Technology Entrepreneurship@SFU: An Innovate BC Program

About  |  Requirements  |  Provided Resources  |  Apply  |  Meet the Team  |  Alumni  |  History  |  Contact

Tired of books and lectures and want to dig into building real products and solutions?

In this transformative program you get access to expertise, funding, resources, expert training and exclusive networks! Tech E @ SFU can help you create your own opportunities or make you invaluable to top employers!

We invite you to apply to Tech e@SFU: Where students who want to build real things and real impact take their education to the next level!  The next cohort begins workshops in at the end of the in Summer 2020 and classes in Spring 2021.

 

This year's focus: 

Health Technology and Environmentally Sustainable Innovation

 

Tech E @ SFU is open to students from all faculties

This year Tech e@SFU will focus on bringing in inspriration in two critically important areas: Health Technology and Environmentally Sustainable Innovation. Experts from these fields are being invited to be resources to student entrepreneurs and to help you explore the areas in which you most want to make impact!

High impact entrepreneurship happens when inspired ideas and strong teams are supercharged with hands-on training, mentorship, resources and funding, and what makes those teams strong is complementary knowledge and talent. The Beedie School of Business and Mechatronic Systems Engineering (MSE) from the Faculty of Applied Sciences have come together, opened the program up to all different faculties and created Technology Entrepreneurship @ SFU.

 

Through the tech e@sfu program, third and fourth year Mechatronics , Business and interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship Certificate students are brought together to develop a market-inspired and solution-driven technological product and coached by experts through the process of taking their solution from class to market to impact! 

Tech e@SFU is also open to students from all faculties who are registered in the Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and will be ready to take the two entrepreneurship capstones (BUS 477 & BUS 406) with the rest of their cohort.

Applications for the 2020-2021 Cohort are now OPEN! Spaces are limited, so apply soon!

Program Requirements

 

Tech e@sfu program is a four semester program

Students from across faculties bring their diverse skills and passions together toward a common, meaningful goal: a solution-driven product and venture that address a challenge that is meaningful to them (it's up to you!).

Previous teams have worked on everything from stand-alone energy, health devices, solutions for healthy aging, technology for education and more!

 

Phase 1 (Spring & Summer 2020): Application

  • First come, first served while spots last. We're looking for entrepreneneurial ambition, desire to make an impact and curiosity, not neccessarily high GPAs...within reason.


Phase 2 (Late Summer-Fall 2020): Setting yourself up for success (events, no classes yet)

  • Ensure all prerequisites are met
  • Take "cross over" course (learning to speak each other's language): Bus238 Intro to E&I (MSE students)/MSE111 MSE for non-engineers (non-MSE). 
  • Team, Skill and Community building events (3-4, evenings or weekends) plus optional field trips and external events
  • Students self-organize into Teams

 

Phase 3 (Spring and Summer 2021): Capstone courses - Build your plan, build your solution, build your own experience

  • Spring 2021 BUS and I&E Certificate students take BUS 477 Startup Experience and BUS 404*(1) Tech Entrepreneurship I 
  • Summer 2021 BUS and I&E Certificate Students take 406 Startup Accelerator and BUS 405* Tech Entrepreneurship II*
  • Spring 2021 MSE students take MSE 410 Capstone I and MSE 403 Tech Entrepreneurship I*
  • Summer 2021 MSE students take MSE 411 Capstone II and MSE 404 Tech Entrepreneurship II*

*Please note these are 1 credit "glue" courses where all students come together once a week with the teaching team for additional experts, coaching mentorship and access to funding.

Most of these credits also count toward the Charles Chang Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

What happens after Phase 3? Totally up to you!  There are opportunities to get paid to work on your own ventures through entrepreneurship co-op (eCoop). Start your own business through onto SFU's very own incubator: Coast Capital Saving's Venture Connection, graduate or get employed by an amazing innovative organization - you're ready for anything! 

Provided Resources

Students in tech e@sfu gain access to a wealth of resources to help them commercialize new products.

Product Design Studio

The Product Design Studio is a facility where students will meet to network, brainstorm, design, and learn to launch their new and innovative products. The studio will have meeting and working areas, computer and AV facilities, CAD software, a rapid prototype machine and other equipment. Students will have access to state-of-the-art machining and prototyping facilities, including a 3D printer to produce functional prototypes of their designs.

Mentoring

Mentoring and access to networks is critical to new entrepreneurs and anyone trying to excel in their field, and this initiative provides expert leadership and guidance. Teams will have access to experienced business mentors not available in traditional class settings. These mentors will provide support to project teams with business-specific experiences to help the student entrepreneurs to establish direction with their projects.

