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A look back on 2020

December 14, 2020

As the year comes to a close, we’ve been reminiscing on the milestones and achievements in 2020 at Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection. This year has been called many things: unprecedented, strange, difficult. On the one hand, we can hardly believe it’s already December and on the other, we’re looking forward to a fresh beginning in 2021. Most notably, we’ve learned some powerful lessons on how to pivot and be resilient.

Walk down memory lane with us to see what we’ve been up to over the past 12 months. We’ve had a blast supporting entrepreneurship at SFU. Happy new year from the Venture Connection team!

INCUBATOR

Venture Connection’s early-stage incubator provides students, staff, faculty, and alumni from all faculties with direct support to develop their own ventures with mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs. In 2020, we supported 63 founders from 28 ventures (and counting!) Learn more about the incubator.

COAST CAPITAL SAVINGS VENTURE PRIZE

We host the largest entrepreneurship competition at SFU each year from January to April. We gave out $75,000 in prizes this year to the entrepreneurs who gave the best pitches. Read about the 2020 winners.

EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS

In addition to large competitions, we host events and workshops throughout the year. Past event topics included activating your degree, sustainability, and how to raise your first round of funding. We saw more than 1800 event attendees in 2020! Check out our events page.

MENTORS

Mentors are one of our biggest assets at Venture Connection. Our 13 mentors-in-residence coach young entrepreneurs and some host one-on-one meetings weekly called Mentor Meet. We held more than 175 Mentor Meet sessions in 2020.

ECOOP

Entrepreneurship coop (eCoop) provides a monetary grant and coop credits for the student to pursue his or her startup idea full-time during the semester. In 2020, we granted 8 eCoop opportunities totaling $80,000 in awards.

SPARK

SPARK is a self-directed program to help potential entrepreneurs explore and refine their business ideas. More than 70 participants benefited from the self-paced program this year. Sign-up for SPARK.

#MADEBYSFU COMPETITION

This year’s #MadeBySFU competition was a celebration of product entrepreneurs and an important reminder to support local businesses. The eighth annual competition attracted SFU students, staff, and alumni competitors from seven faculties. The top winners were all women-owned businesses in the maker space. Meet the 2020 competition winners.