Online via Zoom

Have an idea for a start-up company based on your research in the physical sciences?

Innovation UBC is proud to launch the second edition of its venture idea competition and education sessions, which will be hosted entirely online via Zoom. 

We encourage UBC researchers with an idea for a start-up based on their UBC research in the physical sciences to enter. Ideas are welcome from a wide range of areas including transportation, energy, food and agriculture, advanced materials, artificial intelligence and many more. Ideas may focus on offering solutions to key societal or economic challenges, such as innovations aimed at addressing digital security, the post-COVID economy and climate change. 

Find out more about the competition and our education sessions below.

Register now for the competition and/or education sessions

Why enter?

  • Learn about a wide range of venture-creation topics through our series of education sessions
  • Win cash prizes and professional business services including legal services and patenting
  • Leverage the joint expertise and resources of Innovation UBC's University Industry Liaison Office (UILO), entrepreneurship @UBC (e @UBC), Innovation Partnerships and Knowledge Exchange Unit
  • Build your network and connections through our pitch competition and reception

"Taking part in the competition was a really great experience for us. We learned a lot from the workshops and appreciated being able to get feedback from experts about the commercialization process,” said Carter MacDonald, a member of the first place team CHIMERA from the previous edition of the Innovation UBC Start-up Idea Competition “The transition to online was handled really smoothly, and the pitch event was a fantastic opportunity to present to the judges and live audience. We are excited to take CHIMERA forward and are planning our next steps towards commercialization." 

Who can enter?

Teams must have at least one member whose UBC research is the basis for the team's start-up idea. This member can be a UBC graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, research associate or faculty member.

The competition ideas should be at a stage that is pre-incorporation of a company and must be based on research in the physical sciences.

Please note, if you have completed Phase 2 or later of the e @UBC incubator program you are not eligible to enter this competition.

How do you enter?

  • Register your interest through our brief registration form
  • Competition entrants are expected to attend all of our online education sessions (sessions begin on Wednesday September 23, 2020)
  • Learn more about the start-up process at education sessions leading up to the business plan submission deadline. Sessions will be led by Innovation UBC experts on the following topics (all sessions run from noon -1pm):
    • Sept 23: Introduction to Innovation Pathways
    • Sept 30: Introduction to Intellectual Property
    • Oct 7: Introduction to the Value Proposition
    • Oct 14: Introduction to Competition and Market Analysis
    • Oct 21: Introduction to Funding and Grants
    • Oct 28: Introduction to Knowledge Exchange
    • Nov 4: Pitching 101 for Start-up Companies 
  • Submit your new venture idea

Teams will be asked to provide the following information at the submission stage:

  • a description of the problem that your innovation addresses and who experiences the problem
  • a non-confidential summary of the technology and product
  • the value proposition for your innovation; a description of the market for the product; a summary of the competitive landscape; and details on the team composition.

Online applications will be submitted via the New Venture Idea application webpage. This application page will open in the final week of October, with submissions due in the first week of November. 

Submissions will be reviewed by  Innovation UBC, with the best ideas progressing to an online pitch competition with a panel including industry experts on Thursday, December 3. The pitches will be followed by an online networking event and the announcement of the winners. 

What can you win?

First place

$1,500 cash prize, start-up services through entrepreneurship @UBC and provisional patent services through UILO

Second place

$1,000 cash prize, start-up services through entrepreneurship @UBC and provisional patent services through UILO

Third place

$500 cash prize, start-up services through entrepreneurship @UBC and provisional patent services through UILO

How will the competition be judged?

Following an assessment of your written submission, select applicants will be invited to present at the online pitch competition on Thursday December 3 in front of a panel including industry experts. 


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