entrepreneurship@UBC’s CORE program is for ventures driving innovation through disruptive technologies, ideas and trends. In CORE, you’ll focus on achieving product-market fit and preparing for investment and growth.

Formerly known as the Core Technology program.

Applications are now open. Apply by August 16th below.

The Fall 2021 cohort will be conducted mostly online with additional in-person programming, pending provincial health guidelines. 

Program Summary

entrepreneurship@UBC’s CORE program works with entrepreneurs who are building solutions founded in tech and innovation, helping to develop their startup through practical business training and deep mentorship to launch ideas into thriving companies capable of shifting industries. 

CORE helps validate and shape your venture's potential, working with seasoned industry instructors, experts and mentors to catapult your venture into a scalable company. The CORE program is grounded in proven methodologies that hundreds of UBC entrepreneurs have leveraged to build ventures with unique and sustainable advantages in their markets. 

Ventures in CORE are seeking development support and guidance in areas including, but not limited to; hardware, software, chemistry, biology, consumer packaged goods and technology applications ranging from AI and robotics to agritech, fintech, edtech, gaming, and many others. 

Venture opportunities based on intellectual property that are difficult to reproduce and have been developed in a faculty-led research program are better suited in the Lab2Launch venture building program.

Phase 1: Why YOU?

CORE begins with a four week series of weekly three-hour morning online workshops where you will develop the vision for your venture and a compelling value proposition through ecosystem analysis, competitive landscape analysis and business model hypothesizing. You’ll develop a compelling story for your venture, articulating the problem you’re solving, who has it, and why your solution is better than the competition. Following the workshops, teams are offered office hours with industry experts to prepare for application for entry to Phase 2. 

Phase 2: Market Validation & Product-Market Fit

In this phase you will attend five weekly, four-hour morning online workshops where you’ll learn the techniques of customer discovery to validate or pivot on the assumptions you’ve made for your venture in Phase 1. You’ll “get out of the building” and interview members of your industry ecosystem to understand whether the assumptions you’ve made for your business opportunity are real. You’ll continue to strengthen your competitive landscape analysis while quantifying the size of your market opportunity and developing a roadmap for how your product or service will be brought to market. In the final online session, you will present an overview of your venture opportunity and in the two weeks following the final presentation you will be interviewed for readiness for Phase 3: Venture Builder.   

Phase 3: Venture Builder Program - Business Model Validation 

In Venture Builder, your team will work one-on-one with an entrepreneurship@UBC Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR) to fill and validate any gaps in your business model. Your team will dig into potential markets and identify your target beachhead market. At this stage, you should have a team with balanced skill sets, engaged advisors, and demonstrate a high potential for funding and impact. In addition to one-on-one mentoring with an Entrepreneur in Residence, there are group focus sessions covering executive topics such as team building, project management and goal setting, venture messaging, competitive landscape analysis and market validation. Successful ventures may apply for Phase 4, the HATCH Accelerator.

Phase 1: Business Model Hypothesis & Customer Discovery

Throughout the program, venture teams are guided through company building by industry thought leaders and subject matter experts, which is further elevated by the participation of a range of experts drawing from our pool of 300 volunteer mentors from Vancouver's innovation community. entrepreneurship@UBC also employs Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiRs) who bring a wealth of industry expertise, broad professional networks and real-world business acumen to their venture building journey. 


Ventures that successfully pass through all 3 phases of programming and mentoring compete for a coveted position in Phase 4: the HATCH Accelerator, where they work on company building, developing first product and early customers, and become investment-ready.  Ventures "graduate" from HATCH once they have achieved significant commercial milestones relevant to each venture. 


Program  Eligibility


Preference is given to teams who have the following characteristics:

  • The venture team comprises at least two motivated individuals who are receptive and open to coaching and are able to receive advice which may be contrary to the teams’ thinking. 

  • Preference may be given to teams with a diversity of knowledge and skills (eg. a business person and a technical person) at the discretion of entrepreneurship@UBC. 

  • One member of the team (at least) must be a UBC student, faculty member or staff member, or a recent UBC alumni (within 5 years of graduation). 

  • A wireframe, mockup or early prototype of the product that underpins the venture opportunity. Teams that have not progressed beyond the raw idea stage can apply, but be aware that you may be asked to advance your idea further before entering the program. 

  • Teams are asked to agree upfront to a significant commitment of time and energy to pursuing the venture with entrepreneurship@UBC. Attendance at all working sessions is expected to guide you and keep you on track as you develop your venture. This commitment is periodically reviewed.

2021 Key Dates



Application Due Date

  • August 16

Phase 1: Business Model Hypothesis & Customer Discovery


4 weeks total: 4 workshops of 3 hours each from 8:45am-12:00pm

  • September 9: Orientation

  • September 10: Session #1

  • September 17: Session #2 

  • September 24: Session #3

  • October 1: Session #4 

  • October 6: Selection Day for Phase 2

Phase 2: Market Validation & Product-Market Fit

5 weeks total: 5 weekly workshops of 4 hours each from 8:45am-1:00pm

  • October 22: Session #1

  • October 29: Session #2

  • November 5: Session #3

  • November 12: Session #4

  • November 19: Session #5

  • November 26: Selection Day for Phase 3

Phase 3 : Venture Building - Business Model Validation  


9 workshops at 2 hours each

Venture teams accepted into Phase 3 work one-on-one with a lead entrepreneurship@UBC Entrepreneur in Residence and a mentor advisory team, as required, to build the foundation of a viable venture.  Phase 3 activities fill in the gaps in your value proposition and business model, established during Phase 1 and 2.  A workshop series is offered periodically throughout the year covering valuable topics of relevance to Phase 3-stage ventures.  

Phase 4: The HATCH Accelerator 

  • Applications for HATCH open January and June of each year.