Up to $75K in cash and prizes to Simon Fraser University’s innovative ideas and most promising startups.

Coast Capital Venture Prize 2022

The Coast Capital Venture Prize competition celebrates innovative ideas and entrepreneurial pursuits from the Simon Fraser University community. 

Competitors are given the opportunity to practice venture ideation, business plan writing, and presenting pitches. They’ll receive support in dedicated workshops and coaching sessions from Venture Connection’s mentors prior to the finals in April.

The competition is open to early-stage business ventures founded by SFU students from undergraduate, graduate and professional programs (e.g MBA), as well as by staff, faculty, and recent alumni.

Competitors are judged by a panel of industry experts on the quality of their business concept, current progress and future plans, founder track record and presentation skills. 

  • 11 years of the Venture Prize competition
  • $75K in cash and prizes awarded to winners in 2021

Going online: This year, Venture Prize will be offered in a completely virtual setting in accordance with SFU guidelines.


The application site will open for submissions on January 31 and close on February 22. Initial application screening will be completed by the end of February, followed by preliminary pitches in March. Venture Connection will schedule workshops and mentor coaching sessions to help competitors prepare for the finals in April.

Note: Dates are subject to change.

Event Date

Application Period Opens

January 31

Competition Information Session

February 17

Application Period Closes

February 22

Application Screening Part I

February 23

Application Screening Part II 

February 24

Workshop 1: Budget From the Bottom Up - Video

March 4

Workshop 2: Get Pitch Perfect - Video

March 4 

Venture stream preliminary pitch-off #1

March 14

Venture stream preliminary pitch-off #2

March 15

Idea stream preliminary pitch-off

March 16

Venture stream preliminary pitch-off #3

March 17

Caching Sessions 

March 19 - April 4

Idea Stream Finals

April 5

Venture Stream Finals

April 7

Virtual Awards Ceremony

April 12; 3:00-5:00 PM


The application period for Venture Prize is January 31 to February 22, 2022 (visit the application page).

Ensure you submit all the required documents and files. Application screening decisions will be made based upon the information provided in the application and executive summary. Business model and progress to date including prototypes, initial customers and/or revenue and future plans will be considered.



​​Total Cash Prizes:  up to $48,000

Total In-Kind Prizes:  over $28,000

Top Venture Prize

Strongest overall venture with the potential to create economic value and address a significant market and/or societal need. This prize may be won by a winner of the other categories below. 

One (1) Participant will win the Top Venture Prize package

  • $10,000 cash prize
  • In-Kind package valued at over $20,000:
    • Legal Services Package from BLG (general corporate advice relating to corporate structure, employment/consulting agreements, and privacy issues)
    • Accounting & Compliance Package from MNP
    • Board Advisory Package from Synergy on Boards
    • PowerUp and 3-month Hotdesking Package from VentureLabs
    • Acetech 2022-23 series tickets, including Discovery Foundation Growth Essentials Program and Innovate BC Principled Business Practice Series.
    • Entry to New Ventures BC 2022 competition
  • Offer of direct entry into the Coast Capital Venture Connection incubator program


Category Prizes

All category winners also receive an in-kind package that includes:

  • 3-month Hotdesking with VentureLabs
  • Series tickets for Acetech’s Innovate BC Principled Business Practice Series
  • Entry to New Venture BC 2022 Competition

All category runner ups will receive $1,000 cash prizes and entry to New Ventures BC 2022 Competition


Research and Development - ($5,000 cash prize)

A venture with a discovery or innovation, that has an intellectual property component with evidence it will move beyond the lab, be commercialized and work in the real world.


Local to Global ($5,000 cash prize)

A venture that is not predominantly focused on science or tech, but is economically viable and valuable without having an obvious path to scale; e.g. mainly regional impact.


Digital Platform ($5,000 cash prize)

Ventures that deliver a solution for a specific vertical market solely via the internet; Modern day platforms that use internet connectivity to provide services. i.e. SaaS, Mobile Applications, and Web Platforms.


Idea Prize

Great startups are built around big vision! The Top Idea Prize ($5,000 cash prize) is awarded to the individual/team demonstrating vision for a great idea for a venture, and setting the stage for turning their idea into a viable opportunity.

  • $5000 Top Idea Cash Prize

  • Top Idea In-kind package 

    • 3-month Hotdesking with VentureLabs

    • Entry to New Ventures BC 2022 Competition

  • Runner up Cash Prizes 

  • Offer of direct entry into the Coast Capital Venture Connection incubator program

This award is judged on the quality of both the ideas as well as the plan for carrying it out, not necessarily the current business result. The jury will award the Idea Prizes based on the following eligibility:

  • The recipient is one of the preliminary round participants in the Competition;
  • The recipient is a pre-Minimal Viable Product (MVP); and,
  • The recipient is pre-revenue.


