Rules & Eligibility

These competition rules (the “Competition Rules”) have been established for the Coast Capital Venture Prize Competition 2024 (“Competition”) organized by the Coast Capital Venture Connection program at Simon Fraser University (“Coast Capital Venture Connection”).

Participant Eligibility Requirements:

  1. All submissions to Coast Capital Venture Prize must live up to the higher ideals of Simon Fraser University. Your idea or business must be appropriate for a university-sponsored event that celebrates local founders and early startups. SFU reserves the right to disqualify any entry that in its judgment violates the letter or the spirit of the competition or exceeds the bounds of social convention.
  2. If the applicant represents a formal business, that entity must be privately held, incorporated/registered less than 5 years from application closing date, and BC-based. All business structures are encouraged in this Competition: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, co-op, society.  Teams do not need a formal business structure to apply.
  3. Only BC-based applicants are eligible to earn prize money. No payments will be made to individuals or business entities outside of the province (exception, co-op students on work terms).
  4. Businesses will have received less $1 million in total investment- and grants-to-date(research funds received prior to company formation are excluded) at the time of application. If the business is revenue positive, total revenue-to-date cannot exceed $500k (some exceptions apply, ie flow-through revenue models).
  5. For the purpose of this competition, eligible SFU members include current staff, students at any level, faculty members and alumni within 2 years of graduation, and/or teams that participated within the SFU Coast Capital Venture Connection Incubator Program during 2023.
  6. Applicant teams can include non-SFU members if there is also at least (for teams of 4 or fewer co-founders) one eligible SFU member who holds a min. 25% ownership stake / management control or (for teams with more than 4 co-founders) total ownership/management stake by eligible SFU members. Some exceptions apply where there has been significant SFU involvement by non-SFU members.
  7. The lead applicant /contact must be an eligible SFU member and at least one eligible SFU member must participate in the pitch rounds.
  8. While a team member may participate in one or more entries, such person may not be the lead for more than application.
  9. Applicants cannot be directly involved in the judging process for the competition.
  10. Applications cannot infringe on the intellectual property of other groups or individuals. We strongly encourage any team with concerns regarding intellectual property such as patent or copyright potential to either contact SFU’s Technology Licensing Office (for university-developed discoveries) or competent legal counsel (for non-university related discoveries) before submitting their application.
  11. Previous year participant eligibility:
    • Individuals who were part of a winning team in previous years CAN apply with a new Idea or Venture as long as other eligibility/criteria is met.
    • Previous Idea Prize winners ARE eligible to compete for Venture Prize Category Prizes as long as other eligibility/criteria is met.
    • Previous Attribute Award winners ARE eligible to re-apply (as long as no other excluding conditions apply)
    • Previous year 1st place or Category winning teams cannot reapply with the same venture.

In consideration of Venture Connection admitting a Participant to the Competition, the Participant agrees to be bound by these Competition Rules and the Privacy Policy).

Note: The Director of Coast Capital Venture Connection reserves the right to make the final determination of the eligibility of submitted business ventures.

The Participant agrees to:

  • Co-operate in the promotion of the Competition and future competitions organized by Coast Capital Venture Connection, by allowing Venture Connection to use the Participant’s business and personal names, and submitted images;
  • Provide, upon request by Venture Connection, a brief (250-word) overview of their venture for Venture Connection's promotional and publicity use; and
  • Make itself reasonably available to Venture Connection and the media for promotional and publicity purposes.
  • Attend required competition events. Within 10 days of application closing date, applicants will be notified of eligibility to move forward in the competition, with entry to either the Idea Stream or Venture Stream.  At least one eligible SFU team member must be available to participate virtually in the preliminary pitch (February 5-8, virtual) and in person for final pitch (*Idea finals March 28 SFU-Surrey, *Venture finals April 4 Vancouver) for their designated stream and category, as well as to attend in person the *April 9 reception and awards ceremony (see Key Dates). *Dates are to be determined

Eligible Entries:

  • The Participant bears solely the responsibility for the preparation of its entry.
  • The entry meets all of the entry requirements.
  • All entries are made by stated deadlines.
  • The Participant has registered for the Competition via the webform, by the stated entry deadline.


Founder: An individual who owns 25% or more of the Venture.

Participant: The Participant may be either one or more persons, or a business. Eligibility requirements must be met.

Team: A Team is a group of persons, who together are a “Participant” in the Competition.

Venture: An individual or group with an idea, concept, prototype or a registered business (either proprietorship, partnership, corporation, co-operative or society).