entrepreneurship@UBC’s Lab2Launch venture building program is for UBC researchers and scientists who are focusing on the knowledge mobilization 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

Program Overview

The Lab2Launch venture building program, formerly known as the Life Science Incubator program, is for UBC researchers and scientists who are focusing on the knowledge mobilization of a scientific or technological innovation which is unique, proprietary and difficult to reproduce, propelling them through venture creation, team building, investment and growth. 

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: Why YOU?

The Lab2Launch program starts with a four week series of weekly three-hour morning workshops where you will investigate and develop a compelling value proposition through ecosystem analysis, competitive landscape analysis and customer discovery. You’ll be able to tell a compelling story for your business model: the problem you’re solving, who has it, and why your solution is better than the competition.  

Phase 2: Business Model Development

In this phase you will attend five weekly, four-hour morning workshops where you’ll learn the techniques of customer discovery to validate or pivot on the assumptions you’ve made for your business model in Phase 1. You’ll continue to work on your competitive landscape analysis, start to quantify the size of your market opportunity, and start to develop a roadmap for how your product or service will be brought to market.

Phase 3: Venture Builder

In Venture Builder your team will work one-on-one with an entrepreneurship@UBC Entrepreneur in Residence to expand and validate the key elements of your business model in preparation for company building in the HATCH Accelerator Program (Phase 4). Your team will dig into potential markets and identify your target beachhead market. During Phase 3 you’ll continue to develop the technical proof of concept of your product or service, guided by feedback from your early customers and/or partners. In addition to one-on-one weekly mentoring, there are eight focus sessions covering  executive topics such as team building, project management and goal setting, messaging, competitive landscape analysis and market validation. 

Ventures that successfully pass through all phases of programming and mentoring compete for a coveted position in entrepreneurship@UBC’s flagship 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.


The Lab2Launch program depends heavily on the generosity and expertise of successful entrepreneurial volunteer mentors. Teams are partnered with mentors who guide them through the business model discovery and validation process. entrepreneurship@UBC also employs Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiRs) who bring sector-specific expertise and guidance to teams in the Program.


Program Eligibility

Preference is given to teams who have all of the following desirable characteristics:

  • The venture comprises a motivated team of at least two people who are receptive to coaching. Preference is given to teams with a diversity of knowledge and skill (eg. a business person and a technical person). 

  • At least one of the team is a UBC student, faculty member or staff member, or a recent UBC alumnus (within 5 years of graduation). 

  • A demonstrable level of proof-of-concept or a working prototype of the underlying innovation underpins the venture opportunity, ideally Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 or 6. Level 3 & 4 will be considered on a case-by-case basis. See TRL definition here.  At the time of application, Graduate student team members should be within twelve months of graduating.

  • The team has significant time to commit to the program: teams are asked to agree upfront to a significant commitment of time and energy to pursuing the venture with entrepreneurship@UBC. This commitment is periodically reviewed during the program. 

2020 Key Dates

Program Element


Application Due Date

  • Extended from March 6th to March 13th

Phase 1

Workshop sessions are 3 hours in length, 8:45am-12:00pm

  • March 30th:  Phase 1 Social

  • April 2nd: Session #1

  • April 9th: Session #2 

  • April 16th: Session #3

  • April 23rd:  Session #4 

  • Week of April 27th: Office Hours

  • May 4th: Presentations for Phase 2

Phase 2

Workshop sessions are 

4 hours each, 8:45am-1:00pm

  • May 8th: Phase 2 Social

  • May 14th: Session #1

  • May 21st: Session #2

  • May 28th: Session #3

  • June 4th: Session #4

  • June 11th: Session #5

  • June 15th:  Phase 2 Social and

  • Venture Readiness Assessment Workshop

  • June 18-19th: Phase 3 Venture Interviews

Phase 3

2+ months

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 for the 2020/2021 year will open in June 2020

Phase 4: The HATCH Accelerator

Come visit! 

We are located in the Graham Lee Innovation Centre in the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre.

6163 University Blvd

Vancouver, BC

V6T 1Z3

 entrepreneurship@UBC is a part of Innovation UBC under the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (VPRI) portfolio