Attribute Awards*

Competitors who completed a presentation during the Venture stream preliminaries are eligible to win Attribute Awards. Additional documentation may be required to be considered for these prizes.


Diversity Award ($2,500 cash prize)

Equity, Diversity and inclusion (EDI) is a critical part of a startup DNA.  The demand for EDI in startups and businesses at large has grown exponentially in the last couple of years.  Startups that are proactive instead of reactive will be able to stay competitive.  Companies with inclusive cultures are innovative, more creative and they tend to attract and retain a wider talent pool.

The Venture Prize Diversity Award will go to a venture that best meets the following criteria:

  • Has a diverse team (keeping in mind that there are many dimensions of diversity)

  • Is championing disability inclusion, where everyone can excel 

  • Is focusing on solving problems for vulnerable populations

  • Understands diversity and have embedded it in their mission and all the work they do

  • Has a diverse board (where applicable)

  • Champions and demonstrates behaviors reflecting equity, diversity and inclusion

  • Provides EDI professional development for their team 


Social Impact Award ($2,500 cash prize)

Entrepreneurship, innovation, and changemaking come in many forms. One of those forms is through building organizations that deliver a lasting and often disruptive impact on our social structures and/or systems. Social Impact involves creating and growing an entity that balances providing value to our planet and its people while sustaining healthy profits.

  • The recipient will be one of the preliminary round participants in the Competition 
  • Has as part of its purpose a strong social or environmental mission and creates shared value to the local community and society at large in addition to economic profits. Your venture uses its business structure to create shared value by creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges.


SFU Alumni Founder Award ($2,500 cash prize)

Simon Fraser University (SFU) has roots in changemaking, innovation, and entrepreneurship. SFU continues to engage the world through its vast alumni membership. Through Venture Prize, SFU Alumni and the university seek to celebrate alumni members that are actively engaged and committed to its community. 

The jury will award the SFU Alumni Founder Award based on the following guidelines:

  • The recipient will be one of the preliminary round participants in the Competition
  • The recipient will be an individual or teams with one or more founders who have completed an SFU Senate-approved credential or program AND who together hold 25% or greater ownership (or intended ownership) of the Venture. Consideration will be given to a smaller ownership percentage where one or more of these founders holds significant managerial control
  • When deliberating between two or more qualified Participants, the Jury will give consideration to the total percentage of ownership by SFU Alumni, and alumni engagement with SFU
  • Participants who wish to be considered for this award may be asked to provide confirmation of graduation from SFU Registrar


SFU WIL Award ($2,500 cash prize)

Learning on the job is essential to workplace readiness and employability of recent graduates. Companies and founders who participate in Work Integrated Learning programs such as co-op or internships provide their workers with the preparation for their careers beyond academia. 

The jury will award the top Work Integrated Learning (WIL) prize to recognize exceptional learning opportunities undertaken or offered by SFU entrepreneurs during 2021, based on the following guidelines:

  • The recipient will be one of the preliminary round participants in the Competition

  • The recipient will be a founder or team of founders who have participated in a recognized SFU WIL program (E.g., co-op, internship) OR The recipient will be a team which has engaged employees through a recognized WIL program (i.e., hired an SFU co-op student)

  • When deliberating between two or more qualified Participants, the Jury will give consideration to the total percentage of ownership of the venture by SFU WIL participants or the number of SFU WIL participants hired by the venture, and the quality of their experiential education as it applies to entrepreneurship.

  • Participants who wish to be considered for this award may be required to provide confirmation of participation in WIL programs. 



Monday - Local to Global
Dave Thomas
Jason Wong
Cecilia Mkondiwa
Kim Scott
Jean Michel Lauzon

Tuesday - Digital Platform
Dave Thomas
Bethany Hill
Lesley Duncan
Floyd Sijmons
Pete Koat

Wednesday - Idea Stream
Dave Thomas
Sahil Asthana
Ian Bates
Ellie Rubin
Lesley Duncan
Doug Fast
Lynn Warburton
Marc Apduhan
Will Brenner
Fiona Lin

Thursday - Research and Development
Dave Thomas
Neil Branda
Michael Damiani
Cynthia Shippam
Siobhann Williamson


Contact Maycko Macapugas at ecem_changinstitute@sfu.ca if you have any questions.


Venture Prize 2022 is made possible by the generous support of sponsors. Thank you!

Presenting Sponsor   



Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors




Silver Sponsors






Bronze Sponsors






Up to $75K in cash and in-kind prizes available. 


Gain valuable insight from judges, industry experts, and experienced mentors who'll help you throughout the competition.

Grow Your Network

Join a thriving entrepreneurship community and meet entrepreneurs, industry experts, mentors, and investors throughout the competition.

Master Your Pitch

Gain confidence in pitching to anyone--from friends and family to potential investors.