub downtown to meet with potential customers and investors.  This co-location opportunity will provide you with access to the Kelowna innovation ecosystem, Accelerate Okanagan programming and the angel investment community.

“Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or successful business owner, e@UBCO will give you the time, coaching, and tools you need to look at your venture from a broader and more strategic perspective.”– Alyssa Farr, Co-founder, Taste Advisor

Our top ventures will participate in our RBC Solve It-Pitch It-Win It! challenge and Innovation Showcase, exhibit at OKGN Tech Live and compete in the OKGN Angel Summit. Successful completion of the program will make you eligible to apply for the BC Venture Acceleration Program and to present to the Valhalla Angels.

Mentor-2-Market (M2M) is a six-month program that kicks off in the summer.

It is designed to help researchers build bridges from research findings to real world impact through one-on-one coaching and connecting with key resources in the community and beyond.  Successful completion of the program will help researchers transfer innovation from a lab, demonstration environment, or thesis, to practical, large-scale application.

Distinguishing viable opportunities from interesting ideas can only be accomplished through market research and validation and feasibility studies. The first three months of the program will position you to lay out the parameters for a comprehensive market research study to be completed by the UBC Okanagan Faculty of Management Capstone Program.

UBC UILO and e@UBCO have been extremely supportive and were instrumental in helping us secure NSERC funding for our company.” – Associate  Engineering Professor, Shahria Alam; co-founder, Durabrace 

You will work one-on-one with business mentors to identify and validate the market context for your particular innovation. You will have access to the co-working and meeting space at the Innovation UBC Hub, located downtown at The Innovation Centre to meet with your mentors, potential licensees and investors.

Once the market research study is complete at the end of the Fall term, your mentors and the University-Industry Liaison Office (UILO) will assist you in articulating a viable commercialization strategy and plan for scaling your product or service. You will evaluate business models to launch your start-up or create a licensing agreement for your solution and may access a second Capstone team during the winter term to do further strategic planning.

The e@UBCO Accelerator is located in the Innovation UBC Hub downtown at The Innovation Centre. The hub includes three incubation spaces for use by promising UBC Okanagan-affiliated ventures, as well as a bookable office/work station, co-working space, and boardroom.

Working out of the e@UBCO Accelerator will provide you with access to the Kelowna innovation ecosystem, Accelerate Okanagan programming and the angel investment community.

Accepted ventures will have an opportunity to exhibit at the e@UBCO Quick Pitch Challenge, will be eligible to apply for Accelerate Okanagan’s Calibration program, as well as present to the Valhalla Angels and compete at the OKGN Angel Summit.

“Acceptance into the e@UBCO Accelerator put Trellis in the epicenter of the Kelowna technology community, where we could collide on a daily basis with potential customers, investors, and talent.” – JUSTIN GOODHEW, CEO, TRELLIS; 2019 E@UBCO VENTURE ACCELERATOR GRADUATE; 2019 OKGN ANGEL SUMMIT WINNER

The e@UBCO Accelerator space is ideal for full-time teams who have made a serious commitment to scaling their venture and are successfully raising funds to support the growth of their start-up.

The occupancy term is six-months with an opportunity to apply for renewal. Top ventures from Tracks 3 and 4 are eligible to apply. Decisions are made by the UBC Okanagan Space Committee and space is subject to availability.

Meet our innovators

Entreprenerds: A series about UBC scholars taking big ideas to market

Associate Engineering Professor, Kenneth Chau (with PhD candidate Vincent Loi, BanditVR, and UBC alumnus Cailan Libby, Happipad) shares how e@UBCO has helped his students launch two successful new ventures.

The e@UBCO program was instrumental in helping BanditVR decipher early customer interactions, which enabled us to identify flaws in our original business plan. We are now rapidly prototyping and testing new applications of our virtual reality expertise.” – Associate  Engineering Professor, KENNETH CHAU; CO-FOUNDER, BANDITVR

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