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entrepreneurship@UBC Expands Potential for Commercialization in Life Sciences

Published on Monday, January 19, 2015

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Based on the successes of the GREAT program and sponsored by Genome B.C., the new e@UBC LLP curriculum helps researchers realize the full potential of their projects

Vancouver, BC (January 19, 2015) – entrepreneurship@UBC, a unique program that delivers an unprecedented combination of education, venture creation, and seed funding, today announced a newly updated Life Sciences Lean Launchpad curriculum based on the GREAT program (Genomics Research Entrepreneurship to Accelerate Translation) that assists academics and researchers to capitalize and commercialize their projects into business ventures. The program is taught by instructors from the UBC Sauder School of Business and supported by local mentors with industry specific life sciences experience.

“The GREAT project addresses the unique entrepreneurial challenges associated with genomics research,” said Angus Livingstone, Innovation Catalyst, University of British Columbia. “e@UBC adapted the GREAT program’s core curriculum into a business framework with the goal of helping researchers commercialize their work. Some of our key successes have been developing business ventures in biomarker detection tools, an environmental DNA platform to support the next generation of sustainable fuels and the commercialization of DNA fingerprinting technology in the Canadian forestry industry.”

In collaboration with the Life Sciences Institute, genomics.entrepreneurship@UBC and UBC’s Sauder School of Business, the e@UBC Genomics and Life Sciences Accelerator program introduces researchers to valuable business skills such as conducting customer research and identifying industry trends, so they can realize the full potential of their projects and maximize the academic, financial and social impact of their work.

The e@UBC Accelerator integrates the scientific method for venture creation. New venture teams develop business hypotheses, perform experiments to test these hypotheses, then draw conclusions that either validate or modify their business models. The 5-week program is open to anyone who is exploring new venture opportunities within the life sciences or natural resource sectors.

Companies that have emerged out of recent e@UBC Life Sciences LLPs include:

FREDsense Technologies – FRED stands for Field-Ready Electrochemical Detectors. The company uses biology and engineering to detect chemicals in the water. They use a biosensor with an electrochemical output to create a system that is portable, fast, and unlike anything else in the market.

Andira Medicine - A botanical drug development firm that focuses on pre-clinical and clinical stage research of natural, plant-derived medicines for pain, inflammation, depression, and cancer.

Metamixis – MetaMixis is a collaborative effort that leverages a proprietary environmental DNA platform to support the next generation of sustainable fuels and chemicals.

Tait Laboratories – Tait Laboratories endeavours to identify remedies based on traditional medicine and develop therapeutic solutions by enhancing their chemical and biological profiles using nature-inspired techniques.

BLAST-seq Genomics – The company’s objective is to explore the potential of commercializing the application of DNA fingerprinting technology in the Canadian forestry, aquaculture and agriculture sectors by setting up a genotyping service laboratory in Vancouver.

About entrepreneurship@UBC

entrepreneurship@UBC (e@UBC) is a unique program that delivers an unprecedented combination of education, venture creation, and seed funding to maximize the number of successful ventures coming out of The University of British Columbia. e@UBC’s mission is to “inspire and encourage entrepreneurial thinking to create innovative commercial and social ventures.” The university created the e@UBC program to increase knowledge mobilization within and across all educational disciplines and to advance the impact of research in business and society. For more information, please visit http://entrepreneurship.ubc.ca.