Media Release | Aug. 18, 2011

entrepreneurship@UBC Seed Accelerator fund to help launch UBC startups

Startups from the University of British Columbia community can now apply for investments of up to $100,000 to support their new venture thanks to the entrepreneurship@UBC Seed Accelerator fund.

A unique partnership between the B.C. Innovation Council (BCIC), the University, and UBC alumni, the Seed Accelerator is a venture fund owned and operated by UBC for the purpose of investing in the next generation of entrepreneurs.  Capitalized with donations from alumni along with matching contributions from BCIC, the purpose of the Seed Accelerator fund is to provide UBC students, faculty, staff and recent alumni (graduated within the last three years) with much needed early-stage capital in order to set their new companies up for the greatest chance of success.

“The Seed Accelerator fund is a key component of our entrepreneurship@UBC initiative, and we are looking forward to making our first round of investments this fall,” says Carol Leacy, Program Director for entrepreneurship@UBC. “UBC has a thriving entrepreneurial spirit, and with this fund we are very fortunate to be able help move forward some of the most exciting new ventures originating from the UBC community.”

“BCIC is committed to developing entrepreneurial talent and the commercialization of technology in BC,” says Mark Payne, Acting CEO of BCIC.  “We are taking an active role to work with BC’s post-secondary institutions to create initiatives like the entrepreneurship@UBC Seed Accelerator fund, which will help increase the success of startups and strengthen BC’s economic development.”

The first round of investments is taking place on a competitive basis, with applications due by September 9th.  Up to five shortlisted companies will pitch their business ideas to an investment panel comprised of some of BC’s most successful entrepreneurs and UBC alumni, including Haig Farris, a pioneer in the Canadian Venture Capital industry. In addition to a cash prize, the shortlisted companies may also receive investment offers from entrepreneurship@UBC ranging from $25,000 to $100,000.  Successful companies will be announced on October 19.

“Support for knowledge transfer and product development pays off in healthy new companies that create jobs and expand our innovation economy,” says Moira Stilwell, Parliamentary Secretary for Industry, Research and Innovation to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. “BCIC’s partnership with UBC will give the university’s most promising startups cash on the nail when they need it most – and I look forward to seeing these small businesses succeed as a result.”

About entrepreneurship@UBC

entrepreneurship@UBC is a campus wide initiative led by the Sauder School of Business, the Faculty of Applied Science, the Faculty of Science and the University Industry Liaison Office. Supporting entrepreneurship in its many forms at UBC, the program provides access to resources, learning, mentorship, capital and space for students, faculty, staff and recent alumni.

About BCIC

BCIC develops entrepreneurial talent and commercializes technology through startup companies and partnerships between industry and academia. BCIC focuses on competitively positioning British Columbia in today’s global knowledge economy in order to provide significant employment opportunities and a high standard of living for British Columbians. For more information about BCIC, visit


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Carol Leacy
Cell: 778.998.7998

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Tel: 604.602.5251

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