• Entrepreneurship at UBC

Our thoughts on our 2020 Venture Showcase and the key takeaways we’re leveraging for 2021

Find out more about the Venture Showcase and see who presented here

Last Thursday December 10th marked our inaugural Venture Showcase featuring over 30 ventures, their founders and champions in a day long event spanning industries, programs and solutions. With over 400 RSVPs and 100+ people at each main event, this was one for the books!

2020 was a wild ride: Each month brought new uncertainties and challenges. Through it, our venture community continued to thrive and show resilience which was on full display at the 2020 Venture Showcase.

Evolved from our annual Pitches & Pitchers event, this year’s Showcase spanned our entire funnel of ventures in our CORE and Lab2Launch Venture Building Programs to those raising in Phase 3 of our Incubator and HATCH Accelerator. Each team presented in 3 minute increments with introductions from their Champion (a mentor or Entrepreneur in Residence they have been working with) providing a unique look into the founder and team behind the solution.

The day was full to the brim with a Fireside Chat, AMAs, Reverse Pitches and of course, Venture presentations in our Ones-to-Watch, Sneak-a-Peek and HATCH Ready-to-Raise sessions. We heard from ventures in human health commercializing innovation into companies (ie. ABOzymes, Zennea, DECAP, Sonus) and social ventures creating economic, social and circular economy solutions (ie. FLIK, ApplyChance, Soulect, Susgrainable), to agtech ventures creating opportunities for a better future (ie. BarrelWise, Verdi) and ventures tackling the climate emergency (ie. BioForm, Daanaa, Aqua Intelligent, Nyoka). Find out more about who presented here. These early stage companies are leading transformational changes across industries and it’s incredible to see what they are accomplishing at the very early stages of their journeys.

We were also thrilled to have so many guests speakers join us from across our innovation ecosystem to share their insights, experience and expertise including Natalie Dakers and Mike Hagerman at our Opening Session Fireside Chat, Founders Mike Carlson of CarboNet, Ayissi Nyemba of EMKAO Foods and Doug Buchanan entrepreneurship@UBC mentor and Co-founder of Roam (now on kickstarter!). Of course, we were over the moon to hear from investors in the community in Reverse Pitches including Ali Ardakani of Novateur, Irene Dorsman of Angel Forum and Women’s Equity Lab, Pieter Dorsman of Angel Forum and E-Fund, Tom Boddez of Active Impact Investments, Kristina Bergman of Pender Ventures and Jason Robertson of Nimbus Synergies (also an entrepreneurship@UBC mentor!). Learn more about our guest speakers here.

Our Key Takeaways

Some common takeaways shared amongst our guests? That leadership should be top of mind for any founder (during the good, bad and ugly days of venture building) and the (abundance of) opportunities that exists for entrepreneurs right now:

“It comes down to leadership... the ability to understand your circumstances, consider your options and act…People are going to turn to you and expect you to have some answers.”

- Natalie Dakers, CEO, Entrepreneur, Board Director, Leader in the Canadian Health Sciences sector, Opening Session Fireside Chat

Opportunities are fantastic at this point in time… some of the boundaries that used to exist… aren’t there any more...there is more capital available for investment right now than i've seen in the last 20 years.”

- Mike Hagerman, Director of DirectorsEdge, Opening Session Fireside Chat

The entrepreneurship@UBC network

entrepreneurship@UBC is a network of ventures, mentors, Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, industry and regional innovation support partners who came out en masse to support this year’s Showcase. If 2020 is indicative of anything, it’s that we are stronger together and have an incredible community who is there to help guide and further entrepreneurship and innovation at UBC.

Thank you to everyone who joined us throughout the entire day and supported our community through this year. We are so appreciative of your time and how much you have engaged with us throughout the year. This event helped close off 2020 on a high note.

Looking to get connected with the venture community?

Share your contact information and interest in our Google Form and our team will facilitate the connection. Share your information here. Applications are also open for our CORE Venture Building program, closing December 17th. Find out more here.

Psst… our Venture Showcase site is still live! Check out who presented and visit our Venture Marketplace to shop from our community of ventures!

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