News

2014 Winter Accelerator Program

Published on Friday, November 22, 2013

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When: 8 weeks from Jan 31 to Mar 14
(meeting 4 hours on each of Fri Jan 31, Fri Feb 7, Fri Feb 14, Fri Feb 28 and Fri Mar 14)

Who: new venture teams
(selected from e@UBC-registered teams who have submitted a complete application)

Important Dates:

  • Jan 8 at 12:30-1:30pm or 4-5pm – Open House:  Attend an Open House event at the Michael Smith Laboratory (Multipurpose Room, 2185 East Mall) to learn more about the Accelerator Program. Presented by Paul Cubbon, Sauder School of Business program instructor and mentor, who has taught LLP methodology in this and other programs.
  • Jan 13 at 5pm:  Deadline for submission of online applications.
  • Jan 16 – Team Presentations / Interviews:  Up to 10 teams will be shortlisted for 10-minute presentations/interviews with the e@UBC executive.  All team members must attend the presentation/interview.
  • Jan 22 - Teams Notified of Acceptance into the Cohort:  Teams will be notified by email of their acceptance into the cohort. Terms of engagement will be included.
  • Jan 31 from 8am-12pm -  First LLP Accelerator Program Session.

The Accelerator Program:

This program provides real world, hands-on learning about validating a business opportunity using Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad process.  Through 5 biweekly sessions, and 20-30 hours’ investment of your own time in between, you and your team members will use the concept of the business model canvas to develop a business model and test your hypotheses.  You’ll conduct 50-100 interviews in your industry ecosystem, pursuing the customer discovery and validation process.  You’ll develop an expansive network of valuable contacts in your industry.

Each session you’ll come together with the other teams in your cohort and the mentor panel in a “flipped classroom” setting; you and your colleagues will present the evolution of your business model, and our seasoned mentor panel will challenge your assumptions and findings throughout the process. Start-up concepts will be presented and discussed to accentuate your learning.  Between sessions, you and your team will be getting “out of the building” and interviewing potential customers, competitors and partners, developing a validated business model that you, and more importantly, potential customers and investors believe in.

Participation has no financial cost.  We require a significant investment of time and commitment.

Expectations:

This is not a theory or textbook course, and there are no marks for how smart you are. The Accelerator Program is about engagement: engaging with your industry ecosystem, your peers in your cohort, and your mentors. Past experience tells us that you and your team will spend 20-30 hours per week between seminars conducting 20-30+ interviews as you progress through business hypothesis testing and customer discovery, mapping out the web of relationships in your industry ecosystem.

We expect your entire team to attend every seminar. If team members are unable to attend a session, your team will be asked to leave the program.    

During the seminar session you’ll succinctly present your discoveries and your evolving business model canvas to the cohort and mentor panel. The mentor panel will challenge you, and we expect you to challenge each other and the panel alike. You may find the environment abrupt and confronting;  however, start-up companies operate in an abrupt, fast-paced, and chaotic environment and the Accelerator Program emulates this.

Eligibility:

A cohort of up to 10 teams will be selected to participate. Each team consists of 2-5 people, including at least 1 member of the UBC community (faculty, staff, student, recent alum), who have registered a venture idea with e@UBC. If you haven’t already, please register your venture and see instructions below to apply for the Accelerator Program.

To Apply:

Applications consist of a completed Application PowerPoint slide deck (download template here) uploaded with our online application form.

Access the application form and upload your slide deck by clicking here.  Please only upload your completed Powerpoint slide deck.

Useful background for preparing application slide deck:

What is Lean LaunchPad?:

Lean LaunchPad combines start-up methods and techniques developed by a number of entrepreneur thought leaders and popularized by Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur. The Lean LaunchPad process provides would-be company founders the tools to identify, validate and substantiate new business opportunities. e@UBC has incorporated the teachings of Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad program into the Accelerator Program.