June 1, 2021

Entrepreneurship and innovation on full display at the 2021 Investor Showcase

Investor Showcase Montage of Faces

The Investor Showcase spotlights high-potential, investible ventures currently supported through entrepreneurship@UBC and the HATCH Accelerator to our investor and wider UBC community.

See more photos from the event

We are one week out from the 2021 Investor Showcase presented by HATCH, entrepreneurship@UBC and ICICS and are still reeling with excitement from the energy and impact generated from the event on May 26th!

With 20 ventures pitching across 3 categories ranging from “Ones-to-Watch”, “Ready-to-Raise” and those “Preparing-for-Liftoff”, we maxed out attendance (several times over!) welcoming over 300 individuals across our ecosystem. From investors and funders to industry partners and connectors, our entire community showed up to support and witness our impactful group of entrepreneurs changing the world through entrepreneurship and innovation. The event attracted 100+ investors and funders, creating opportunities for the ventures raising and early-stage investors to connect in real time in private breakout room sessions following “Ready-to-Raise” venture pitches.

The program showcased a range of teams, innovators and key leaders in our ecosystem, with the goal of recognizing and highlighting the incredible game changing innovations coming from the University of British Columbia and faculties like UBC Sauder, Applied Science, Medicine and more. Industries and solutions ranged from healthtech innovations (like ABOzymes, Difinity, and Total Flow Cannula) and robotics (like Sarcomere Dynamics and Neupeak Robotics) to SaaS platforms (like Pocketed) and climate solutions (like Aqua Intelligent, Verdi, Viridis Research and more). The diversity of ideas and innovations represented in our program reflect the diversity of UBC’s own rich landscape, finding solutions to a range of problems plaguing the globe.

We were thrilled to kick off the event with welcoming remarks from entrepreneurship@UBC’s Managing Director, Kari LaMotte and the Director of ICICS, Dr. Rob Rohling. This was followed by a Keynote Panel featuring Jessica Prince of InBC, Nitin Rai of Elevate Capital and Anne Woods of Silicon Valley Bank, moderated by our Managing Director, Kari LaMotte, sharing their thoughts on a range of pressing topics from the future of capital to gap funding in Canada. Read our key takeaways on the panel below.

Thank you to everyone who attended and congratulations to all of the venture teams on one of our most successful events yet!

Are you an investor looking to connect with one of the teams who pitched? Get in touch with our team at communications@entrepreneurship.ubc.ca and we can help facilitate an introduction.

Attendees: Share your thoughts for a chance to win a prize from our venture community valued at $50! Take our survey. Are you an investor/funder? Share your thoughts in our investor/funder survey.

Our top 3 takeaways from the 2021 Investor Showcase Keynote Panel:

We were excited to host Jessica Prince of InBC, Nitin Rai of Elevate Capital and Anne Woods of Silicon Valley Bank in our Keynote Panel to hear their thoughts on the innovation landscape and what the future of capital holds for early-stage entrepreneurs.

On the pandemic’s impact on the funding landscape and what we can expect from the future of capital:

“I think COVID (and this increase in virtual access really) has been a catalyst...there's dry capital, and a lot of capital available...the pipeline coming to us is incredible, from all over the country. So we went from being a Pacific Northwest focused company primarily in Oregon to a national one in six months...I think a lot of barriers have been broken because we're all virtual.”

 Nitin Rai, Elevate Capital

On the role US investors should play here in Canada, and how that affects the Canadian investment scene:

This idea of US capital coming up north of the border swooping in and acquiring companies in BC and moving them down to the Bay Area with the jobs and the IP and the associated economic growth was a really big inspiration behind the creation of InBC... the provincial government invest hundreds of millions of dollars a year into the ecosystem and the sense was that because of this phenomenon, the BC taxpayer wasn't necessarily getting the best return on investment in the ecosystem. So that was (I would say) one of the big motivators behind the creation of InBC.

Jessica Prince, InBC

On increasing representation and diversity in startups and on executive teams:

It is interesting because one of the things we talk a lot about in Canada is how there's an executive talent gap and so we look for people with experience, and unfortunately a lot of those people are men, and so as the company scales and executive talent is brought in, I would say that it's not anywhere near as diverse as it could be. My thoughts on that are we need to be a bit more open minded on where we're looking for that talent. It's really important to broaden that pool because you're just going into a cycle that perpetuates itself.

Anne Woods, Silicon Valley Bank

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entrepreneurship@UBC propels UBC innovations out into the world through venture creation, providing UBC students, researchers, faculty members, alumni and staff with the resources, networks, and funding they need to succeed.

We are a part of Innovation UBC in the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (VPRI) portfolio

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