This week-long event will cross 3 tracks of content and  includes keynote speakers, insightful panels, roundtable discussions and interactive “Ask me Anything” (AMA) sessions. Learn more about the tracks.

Faculty Spotlights: entrepreneurship@UBC encourages innovation to thrive at the University of British Columbia through interdisciplinary collaborations inspiring intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial leadership across departments, faculties, schools and initiatives. As part of this year’s EIW program we are highlighting the different ways in which researchers and faculty leaders across UBC are generating meaningful impacts, not solely focused on venture creation. Join us for these brief, but engaging sessions featuring: RESEAU Centre for Mobilizing Innovation (affiliated with the Faculty of Applied Science), School of Biomedical Engineering, the Faculty of Arts and others!

Roundtable Lunches: Join the entrepreneurship@UBC Venture Studio community in our special EIW Roundtable Lunch sessions! Designed for ventures and mentors a part of our program, these sessions will share the latest coming out of our Human Health Venture, Climate Venture and Social Venture Studios, introducing you to our newly minted Studio leads and tapping into our wider venture community. RSVP for each session as they appear on our Agenda page after you’ve registered for the event on Eventbrite.

By registering for the event, you will have access to each session throughout the week. 

Our agenda is being updated in real time: keep checking back for more updates as events are added throughout August and September!

DAY  1

September 27, 2021


9:30 - 10:00 am

10:00 - 10:45 am

11:15 - 12:00 pm

12:00 - 1:00 pm

1:00 - 1:35 pm

1:40 -  2:30 pm

3:00 - 4:00 pm

Opening Remarks with entrepreneurship@UBC's Managing Director, Kari LaMotte and UBC President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Santa Ono.

Fireside Chat with Nicholas Donofrio, former head of IBM Innovation and champion of diversity, hosted by Dr. Shannon Bard.

Nick Donofrio’s many years with IBM not only left a legacy for how the company continues to thrive and lead in cutting edge technologies, but he continues to impact entrepreneurs and business leaders in helping them stay ahead of the curve. In this session Nick will share his insights on how to make space for continuous innovation in early-stage venture building, the power of networks of influence and playing the long-game for exponential growth.

Track 1

Track 1

Panel: Accessibility in Design with Alwar Pillai, CEO & Co-Founder, Fable, Robyn Sussel, Consultant, Strategy & Creative for Health & Research Faculty, Centre for Digital Media, Simon Fraser University, and Brad McCannell, VP Access and Inclusion, Rick Hansen Foundation, moderated by Kathleen Reid, Founder and Managing Director, Switchboard PR.  

When we are designing products, services or even campaigns for our customers and communities, how do we think about the diversity and dynamic populations we serve? Designing for inclusivity should be a way of practicing business, rather than an accommodation after the fact. The optimal time to think about accessibility in design is at the earliest stage of an idea,  at early market validation, and at the team hiring stages. In this session you will hear from entrepreneurs and industry experts on some of the approaches they have taken in designing for accessibility.

Roundtable Lunch: Human Health Venture Studio led by Jonathan Jafari.

 Designed for ventures and mentors a part of our program, these sessions will share the latest coming out of our Human Health Venture Studio, introducing you to our newly minted Studio lead and tapping into our wider venture community.


Register for EIW on Eventbrite and confirm your attendance for this session by filling out the form below.

Track 2

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Madjid Mohseni, Professor, Chemical & Biological Engineering & Scientific Director, RESEAU Centre for Mobilizing Innovation.
Professor Madjid Mohseni and his research team worked with Indigenous Communities to solve a severe water access issue. Learn how their collaborative approach to working with the remote community of the Lhoosk’uz Dene First Nation has now led to clean, sustainable drinking water.

Track 3

Workshop: Human interactions that spark curiosity can inspire new methodologies for how we share  stories with Dr. George Belliveau, Tetsuro  Shigematsu, and Chris Cook  of UBC's Research-based Theatre Cluster.

Exploring the intersections of data, the process of collaboration and engaging communities takes an arts-based approach in this workshop. Join us for this interactive, creative Research-based Theatre (RbT) experience, and grow your change-making skills! 

Dr. George Belliveau's work through the UBC Research-based Theatre Cluster will be featured, highlighting some of the material he and his team delivered to support RESEAU Centre for Mobilizing Innovations as well as other community-university partners. 

Register for EIW on Eventbrite and confirm your attendance for this session by filling out the form below.

Track 3

Panel: Unconscious Bias: Building your Employee Brand with Jason Robertson, VP Investments, Nimbus Synergies, Zack Eberwein, Co-Founder and CEO, Stoko, Jessica Verhagen, CEO, Hydra Energy moderated by Izzie Egan, Founder and CEO of BLANKSLATE Partners.

