• Entrepreneurship at UBC

Our top 7 takeaways from our first-ever entrepreneurship@UBC Immersion Week


Did you join us for EIW2020? Share your thoughts in our survey for a chance to win prizes from 1 of 2 entrepreneurship@UBC Ventures, Susgrainable and ChopValue



When we set out to organize our first-ever entrepreneurship@UBC Immersion Week (EIW), we aimed to create an extension of our programming to further our community’s venture building journeys. Quickly, EIW took on a life of its own, transforming into a 5 day event featuring 75+ founders, CEOs and innovators across 3 tracks of content and 26 sessions.


Our UBC and regional ecosystem came together en masse elevating EIW into a full blown conference spanning a range of industries, such as Climate Solutions, Patient Care, Investment, Marketing and HR (to name a few), all geared towards demystifying entrepreneurship in the innovation economy. Over the course of a week, we dove into entrepreneurial thinking and startup know-how from some of the best and brightest leaders in our ecosystem, trading on a lifetime's worth of expertise and insights in a matter of days. Throughout the event’s 3 themes: Entrepreneurial Leadership and the Future of Work, Opportunities in the Innovation Economy and HATCH Foundations (exclusive for ventures in the HATCH Accelerator program) we saw conversations revolve around environmental innovations and careers for women in STEM to finding customers digitally and getting the attention of a VC, all intended to educate, build and inspire intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial leadership.


In between all the excitement, we also squeezed in announcing our collaboration with Foresight to energize the growth of BC’s cleantech ecosystem, on the heels of our Climate Venture Studios stream launch.



Click through the arrows to see more photos from EIW2020



EIW was inspired during a time where innovation could not be more imperative to our future: COVID-19 has exposed the dire need for innovation and entrepreneurship to come to the forefront of education as a valuable, and accessible, career trajectory to solve real world problems. The future of work has changed exponentially, rapidly evolving through technology adoption and shifting global dynamics.


We are so grateful to our community for coming out and celebrating entrepreneurship and building connections along the way.



Here are our top 7 takeaways from our first-ever entrepreneurship@UBC Immersion Week.



1. How Diversity & Inclusion benefits your organization in every way:


Diverse organizations are the strongest organizations. This must be a cornerstone of your philosophy if you want to last as an organization...Think about moving the structures that exist [today] that will prevent future diversity...be proactive and change the system.”


- Natalie Archibald, Interim VP of People, Clio from The Future of Work: Strategies for Building Winning Teams and Remarkable Cultures



Leverage [the] diversity of our local talent base, it’s a huge asset...there is a value set in Canadians that I love and why I’m so committed to this business.


- Laurie Schultz, CEO of Galvanize, from Made in BC: Lessons from Some of Our Homegrown Ventures




2. The important role that people play in advancing a strong corporate culture and building an incredible team:


I am a cup half full person, and have a difficult time giving bad news...this did more harm than good. [The saying] “you get what you tolerate” helped me to find and build a stellar team and advance corporate culture.”


- Valerie Song, Co-founder & CEO of AVA Technologies from Entrepreneurial Thinking: What does it mean to be an entrepreneur in today’s world?



The people you have in your business are the biggest jewel in growing a successful business.”


- Hanna Golata, Co-founder, GlobalMe from Entrepreneurial Thinking: What does it mean to be an entrepreneur in today’s world?




3. Overnight successes seem like a dime a dozen. Real facts: they don’t exist:


Don’t start a company for the wrong reasons. It takes many years to become an overnight success… regardless of the context.”


- Emre Akkas, Co-founder, GlobalMe from Entrepreneurial Thinking: What does it mean to be an entrepreneur in today’s world?



Be patient. [Whether you are coming from the] investor side or building a new company, there is no such thing as an overnight success story...don’t beat yourself up if you are not hitting your milestones out the park.”


- Sarah Applebaum, Partner at Pangaea Ventures from The Disruptors




4. The climate emergency is not going away and we need to take action to create a better future:


I realized this was a trend that wasn’t going away, this was going to grow larger and larger… we are only moving in one direction. I believe it’s a worthwhile place to focus all of my efforts.”


- Tyler Hamilton, Director of Ecosystem Development, Cleantech at MaRs Discovery District from Climate Innovation: How might entrepreneurs address the climate emergency?



Democratize the production and distribution of energy so it’s produced where it’s used…

Every CEO of a company with rooftop real estate can become an energy CEO as well”.


- Janice Larson, Strategic Policy, Planning and Partnerships, Muse&Effect Consulting from A Bold Green Recovery, Roundtable Discussion with Toby Heaps



When you look at what’s growing fast and what Canada has, it becomes clear what we should do.. we have everything we need to win


- Toby Heaps, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, Corporate Knights from A Bold Green Recovery, Roundtable Discussion with Toby Heaps




5. Communicating the value of your solution to your customers, and your investors:


It’s easy to understand what we are doing. We are counting the number of chopsticks we recycle. How do you find a related unit, impact, carbon footprint and turn it into something that is tangible to people? I think we are getting there with education.”


- Felix Bock, Founder & CEO ChopValue from Doing Business While Doing Good



Technical founders need to be able to tell the story and package the technology in a way that is accessible to the market. We assess the founder’s ability to package this, and package the technology in a way the market wants it.


- Kookai Chaimahawong, Associate, Pangaea Ventures from How to Get the Attention of a VC




6. Finding a great network and using it:


If you ask for things, you will most likely get them. As long as you are clear and know where you want to go. If you are uncertain, just ask - no one will fault you for asking.”


- Rachel Chase, Co-founder & CEO of Zennea from The Disruptors



If you want something, you need to start asking for help. You need to activate your network. .. put yourself out there and see if people have suggestions...I’ve had all these opportunities because of the people who have put me here.


- Adriana Suarez-Gonazalez, Science and Technology Advisor at 10X Genomics from Career Paths For Women in STEM: A candid discussion about leadership, culture and navigating a successful career path in the Life Sciences



Get as much perspective and experience around you that’s aligned with your set of values, your vision, mission, and purpose and use that”.


- Zack Eberwein, Founder & CEO of Stoko, from How to Get Your Product to Market




7. On (the realities of) starting a company and what it means to be an entrepreneur :


Not many people thought those were good ideas back in the day...for that reason they are new. And if they are new and true you have a chance of growing something sustainable.


- Carl Hansen, CEO of AbCellera, from our CEO Fireside Chat



“It is harder than you think, it takes longer than you think, it costs more than you think and it's crucial to have a great team with great partners with the right value proposition


- Khatera Hazin, Director of Research, CarboNet from How to Get Your Product to Market



You don’t have to dive head first [into entrepreneurship] you can roll around in it.. regardless of where you go you will be doing something entrepreneurially in one way or another.”


- Yajur Sondhi of Nyoka, from What it Takes to Get Started with Us: Hear from some of our exciting ventures in e@UBC’s Fall Lab2Launch Cohort





Thank you to all who joined us, near and far, to make EIW2020 such a success!



Eager to experience EIW once more? Stay tuned for season 2 of our podcast evolution where we will feature sessions from the event! Also, save the date for entrepreneurship@UBC’s next event; a Community Town Hall happening Tuesday, November 3rd.



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