The 2021 Venture Showcase: the next generation of entrepreneurs taking flight
Check out photos from the event at the base of this feature
Wednesday November 24th marked the 2021 Venture Showcase, and - wow - what a day! Our first in-person event in over two years and it was exceptional for many reasons! Held at UBC Robson Square, we welcomed our UBC and Vancouver innovation ecosystem in person (and online via livestream) to witness the innovation and impact coming from our community of UBC entrepreneurs.
Over the past several years, we’ve seen our community grow and develop into a thriving ecosystem of entrepreneurs and innovators bringing research and discoveries to the forefront of society. Hailing from faculties like Applied Science and Sauder to Forestry and Arts, our founders and venture teams work tirelessly to create solutions to challenges across the globe, from social impact and climate crises, to human health transformations, and advancements through research and innovation. This was on full display November 24th.
Who came out
The event drew a whopping 350+ people out to share in the excitement of the Showcase. We saw UBC students, staff and faculty from faculties like Medicine, Land and Food Systems and Science curious about our community to ecosystem partners, champions and investors eager to see the next big thing! Our entire network was represented, showing up for the teams in support of their entrepreneurial journeys.
We heard from our Managing Director, Kari LaMotte who remarked on the progress our community has made, giving thanks to the ongoing support and encouragement from partners across the university and national landscape including the School of Biomedical Engineering, the Institute of Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS), Innovate BC, Genome BC and more. We heard from ICICS Director and entrepreneur, Professor Rob Rohling, on how entrepreneurship@UBC and ICICS are working to further entrepreneurial opportunities on campus through our partnership in HATCH. We were privileged to have our networking social sponsored by ecosystem champion, Fasken, with opening remarks from Partner Geoff Pedlow detailing the importance of community building and supporting our early stage founders.
The event was MC’d by Michelle Sklar, Entrepreneur in Residence, Head of Venture Growth Strategy and Chang Han, Lead Entrepreneur in Residence, who brought their wit, charm and deep venture building expertise to the front of the stage dazzling our audience near and far.
Who pitched (and won!)
We welcomed 34 ventures across our community to the stage to share their novel solutions they are bringing to market through entrepreneurship. Ventures pitched within three categories: Ones-to-Watch from the incubation phase of entrepreneurship@UBC, Sneak-a-Peek, those who have begun commercializing their innovations, have demonstrated traction and will be looking to fundraise in 2022 and HATCH Ready-to-Raise at the acceleration stage, have market traction and are currently raising, or will be raising, in the Spring of 2022.
Teams included ventures solving critical human health challenges such as Beam AI, Biba Cancer Research Foundation, Flutter Care and ABOzymes. We heard from innovators in retail, logistics and marketplace solutions with Wicked Rose, Shop 4 Da Culture, CargoSprout and New Ventures BC 2021 winners TrafficDriven. Climate ventures including GeoGen Technologies, Viridis Research (winners of Spring’s 2021 Impact Investor Challenge) and Safi Enterprises (aka Takachar, winners of Prince William’s inaugural 1 million pound Earthshot prize and Elon Musk’s $250k USD X Prize) “wowed” us with their exceptional game-changing solutions. Social impact ventures Bee My Guest, Susgrainable, ImmiSearch and EMKAO Foods, inspired us with their culturally - and in several cases, culinarily diverse entrepreneurial pathways.
2021 marked our first-ever People’s Choice Awards recognition at one of our marquee events. Notably Ones-to-Watch team Messen Furniture, Sneak-a-Peek team AIMA and HATCH Ready-to-Raise team Susgrainable won the ‘People’s Choice Awards’ in their respective categories. Congratulations to the teams!
The energy was electric throughout the event with participants remarking on the excitement and opportunity of being back in person once again. We look forward to doing this all again in the Spring for our 2022 Investor Showcase!
2021 has been a fantastic year. Thank you to you, our community, for showing up and being part of it! Learn how to get involved below.
Did you miss the event, but want to connect with our community? Let us know by sending us an email.
Are you an aspiring entrepreneur with a business venture ready to take flight? Applications are open for our Spring 2022 CORE and Lab2Launch Venture Founder cohorts! Learn more on our website and apply by January 28th, 2022.
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