Ensuring that equity, diversity and inclusion are at the very heart of your company building strategy comes with honest challenges. Your company culture isn't just what goes on inside your organization, it is also about public perception - how potential hires and customers see you. Your "employee brand" is the way in which you communicate your mission, vision and values - or your brand promise. In this session you will hear from entrepreneurs about some of the hurdles and approaches for developing a strong "employee brand" and why it matters.

This session is presented by BLANKSLATE Partners.

DAY  2

September 28, 2021


12:00 - 1:00

1:05 - 2:00 pm

2:05 - 3:00 pm

3:05 - 4:00 pm

4:10 - 4:50 pm

Roundtable Lunch: Climate Venture Studio led by Dr. Shannon Bard with Stephen Wilson of Foresight and Binoy Mascarenhas of  UBC Sustainability Initiative 

 Designed for ventures and mentors a part of our program, this session will share the latest coming out of our Climate Venture Studio, introducing you to our Studio lead and tapping into our wider venture community. 

Register for EIW on Eventbrite and confirm your attendance for this session by filling out the form below.

Track 1

Fireside Chat with Frans Johansson, CEO and Founder of The Medici Group and author of The Medici Effect,  hosted by Dr. Shannon Bard

Thought leader, author and CEO of The Medici Group, Frans Johansson, will share his insights into how we can tune our mindset to action, in order to take on solving the world’s more complex problems. What role can higher education play in cultivating creative interdisciplinary collaborations, and how do we address the inevitable weak spots that get in the way of transformational thinking? Frans’ work has become foundational for how to build strong cultures of innovation that are diverse, inclusive and equitable.

Track 1

Panel: Climate Innovators with  Robert Niven, Founder, CEO & Chair, CarbonCure Technologies, Sabina Russell, Co-founder and Principal, Zen Clean Energy Solutions,  Dr. Greg Dipple, UBC Prof & Co-Founder Carbin Minerals moderated  by William Johnson, Founder & Editor, Vancouver Tech Journal.

The urgency of the climate crisis is an imminent call to action that now more than ever requires entrepreneurs, government and industry leaders to find new ways of collaborating and executing on key initiatives. The complexities of company building, getting research to impact and paving the way for the next generation of climate solutions requires innovative strategies and low barriers to market entry. In this session you will hear from industry leaders about the work they are doing on ground-breaking solutions, new business models and public sector strategies.

Track 3

Workshop: “Marketing Your Side Hustle” with Meena Sandhu, SVP Growth for Beanworks and Mona Elesseily, VP Online Marketing with Page Zero.

This highly engaging and interactive session will feature two of Canada’s best marketing mavens: Meena Sandhu, SVP Growth for Beanworks (recently acquired by Quadient) & Mona Elesseily, VP Online Marketing with Page Zero. Both Meena and Mona are seasoned marketing experts and mentors, who have scaled customer growth from local to global. They have the tips and tricks to help get the traction you need for your side hustle!

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Mary Lynn Young, Professor, School of Journalism, Writing, and Media, UBC

For many academic journeys, the opportunity to discover and innovate isn't always at the forefront. The interdisciplinary approach that is deeply embedded in the DNA of UBC has fostered collaborations that connect entrepreneurial thinking to traditional fields. In this Faculty Spotlight, you will hear from 3 students are driving media innovation, carving out new career opportunities and changing how we think about the future of journalism through a graduate course called Imagine Journalism Studio, offered by the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media.


Track 2

DAY  3

September 29, 2021


8:45 - 9:30 am

10:00 - 11:00 am

11:15 - 11:50 am

12:00 - 1:00 pm

1:15 - 2:15 pm

3:00 - 3:45 pm

Panel: Careers in Cybersecurity: A Day in the Life with Trish Villanueva, Global Head of Cybersecurity Operations, Scotiabank, Chad Marson, Global Head of Risk Advisory Services, Scotiabank and Rekha Patel, Director, Security Governance within Information Security & Control, Scotiabank, moderated by Steve Thompson, Director, Cybersecurity Awareness, Training, and Communications, Scotiabank. 

Ever wondered what a career in cyber-security would entail? Or what experts in this field do day-to-day to keep us safe? Whether you are just starting up your venture or want to ensure you have the best protection in place for your customers' data, this session brings together a well-rounded group of experts in the field of cybersecurity who will share their insights on awareness, governance, risk and the technical aspects of this very complex field. Join us for an AMA style discussion!

