6 ways to get your entrepreneurial idea started at UBC
Updated: Aug 5
Ever wonder how you can get involved with entrepreneurial opportunities at UBC before joining entrepreneurship@UBC? At the forefront of research and innovation, UBC has a diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem that you can tap into. Whether you want to connect with more like-minded individuals passionate about entrepreneurship or practice your pitch, there are a variety of opportunities for you to explore and test your entrepreneurial ideas. Many of our founders have participated in these initiatives, working through UBC’s extensive entrepreneurial ecosystem to build impact-driven companies leading the forefront of their industries.
Learn what opportunities you can get involved with on the UBC Point Grey campus!
Innovation Onboard is UBC’s premier venture program run by students, for students! Over the past years, they have been providing students with the experience and exposure to venture creation through their speaker series and start-up competition. They strive to foster entrepreneurship through their speaker series where students can learn how to create a competitive analysis, discuss how to pitch to investors, and meet recent alumni who founded their own ventures. Students can also enter their venture competition that consists of a Dragons’ Den-style final where participants meet driven venture teams and practice pitching their ventures to investors and mentors. Recently Innovation Onboard joined the College Ventures Network consisting of 17 student-led venture programs from Stanford, Harvard and other incredible schools across the US and UK. Innovation Onboard is now able to offer UBC students exposure to resources and networks across the US and UK.
“Having both participated in and led Innovation Onboard, it is an incredible program that has something for everyone at any stage in creating a venture. Whether you are looking to refine an already formed idea and will soon be raising funding, have an idea for a venture but don't know what resources are available, or are completely new to the world of venture building there is something for you to gain experience with.” -Graham Robinson, Innovation Onboard Advisor
If you have an idea that’s been racking around in your brain for some time, check out eHub! eHub is a student-run incubator and AMS Service that offers free entrepreneurial courses, resource directories, student entrepreneur advisory sessions, and mentorship. Through its Crash Course, Mentorship Events, and Seeds program, they aim to guide ventures through their entrepreneurial journeys by providing an opportunity to network with industry professionals, gain mentorship from established student entrepreneurs, and access UBC’s resources (courses, grants, and labs).
“My favorite part of eHub is building business models with the members of eHub to facilitate emerging entrepreneurs on campus. Each student has a different idea, and each idea has its own potential to solve a large problem. The process in which we bring these ideas together, establish teams and build businesses is what excites me. Ehub is a platform that allows student entrepreneurs to interact with each other irrespective of their academic backgrounds; rather we see their passion to make a change in the community and bring innovation is what matters.” -Arnav Mishra, eHub Coordinator
Want to get involved? Learn more here!
Enactus UBC drives social change through numerous entrepreneurial projects that focus on social, economic, and environmental health! With over 80 members, this close-knit community values curiosity, courage, and change, striving to make a difference by creating innovative solutions! Their projects range from providing pro-bono consulting services to local non-profits and social enterprises to giving fabrics a second chance by upcycling used clothing into new items (check out the new bags they just released here)! Currently, projects include Project Patch, Impel Consulting, Launch Incubator, GoGo Fresh, Ennovate, Roots of Ennovate, Seeder, and Forgotten History.
“At Enactus, every single member, regardless of position, has an opportunity to sink their teeth into our ongoing projects, and be an active member of the change that we're hoping to instill in our society through the efforts of our community initiatives. We lean on all of our members to contribute their ideas, creativity, and enthusiasm to elevate our impact; in exchange, we hope that members take away lessons of what it's like to work among a passionate team, so that they can eventually translate these newfound skills for their own future entrepreneurial endeavours.”- Ryu Watanabe, Enactus Co-President
Looking to sharpen your coding skills and take a crack at a hackathon? Through UBC nwPlus, aspiring programmers and designers can gain hands-on experience, receive mentorship, and learn how to use cutting-edge technology. Through events such as HackCamp, they strive to celebrate diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility by encouraging participants to contribute their own unique experiences by creating projects that focus on these three pillars. In the spirit of entrepreneurship, students can build innovative web applications and programs during nwPlus’ three annual hackathons. Additionally, they host workshops where you can learn about new technologies, build web apps, and learn about the UX experience!
“Through nwPlus, you have an opportunity to learn more about the tech community in ways that aren’t exposed to you in classes. One of the best parts is being able to share what you’ve learned with others after trying new technologies and building them with like-minded and diverse fellow hackers. We strive to see the bigger picture in tech and learn about why diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility are important in the projects we do!”- Allison Chiang, nwPlus
eProjects is UBC’s student-run entrepreneurship organization aiming to connect students with the skills, tools, and network needed to flourish in Vancouver’s Startup sphere! From networking events where students can hear about CEOs’ stories to case competitions where students are given several hours to create and present their innovative ideas, eProjects helps you learn from entrepreneurs as you bring your ideas to life! Through participating in eProjects’ events, students will boost their creative-thinking skills, and gain industry connections.
“My favourite part of eProjects is definitely seeing people's happy faces after the events and having gained knowledge whether it be through speakers or the workshops that we hold. I definitely love working with our team to bring these events and opportunities to life for the innovators of the UBC community!”- Stephanie Zhao and Marjolein Tanunliong, eProjects Co-Presidents
Social Enterprise Club
UBC’s Social Enterprise Club (SEC) knows what it means to disrupt the status quo and innovate for sustainable social and environmental impact. Through interactive workshops and events, meet SEC’s extensive alumni & professional network while learning about why there is a need for social impact within business and entrepreneurship. Previous events have included a deep dive into social impact investing, a sustainable fashion case competition, and a Lush tour revolving around their sustainable practices!
“My favorite part of the SEC is the team environment and culture. It's great to see so many passionate people working towards the same goal, and it has inspired me to look at social entrepreneurship through many different lenses. Our team dynamic is something I'm very proud of; we are very much like a family and that’s what keeps me coming back year after year.”- Evelyn Ashworth and Divya Yellamraju, Social Enterprise Club Co-Presidents
With so many initiatives centred around entrepreneurship, you should take the opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals that are a part of these incredible organizations!
Thank you to all the organizations featured for all the work they do in propelling innovation here at UBC!