Year In Review 2023

Comprehensive Support

The Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship supported entrepreneurship and innovation across all eight of Simon Fraser University’s faculties.  Through education, mentorship, workshops, events, and networking, the Chang Institute found ways to support the unique needs and skills of innovation talent throughout SFU’s communities. 

Alumni Success- Acquisition

Startup client, eCoop Alumni and 2022 Coast Capital Venture Prize Winner ODEN Health Solutions graduates to acquisition by Lifeguard Digital Health. Together, their shared vision, values and collective efforts aim to improve the quality of life through an innovative medical device that offers harm-reduction solutions catered to address the deadly overdoses in Canada. 

Mentorship Hours

Mentorship is a key component to entrepreneurial education and experiential learning. Proudly, the Chang Institute has provided over 1000 hours of 1-on-1 and group mentorship across our programs during 2023. This spans across activities including Mentor Meet, Coast Capital Venture Connection incubator, Science Entrepreneur Accelerator, Coast Capital Venture Prize and eCoop.  

Entrepreneurship Education

Over 600 SFU students enrolled in Core Certificate courses during 2023, working towards the inter-disciplinary Charles Chang Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Courses included BUS 238, BUS 338, BUS 314, BUS 361. 

Annual Coast Capital Venture Prize

A startup using seaweed to bring compostable, petroleum-free plastic to Canada, in partnership with Indigenous communities, took the top award at the 13th annual Coast Capital Venture Prize Competition. Overall, Venture Prize 2023 engaged over 200 members of the SFU community through 5 workshops, 7 pitch events and an awards ceremony, benefited from 140 hours of volunteer time and provided 40 1:1 mentoring hours and $65K in cash and prizes to SFU founders and startups.  

Canada’s #1 University in Innovation

For the third year in a row, SFU has ranked as the top university in Canada in the overall innovation category, according to the 2023 World University Rankings for Innovation (WURI) and in 2023 was also 2nd globally for entrepreneurial spirit!  The Charles Chang Institute continues to contribute to these rankings by creating entrepreneurial space for innovation, research, programs and social impact.  

Podcast Launch

The Chang Institute launched its first podcast, Inspiration Station, taking listeners on an entrepreneurial journey. The podcast features the entrepreneurship community enabling inspiration among community members. The podcast is dedicated to unleashing your inner entrepreneur and unlocking the entrepreneurial mindset.

The Next Generation

Over 180 pre-university students participated in six innovation events on SFU campuses through a partnership with Powerplay Young Entrepreneurs. Students from elementary and high schools engaged with industry experts and SFU founders in learning about the entrepreneurial mindset. 

Named the Entrepreneurial University

Simon Fraser University was recognized with the 2023 Deshpande Symposium Award for The Entrepreneurial University, in recognition of its leadership in entrepreneurial programming and innovation support. The award recognizes the Chang institute for its comprehensive entrepreneurial curriculum that empowers students through interdisciplinary and experiential learning within SFU and K-12 partnership programs.  

Alumni Success- Supporting DTES Entrepreneurship

Charitably organization Employ to Empower successfully fundraised over $47,000 at an auction event to support its programming and training for entrepreneurs who have faced work and social barriers. Led by Executive Director and Co-Founder Christina Wong, E2E is a Coast Capital Venture Connection alumni and past Coast Capital Venture Prize winner. E2E uses entrepreneurship to foster confidence and a circular economy. 

Alumni Success- Milestone Certification  

Moment Energy has secured UL 1974 certification (the Standard for Evaluation for Repurposing Batteries) for its second life energy storage processes, the first North American company to do so.  Moment co-founders actively participated in the entrepreneurial space at SFU during their early years through the Tech e@SFU program, eCoop, the Coast Capital Venture Connection incubator and as Coast Capital Venture Prize winners. 

Annual OppFest

SFU’s largest showcase of student entrepreneurial class projects, hosted annually by the Chang Institute, welcomed 300+ people to the SFU-Surrey campus, including industry experts, young entrepreneurs, and community members. Students showcased their innovative ideas to solve societal concerns across environmental, health, lifestyle, mental health and social landscapes. 

22 New Startups 

Twenty-two new startups joined the Chang Institute’s incubator programs, primarily through Coast Capital Venture Connection, with a total of 37 teams supported over 2023. This year alone, these startups generated $650K+ in revenues and raised over $1.65M in dilutive and non-dilutive funding.  

Alumni Success- $20M raised

Incubator alumni Ionomr raised USD $20M to further scale its ion-exchange membranes and polymers, fundamental to accelerating the hydrogen economy. Ionomr previously placed as the top winner at the 2016 Coast Capital Venture Prize competition.  

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