Track 1

Track 2

Panel: Bridging Perspectives: A conversation about our ethical obligations for how we can take a values-based approach to innovation with Joel Bakan, UBC Professor, Author and Filmmaker, Vidya Crawley, CEO Groundswell Alternative Business School and UBC PhD students Matthew Smithdeal and Lily Ivanova, moderated by Dr. Letitia Henville, Project Lead, Arts Amplifier 
Coordinator, Graduate Programs, Arts Co-operative Education Program.

In order for us to move meaningful ideas to impact, we must consider a range of perspectives, out-of-the-box thinking and human-centred approaches embedded in equity, diversity and inclusion. How might we reconcile the different frameworks our ideas and experiences are rooted in? What can academics who want to shape the world around them take from entrepreneurial approaches?

In this session, UBC PhD students Matthew Smithdeal and Lily Ivanova, participants in the Arts Amplifier’s “Amplify Your Product or Service,” will share their insights on how they have applied entrepreneurial thinking to academic opportunities. Joel Bakan, UBC Professor, Author and Filmmaker will contribute his learnings on the pitfalls of a capitalist system that conflates purpose and profit. Vidya Crawley, CEO & Lead Educator at Groundswell Alternative Business School, will share from their experience subverting ‘business as usual’ with ways of working that are rooted in relational principles, social emotional learning, and strengths-based approaches.

Track 2

Faculty Spotlight Dr. Peter Zandstra, Director, School of BME & Michael Smith Labs, UBC; CSO-CCRM; Founder and CSO Notch Therapeutics
Dr. Peter Zandstra is the Founding Director of the School of Biomedical Engineering, and the Director of the Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC. He is building programs that apply technological innovation to biology and help to educate the next generation of biotechnology leaders. In addition to his academic roles, Dr. Zandstra has been involved in founding a number of biotechnology companies, including ExCellThera and Notch Therapeutics.

Roundtable Lunch: Meet & Greet with e@UBC's Marketing Team!

 Designed for ventures and mentors a part of our program, this session will  introduce you to e@UBC's Marketing Team to learn how we can help support you on your venture building journeys. 

Register for EIW on Eventbrite and confirm your attendance for this session by filling out the form below.

Track 2

Panel: Human Heath – AI & Machine Learning in Healthcare from Research to Investment with  Dr. Evgueni Loukipoudis, CTO, Digital Technology Supercluster, Dr. Nina Vellani, Director, Founder and President at NELSA Investments (VCC) Inc; Director, Treasurer and Founder at Natalus Life Sciences Capital LTD and Dr. Maryam  Sadeghi, Founder & CEO, MetaOptima moderated by  Jonathan Jafari, Lead of the Human Health Venture Studio, entrepreneurship@UBC.

AI and Machine learning are transforming precision healthcare and drug discovery. This panel will discuss how AI is helping to improve diagnosis, treatment, discovery and how it is being implemented into new healthcare related applications. We will also discuss how funders and investors are creating new collaborative frameworks in order to develop and evaluate scientific and commercial opportunities.

Track 2

Fireside Chat with Dr. Pieter Cullis, hosted by Dr. Gail Murphy

Pathways to innovation: from the lab to building successful startups, what insights can we learn from researchers who chose the journey of entrepreneurship to solve some of the world's most pressing issues. Dr. Cullis’ long history of invention and entrepreneurship has had him at the forefront of leading companies such as Acuitas, the Centre for Drug Research and Development (now AdMare), NanoMedicines Innovation Network, all while serving as a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of British Columbia. Most recently Dr. Cullis was recognized for his leadership in the delivery mechanism for the mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna. Join us for the insightful discussion on strategies and tactics of taking innovation from lab to market.

Track 3

4:00 - 4:45 pm

Panel: How to get started with us featuring Dolma Tsundu, CEO and Founder of Flutter Care, Kevin Lee, Co-founder and CEO of Immisearch and Nida Bilal, CEO of Biba Cancer Research Foundation moderated by Fraser Pogue, Venture Activator, entrepreneurship@UBC

Ever wonder what might happen if your revolutionary idea were to take flight? While there are many paths for bringing ideas to impact, entrepreneurship provides the opportunity to have a global impact on the millions of people who have the problem you are trying to solve. Entrepreneurship@UBC is rooted in the rich bedrock of research and innovation within the University of British Columbia.  We convene a pathway for UBC entrepreneurs to build ventures that go on to drive economic, environmental and social solutions for some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Entrepreneurship is rigorous, requiring grit and determination, but every journey is different. In this session you will hear from some of e@UBC’s early stage ventures and how they kicked off their entrepreneurial passions.