Cash

Each successful candidate to the tech e@sfu program receives a monetary award to assist with their venture expenses. At critical stages in the program, the student teams will also have the opportunity to pitch for feedback and additional funding, based on their business and technological progress and potential.

Click here to go to the application form!

Key Dates

2020 - 2021 Cohort

  • Applications now open!
  • Team Building Event #1: Getting to know you (and the program) - TBA
  • Team Building Event #2: Founder Speed Dating & Previous Cohort Final Presenations - TBA
  • Innovation Field Trips:  Fall TBA
  • Team Building Event #3: Interdisciplinary Product Development Simulation -  TBA Fall 
  • Captstones and Incubator Courses Begin: January 2021

 

Meet the Team

Tech e@SFU is run by a pair of dedicated and experienced co-champions from the Beedie School of Business and Mechatronics Systems Engineering. In 2017, the team expanded to included an embedded a serial entrepreneur and mentor, Doug Fast, from SFU's early stage incuabator: Coast Capital Savings' Venture Connection.

 

Dr. Sarah Lubik

Dr. Sarah Lubik is Simon Fraser University (SFU)'s first Director of Entrepreneurship, promoting the power of, and need for, interdisciplinary teams to solve wicked problems. She is a lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Beedie School of Business and a researcher in university entrepreneurships. She is the co-founder and marketing director of a high-tech startup: Lungfish Dive System and has experience coordinating pan-European startup support programs. Sarah has been named one of Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 under 40 and an Innovation Leader by the Government of Canada. Sarah has a PhD from the University of Cambridge in Technology Commercialization.


Dr. Amr Marzouk

Dr. Amr Marzouk is a certified professional engineer in BC, and an experienced lecturer at Mechatronics Systems Engineering (MSE). Driven by the desire to make things that help people, he is skilled in embedded systems, instrumentation, industrial automation, control system design and digital signal processing. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Simon Fraser University in Nonlinear Dynamics of Inertial Sensors.

Doug Fast

Doug Fast is dedicated to sharing his experience with young entrepreneurs and helping them build successful companies. He has experience bending metal, writing code, building boards, and optimizing manufacturing.   He also knows first-hand what happens when you let the magic smoke out of a component on the lab bench. Doug is a Mentor-in-Residence at SFU, the Founder and CEO of Dark Water Tek, a consultancy that provides guidance to clients in product commercialization – particularly products that incorporate hardware as a key element, and has held senior leadership roles at a number of companies, including one that scaled to hundreds of employees and $100+ million in revenue.

Program Alumni  2014 - Current

2018-2019 Cohort

Moment Energy strives to provide greater access to renewable and reliable energy storage. As creators of battery units that can be used in a variety of applications, they are currently focused on storing energy for offgrid, end of grid customers and plans on powering remote communities in the future.

Excelerate Robotics aims to provide educational tools and resources for educators to teach computing, programming and robotics in a fun and interactive way

Ruby designs products for people experiencing essential tremor or cognitive impairments. The team’s first device is an easy-to-program remote control that eliminates complicated buttons and commands to make it easier to watch television

Pine created an online shopping platform to promote environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and awareness

2017 - 2018 Cohort

Gomi Technologie exists to offer convenient and innovative solutions to reduce food waste through a convenient app and hardware solution that keeps track of the food in your fridge to prevent over-buying and offers solutions to use up food already in the fridge

Novion Technologies is developing a smart water monitoring system to allow users insight into their current water use in order to help users reduce water consumption and contribute to global sustainability goals

Eyeth Technologies is developing an unobtrusive wearable that can recognize sign language gestures and convert it to spoken text to allow for more natural, nearly real-time conversation between those who speak with sign language and those who do not.

Altus Innovation is designing beginner friendly 3D modelling software to inspire and prepare the next generation of secondary school students for STEM careers. Altus Innovation streamlines the process from 3D design to 3D print, making it easy for teachers to teach and students to learn

2016 - 2017 Cohort

Bluehive Technologies is developing an installation-free battery system for residential use that allows users to reduce their electricity bills in areas with fluctuating electricity costs by smartly managing battery usage, and provides automatic backup power for ease-of-mind during outages and emergencies.

Locus is a retail analytics hardware and software solution that provides managers with consumer behaviour information that augments their current data so that they can optimize product placement, pricing, and store layout.

In the face of a growing world population and the need for more efficient and cost effective methods of food production, Seren Technologies is developing an add-on system for soilless farms to automate the sprout transplanting and crop harvesting process. This allows hydroponic farmers to save money and time by reducing their reliance on manual labour while increasing the efficiency of their farms.

Zennea is a socially driven medical technology company making improved Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices to make treating obstructive sleep apnea more comfortable and discrete than traditional solutions. Initially driven to find a better sleep apnea solution for our family and friends, we now aim to create and deliver this solution to millions of people suffering from interrupted sleep.

