entrepreneurship@UBC: Fostering the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

The PowerTab allows homeowners to track electricity consumption in real time. A team of students from the Sauder School of Business and the Faculty of Applied Science invented the device and founded Energy Aware Technology. The company was named 2009’s most promising start-up by the BC Technology Industry Association in 2009.

New ventures come in many forms, but all face the same daunting challenges of raising early stage capital. This challenge is amplified when the founders are young and inexperienced student entrepreneurs.

entrepreneurship@UBC directly addresses this challenge. In partnership with BCIC, UBC’s Sauder School of Business, Faculty of Applied Science, Faculty of Science, and the University-Industry Liaison Office established entrepreneurship@UBC to provide capital, mentorship, and education to the next generation of student entrepreneurs.

entrepreneurship@UBC is designed to:

  • broaden access to entrepreneurial programming to all students across UBC
  • leverage the experience of UBC’s strong alumni network and relationships with business communities in Vancouver, the Okanagan, and beyond
  • integrate programs through partnerships with similar initiatives in BC and internationally
  • foster a culture of business engagement and entrepreneurship at UBC
  • leverage UBC as a knowledge economy commercialization engine and accelerate company formation/job creation

The entrepreneurship@UBC Seed Accelerator will provide a robust program of curriculum, extra-curricular activities, incubation space, and mentorship matching.  At the centre of the Seed Accelerator is the entrepreneurship@UBC Fund, which provides very early stage pre-seed investments in start-ups founded by students or recent alumni. Students or alumni with promising new ideas for businesses, services, or products can apply to the fund, be evaluated by an investment board, and receive the funding they need to take their ideas to investor-readiness. Successful student entrepreneurs are also offered the unique opportunity to partner with a mentor who has a proven track record in entrepreneurship, business, angel investing, or venture capital.

The Fund is capitalized by donations from UBC alumni and supporters, matching grants from BCIC, the Fund’s collaborating partner, plus other grants from government and non-governmental organizations, and investment returns. With secured commitments totalling $1.25 million to-date, UBC is seeking donations to create an initial capital fund of $10 million in the near term with continuing long-term growth.

It is the goal of the Fund that over time it become self-sustaining based on reinvestment into the Fund from returns generated by successful investments, and as such will foster generations of UBC student entrepreneurs.


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