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Passionate About Entrepreneurship but Don't Have a Startup Idea? Where Do You Begin?

List of Resources

If you’re passionate about entrepreneurship but struggling to find a startup idea, don’t worry. The journey to entrepreneurship doesn’t always start with a groundbreaking idea. It often begins with building a strong foundation in three key areas: education, networking, and mentorship. These pillars can help ignite your creativity, discover opportunities, and pave the way for your entrepreneurial success.

Education: Enhance your skills with on-campus workshops, lectures, and classes covering business planning, marketing, financial management, and innovation. Look for entrepreneurship centers at your institution for these programs.

Networking Events: Attend meetups, pitch competitions, and expos to connect with entrepreneurs and gain insights. These events often include guest speakers and panels.

Mentorship: Find mentors with relevant experience for advice and support. Utilize university programs and online platforms to connect with the right mentor.

Here’s a list of resources, both on and off-campus, to help start your entrepreneurial journey.

Education

BAEN 506 / APSC 541

Technology Entrepreneurship

This course provides an experiential journey in launching tech startups, ideal for those interested in startup challenges and opportunities. It's a collaboration between the Sauder School of Business and the Faculty of Applied Sciences,

The course focuses on in-class discussions, group work, and weekly progress presentations. Students should commit 10-15 hours weekly for class preparation and external presentations. A "flipped classroom" approach is used, requiring preparedness through readings, weekly customer interviews, and class progress presentations.

 

Eligibility: This course welcomes students from all UBC faculties.

 

Key Dates:

  • November 2023: Team Formation (Mandatory evening class: Nov 29)
  • January-April 2023: Course Classes - Wednesdays, 6 pm-9:30 pm (12 mandatory evening classes)
  • Application Deadline for 2023/2024: November 20th, 2023, at 11:59 pm

 

Contact Person: Prof. Fraser Pogue (fraser.pogue@sauder.ubc.ca)

 

Summer Entrepreneurship Program (SEP)

The 2023 APSC Summer Entrepreneurship Program (SEP), offered by the Faculty of Applied Science and the ICICS team behind HATCH, supports students and teams interested in developing ideas with novel technologies or systems that can make a global impact. The program is tailored to the needs of individual teams and provides a range of resources, including weekly group entrepreneurship sessions, mentorship with an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, access to HATCH makerspace equipment, shared office space, and limited support for prototyping costs. The program covers various startup-related topics and aims to prepare teams for entry into the entrepreneurship@UBC (e@UBC) program.

 

Key Dates:

  • Apply by April 30, 2023
  • Applications reviewed by mid-April followed by requests to meet with the team/student
  • Interviews from mid-April to the first week of May
  • 10 program sessions from May 9 to July 18
  • One-on-One sessions to "Ask Me Anything" on Thursdays, 5:15-6:15 pm during the program; bookable 10-minute slots

 

Eligibility:

  • Open to student teams with at least one member from the Faculty of Applied Science.

 

Contact Person: Francis Steiner (fsteiner7@gmail.com)

 

COMM 489

Applied Methods in Technology Startups at CDL

This course is ideal for students keen on entrepreneurship, offering the chance to work closely with CDL-Vancouver and emerging tech and science-focused startups. It's part of the UBC Sauder CDL Venture Capital Program, providing a unique platform to get inspired and learn firsthand how startup ideas are evaluated by experienced entrepreneurs and investors. Students will participate in market analysis, customer development, and financial analysis, gaining crucial insights into early-stage startup development and the investment decision-making process of venture capitalists.

Key Dates:

  • Information sessions: April - May (check the website).
  • Application deadline: Late May.

Eligibility:

  • Admission to the course is by application only.
  • The course is restricted to Year 4 students and graduate students from any program.

Contact Person: Darrell Kopke at darrell.kopke@sauder.ubc.ca

Education and Mentorship

Entrepreneurial Explorer

Entrepreneurial Explorer by entrepreneurship@UBC is ideal for graduate students, offering self-directed learning with curated resources based on UBC entrepreneur success stories. These tools help develop an entrepreneurial mindset and guide through starting a business, allowing students to learn at their own pace. Additionally, the program offers mentorship opportunities with advisors for personalized guidance and networking chances with a vibrant UBC entrepreneur community, fostering connections and collaborations with fellow enthusiasts.

 

Networking

Vancouver Startup Week

Vancouver Startup Week (VSW) is an annual seven-day event connecting entrepreneurs, investors, and community leaders within Vancouver's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Organized by the non-profit Vancouver Startup Society and partnered with Techstars, VSW aims to champion and position Vancouver as a leading city for emerging business leaders. For graduate students interested in entrepreneurship, VSW offers a platform for learning and networking. They can learn from local success stories, participate in educational events like panel discussions and workshops, network with established entrepreneurs and investors, and explore the support ecosystem showcasing resources for startups.

 

Key Dates: Mark your calendars for Vancouver Startup Week 2024, taking place from May 31 to June 7.

 

UBC Startup Clubs

The UBC Startup Clubs focuses on fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among students, offering an inclusive environment for those with diverse academic backgrounds to network and share resources. The club organizes events like "Female Founder Spotlight" and "Founders Spotlight: AI/SaaS," connecting students with successful entrepreneurs in AI and SaaS fields. These events encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration and broaden entrepreneurial possibilities. Keynote speakers and industry professionals are often invited, providing graduate students with valuable networking opportunities and potential employment connections. This makes the club an ideal platform for graduate students looking to explore entrepreneurial ventures and seek professional opportunities.

Networking and Education

Vancouver Entreprenuership Forum (VEF)

The Vancouver Entrepreneurs Forum (VEF) is a central platform in technology entrepreneurship, combining online and offline communities. Hosting eight annual events, it covers tech sectors like cleantech, AI, and digital media. Graduate students gain exposure to a variety of tech topics and connect with tech entrepreneurs and professionals. This involvement not only fosters collaboration and knowledge exchange but also presents a valuable opportunity for graduate students to find prospective employers in the tech industry.

 

Key Dates:

  • VEF's event season begins in September and runs until June, with breaks in December and March.

 

Innovation Onboard

Innovation Onboard (IOB) is a student-led initiative launched in 2017, dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and interdisciplinary collaboration among students in science, engineering, and business disciplines. The IOB program spans six months, featuring a series of workshops, lectures, an innovation fair, and a pitch competition with cash prizes. Participants not only gain hands-on experience but also develop leadership skills and organizational acumen that go beyond traditional classroom learning.

 

Key Dates:

  • The IOB program begins in September with workshops and seminars on entrepreneurship.
  • In January, teams showcase their startup ideas at an innovation fair.

 

Eligibility:

  • IOB is open to all UBC students and recent graduates.

 

Questions?