entrepreneurship@UBC’s Lab2Launch venture building program is for UBC researchers and scientists who are focusing on the development of a scientific or technological innovation which is unique, proprietary and difficult to reproduce, propelling them through venture creation, team building, investment and growth.
Formerly known as the Life Science Incubator program
Applications are open on a rolling basis. Our next Lab2Launch cohort will begin in early Spring, 2021.
The Lab2Launch venture building program is for UBC researchers and scientists who are focused on the development of a scientific or technological innovation which is unique, proprietary and difficult to reproduce, propelling them through venture creation, team building, investment and growth. Lab2Launch provides research-led and high-potential ventures with the industry expertise, practical business training and deep mentorship to develop discoveries into viable ventures.
In a cohort structure, you and your team will undertake a stage-gated program that will help identify if a viable and valuable start-up opportunity exists. With the support of Entrepreneurs in Residence and mentors, you will be guided through venture creation by putting the right team and plan in place to gain traction and attract investment for launch and growth.
Phase 1: Venture Vision
The Lab2Launch program 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 customer discovery. 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. For Lab2Launch ventures, Phase 1 will focus on understanding the IP landscape, standards of care (I) and what is coming down the regulatory/product pipeline in the world. Following the workshops, teams are offered office hours with industry experts to prepare for application for entry to Phase 2.
Phase 2: Business Model
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 work on your competitive landscape analysis while quantifying the size of your market opportunity and developing a roadmap for how your product or service will be commercialized. You will also build out your regulatory map for human health and reimbursement map (insurance) for human health as well as learn the standards of care (II) of human health. 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
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. During Phase 3 you will continue to develop technical proof of concept of your product or service, guided by feedback from your early customers and/or partners. Phase 3 Lab2Launch ventures should have established technical feasibility and economic exchange or contract research. 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, entrepreneurship@UBC’s signature HATCH Accelerator program.
Throughout the program, venture teams are guided through company building by industry thought leaders and subject matter experts, which is further elevated by the active participation of over 300 volunteer mentors from Vancouver’s innovation and life sciences 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 phases of programming and mentoring compete for a coveted position in Phase 4: the HATCH Accelerator program where they work on company building, developing first product and early customers, and become investment-ready. Ventures “graduate” from the HATCH Accelerator once they have achieved significant milestones relevant to each venture.
Preference is given to teams who have the following desirable 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).
The team must have demonstrated proof-of-concept on the bench, or developed a working prototype for the underlying technical innovation. Preference will be given for products or services that have been developed to a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 or 6 (distinguished from the underlying technology). Level 3 & 4 will be considered on a case-by-case basis. See TRL definitions here to estimate the level of development of your innovation.
At the time of application, student team members should be within twelve months of graduating.
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 during the program.
2020 Key Dates
Application Due Date
Value Proposition Development
Workshop sessions are 3 hours in length, 8:45am-12:00pm
September 10th: Session #1
September 17th: Session #2
September 24th: Session #3
October 1st: Session #4
October 15th: Selection Day for Phase 2
Business Model Development
Workshop sessions are
4 hours each, 8:45am-1:00pm
October 22nd: Session #1
October 29th: Session #2
November 5th: Session #3
November 12th: Session #4
November 19th: Session #5
November 26th: Session #6
December 9th: Selection Day for Phase 3
Venture teams accepted into Phase 3 work one-on-one with a lead 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.
Applications are accepted in June and December of each year.
Phase 4: The HATCH Accelerator