     

2015 - 2016 Cohort

VAMO Tech's Game7™ is hockey's smartest training device. Using a wristband and a net sensor, it provides valuable, ongoing information on your accuracy, power, and release time.   

Brewstr offers a premium, app-enabled automatic brewing system for craft-beer enthusiasts who want to get into home brewing.  The product consists of an automatic brewing system, online platform, and recipe kits.

AVA Technologies is a cost-efficient, drone-enabled by-law enforcement service, providing municipalities the tools they need to keep illegally parked trucks from damaging valuable agricultural land.

Orello Hearing Technologies Inc. offers the only custom fit hearing aid with built in tuning technology, giving people with mild to moderately severe hearing loss an easier and better user experience.

2014 - 2015 Cohort

Cthulights designs and manufactures digital lighting displays that enable commercial and pro-am DJs to create custom light shows that respond to musical changes in real time and enhance their shows.

Triton Systems  develops a novel, app-enabled tank monitoring system for aquarists that provides real-time water monitoring and analysis with systems alerts.  

Epione Technologies creates app enabled medication management devices that combat medication non-adherance for people with complex medication regimes.  

Acceleration Innovations is commercializing Birth Alert: An app enabled device that accurately tracks the contractions of pregnant woman, bringing peace of mind to new parents.

Artemis Technologies is an image and data analytics company using drones to provide more timely and cost effective crop monitoring services to Canadian vineyards.

TechE @SFU: In the News

Program History

About the Program

Technology entrepreneurship@SFU (tech e@SFU) is a high-tech entrepreneurship initiative in partnership with Innovate BC (formerly the BC Innovation Council) Dr. Ken Spencer, Simon Fraser University's (SFU) Faculty of Applied Sciences and the Beedie School of Business intended to develop BC's knowledge-based economy.

Note: Please note that as of 2016, Tech e@SFU is also open to students from all faculties who are registered in the Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and will be ready to take the two entrepreneurship capstones (BUS 477 & BUS 406) with the rest of their cohort.

Ken Spencer's tech e@sfu program is a competitive hands-on, entrepreneurial pathway for third- and fourth-year business, applied science and Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship students that provides the funds, skills, mentorship and resources to move from innovative ideas to successful new products and, hopefully, ventures. Students enrolled in the program will design and prototype of market-driven products and systems and produce a business plan and obtain a lead customer. Tech e@sfu students will receive a monetary award, training and workshops in teamwork, communication, engineering, entrepreneurship and innovation and will have access to mentorship from industry experts. They will also gain access to the new product design studio outfitted with design and prototyping equipment including computer and A/V facilities, advanced design software, a rapid prototyping machine and other equipment to help students launch new, user-centered products. Tech e@sfu students will also have the opportunity compete for significant prototyping funds to turn their ideas into businesses.

About Ken Spencer

Ken Spencer co-founded CREO in 1983. CREO, was the leading manufacturer of computer-to-plate technology in the 1990s, grew to be BC’s largest technology company with over 4000 employees spanning the globe. It was BC's largest high technology company with sales of almost $1 Billion. Ken retired as CEO in 1995, remaining active on CREO’s board through its Nasdaq IPO and until its acquisition by Kodak for over $1 billion in 2005.
 
Ken now spends some of his time mentoring other CEO's and serving on boards. He is Chair of the board of Bycast, is Past Chair of Science World. Previously he has been Chair of the Board of Spectrum Signal Processing Twinstrand Therapeutics and CityXpress and a member of the Board of BCIT and AceTech. He is also chair of UBC's Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Committee, on the Council for UBC's University Liaison Office and on the Dean's Advisory Committee for the Business Faculty at Simon Fraser University.

About Innovate BC

Innovate BC (IBC) develops entrepreneurial talent and commercializes technology. IBC 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.
 
In today’s economic climate, it is increasingly important for British Columbia to be competitively positioned in the global knowledge economy. IBC is developing an ecosystem that increases the number and success rate of technology startups in the province to promote economic development and strengthen BC’s contribution to the Canadian high tech sector. IBC does this by developing programs and providing support for initiatives that develop entrepreneurs and promote the commercialization of technology.
 
IBC is a Crown Agency of the Province of British Columbia.

 

 

Contact Us

Tech e@SFU is supported by a dedicated team of faculty mentors from The School of Mechatronics Systems Engineering and Beedie School of Business that bring together years of industrial and entrepreneurial experience in the technology arena.
 
Interested students are encouraged to send questions to Dr. Amr Marzouk (Mechatronics) and Dr. Sarah Lubik (Beedie)

Supported by