DAY  4

September 30, 2021 
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation


entrepreneurship@UBC Immersion Week 2021 is paused on September 30th, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, to acknowledge and reflect on Canada’s treatment of Indigenous peoples across our history. We encourage all members of the community to honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, whether through personal reflection, education and awareness activities, or by participating in Orange Shirt Day or other events within your communities.


Learn more.

DAY  5

October 1, 2021

8:45 - 9:45 am

10:00 - 10:45 am

11:15 - 11:50 am

12:00 - 1:00 pm

1:00 - 2:00 pm

3:00 - 4:00 pm

Track 3

Fireside Chat with Graham Lee, entrepreneur, UBC Alumni, major gift donor of The Graham Lee Innovation Centre, hosted by Angie Schick, Executive Director, New Ventures BC. 

Dreamers and Doers: When you have the drive and grit to make things happen, what are the steps you need to take to bring your idea to impact? Serial entrepreneur Graham Lee will share his insights on his entrepreneurial journey, how he approached getting new ideas to market, lessons he learned on raising capital and how resilience and adaptability are lifelong commitments.

Thanks to the generous contribution of UBC alumnus and entrepreneur Graham S. Lee (BCom 1987), CEO, GSL Holdings, entrepreneurship@UBC has a dedicated space for UBC ventures and companies to network, collaborate and develop as entrepreneurs. The Graham Lee Innovation Centre is a hub for the university’s core innovation and entrepreneurship activities.

Track 3

Panel: While many recent female-(co)led ventures are reaching unicorn status, are we actually breaking the glass ceiling for women in tech? With Miranda Lievers, COO and Co-founder of Thinkific, Michelle McBane, Managing Director, StandUp Ventures, and Anna Sainsbury, Chairman and Founder, GeoComply, moderated by Meagan Simpson, Associate Editor, BetaKit.
Does the very concept of the mythical unicorn only reinforce stereotypes and systemic barriers? What more can we be doing to accelerate the pace of closing the gender gap, while also addressing our other weak spots along the way? In this session, you will hear from women who are setting the pace as founders and funders, as they work to change the landscape that has defined entrepreneurial success in Canada to date.

Track 2

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Rickey Yada, Professor and Academic Dean, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, UBC, Dr. Anubhav Pratap-Singh, BC Endowed Professor in Food and Beverage Innovation, UBC and Dr. Timothy Durance, Professor Emeritus, Food Science, UBC.

What has COVID taught us about the importance of food security, technologies to ensure healthy, sustainable supply chains, through to food systems that are predictable and can ensure all of our communities have access to food. In this session you will hear from researchers and innovators who have worked in collaboration with the UBC's Faculty of Land & Food Systems.

Roundtable Lunch: Social Venture Studio led by Angela Hamilton with Ayissi Nyemba, Founder and CEO of Emkao Foods,  Gordon Casey, Founder of Brave Coop and David Vertesi, Co-Founder & Former Executive Director of Vancouver Mural Festival.

 Designed for ventures and mentors a part of our program, this session will share the latest coming out of our Social Venture Studio, introducing you to our newly minted Studio lead and tapping into our wider venture community. 

Register for EIW on Eventbrite and confirm your attendance for this session by filling out this form below.

Panel: "Splitting the Equity Pie" with Morgan McDonald, Counsel, Startups, Emerging Companies and Technology at  DLA Piper, Thealzel Lee, Founder, Director and President at eFund (VANTEC Entrepreneurs Fund VCC Inc),  Tamer Mohamed, Co-Founder and CEO, Aspect Biosystems and Paul Cyr,  Technology Transfer Manager, University-Industry Liaison Office, UBC, moderated by Dr. Sean Lumb, Associate Director, Lab2Launch, entrepreneurship@ubc.

Equity allocation presents interesting challenges for startups. Done well, this can even be an opportunity to build a foundation that supports sustainable growth and investor confidence. This is especially true for university spin-outs and research based ventures. This session will cover some of the fundamentals of what you need to know, which advisors you need to work with, and how you can ensure that the equity split and set-up will propel your business and your team towards success.

Track 3

Track 3

Panel: Balancing school while building your business with Artem Bocharov of BarrelWise, Arnav Mishra of DYNE and Christina Morrow of Wicked Rose, moderated by Pranav Menon, Venture Associate, e@UBC.

Venture building can be an all consuming whirlwind, requiring a lot of time and energy to move your ideas to impact. How do you find balance between being a founder while also still in school? What are the best ways to manage both roles while finding intersections between building your venture and academic resume? Join us for a fun and engaging discussion with our panel of #UBCentrepreneurs who have done, and are doing, just that! Hear their journeys as student founders, from undergrad to MBA, and how they've developed their business while still in school.

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