Over $75K in cash and prizes to Simon Fraser University’s innovative ideas and most promising start-ups.


Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize

The Coast Capital Savings 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. 

  • 10 years of the Venture Prize competition
  • $75K in cash and prizes awarded to winners in 2020

Going online: SFU’s spring semester classes are taking place online. In light of this, the Venture Prize competition will be an entirely virtual experience in 2021.

THE COMPETITION APPLICATION PERIOD IS CLOSED.



Introducing the award winners.

KEY DATES

The application site will open for submissions on January 15 and close on February 15. 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 opens

January 15

Competition information session

January 26

Application closes

February 15

Venture Prize Pitch Workshop

February 27

Venture Prize Bottom-up Financials Workshop

February 27

Venture stream preliminary pitch-off #1

March 8

Idea stream preliminary pitch-off

March 9

Venture stream preliminary pitch-off #2

March 10

Venture stream preliminary pitch-off #3

March 11

Idea Prize finals

April 13

Venture Prize finals

April 15

Virtual awards ceremony

April 21

APPLICATION AND COMPETITION STRUCTURE

The application period for Venture Prize is January 15 to February 15, 2021 (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.

 

PRIZES

Prizes are subject to change. Below is a tentative prize structure for reference.

 

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 Legal Services Package (the winner will receive general corporate advice relating to corporate structure, employment/consulting agreements, and privacy issues)

  • $12,000 In-kind Accounting & Compliance Package

  • Free entry to New Ventures BC competition

 

Category Prizes*

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 Impact ($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.

  • Top Idea Prize ($5,000 cash prize)

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** 

Non-finalists and finalists are eligible to win Attribute Awards. Additional documentation may be required to be considered for these prizes.

 

Female Founder Award ($2,500 cash prize)

The jury will award the top Female-Founded prize 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 team with one or more founders who self-identify as female and who hold 20% or greater ownership (or intended ownership) of the Venture.  Consideration will be given to a smaller ownership percentage if 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 female founders.

 

Social Impact Award ($2,500 cash prize)

The jury will award the top Social Impact prize based on the following guidelines:

  • 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)

The jury will award the top Alumni Founder prize 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 has completed an SFU Senate-approved credential or program AND who together hold 20% 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 golds 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

*Subject to change

**Participants may be awarded an Attribute Award in addition to a Category Prize; these awards may also be awarded to participants who pitched to the preliminary panels but are not finalists for the Venture Prize.

JURY

Thank you to the following individuals for sitting on the jury panel for the competition!

Idea Stream Finals

Bob de Wit - New Ventures BC
Christina Wong - Employ to Empower
Dave Thomas - Rocket Builders
Rachel Chase - Zennea Technologies
Rob Dawkins - Coast Capital
Scott Shaw - Social Venture Partners

Idea Stream Preliminaries

Ben Chow - SFU
Bill Roche - PowerPlay Strategies Inc.
Dave Thomas - Rocket Builders
Doug Fast - SFU
Larkin MacKenzie-Ast - Coast Capital
Lesley Duncan - SFU
Lynn Warburton - SFU
Trish Mandewo - SFU/City of Coquitlam
William Johnson - Vancouver Tech Journal

Venture Stream Finals

Dave Thomas - Rocket Builders
Jim Derbyshire - VentureLabs
Kathleen Marsman - BLG
Lesley Duncan - VentureLabs
Sandra Wear
Thealzel Lee - eFund (VANTEC Entrepreneurs Fund VCC Inc.)

Venture Stream Preliminaries

Albert Seah - SFU
Andrew Harries - SFU
Catherine Forrester - Rayne Clinical Nutrition
Cynthia Shippam - National Research Council Canada
Dave Thomas - Rocket Builders
Jacky Wong - BLG
Jason Wong - Beta Collective
Karen Roosen - Innovior Construction Inc.
Maninder Dhaliwal - Lions Gate International Inc.
Marissa Wright - Authgnosis
Mike Damiani - BLG
Neil Branda - SFU
Sara Paxton - Vitruvi
Timothy Ames - SFU
Virginia Balcom - SFU

CONTACT

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

SUPPORTERS

Venture Prize 2021 is made possible by the generous support of sponsors. Thank you!

Presenting Sponsor

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsor

Prizes

Prizes totalling over $75K in cash and in-kind prizes available. 

Mentorship

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.