Simon Fraser University is building a strong, world-class entrepreneurship program that is broad-based in its approach to new ventures. Coast Capital Venture Connection is a key driver in achieving this cultural change throughout the university.
This university-wide program was launched in 2008 by the Innovation Office in collaboration with the SFU-Surrey Campus, the Beedie School of Business and the Faculty of Applied Sciences, government partners and community members. The program now collaborates with departments and faculties throughout the university, on all 3 campuses.
Many of the incubator teams have been successful in starting their businesses and attracting external financing and acquiring their first customers, while three teams have successfully negotiated exits for the founders when their companies were acquired, Layerboom (acquired by Joyent in 2010), MetroLeap Media (MetroLyrics acquired by CBS Interactive in 2011); ArtsAlly (acquired by Kabuni in 2014). Other incubator alumni include MetaOptima, Addictive Ads, VeloMetro, CKM Sports and Buyatab (Named #2 on the 2017 Profit500 list of Canada's fastest growing companies).
Along with its professional staff, Coast Capital Venture Connection engages Mentors-in-Residence to support the program and act as one-on-mentors with the incubator teams, as well as many volunteers from the entrepreneurial community who participate as panelists, judges, speakers and advisors. All of the programs are provided at no cost to participants and are open to all students from any faculty or campus.