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
- coordinate connections to entrepreneurial support organizations
- integrate programs through partnerships with similar initiatives in BC and internationally
At the heart of this program 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 anticipated that over time the Fund will 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.
For more information about entrepreneurship@UBC and how you and/or your organization can support this innovative initiative, please contact Debbie Woo, Senior Associate Director of Development, at 604.822.6856 or firstname.lastname@example.org.