14 startups seek to level up at the 2022 Investor Showcase

This year's event, scheduled to take place at UBC Robson Square, received a total of 30 applications.

So you have a great business idea. Now what?

Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of great ideas come to an end—often due to a lack of funding and support. But with the annual Investor Showcase, hosted by entrepreneurship@UBC and the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS), there’s little excuse to not follow up on those plans. 

“The main objective for e@UBC is to help translate research into impact,” says head of venture growth strategy Michelle Sklar. The incubator program allows startups to research and create without the pressure of seeking outside funding before they are ready. And that’s exactly why the Investor Showcase is so important.  

“We actually have two showcases a year,” says Sklar. “One in the fall, which is more of a look at what’s coming down the pipeline and some ventures to keep an eye on, whereas the one in spring is helping ventures to connect with the investor community and hoping that that translates into some type of fundraising opportunity.” To apply, startups need to be in either e@UBC or the university’s later-stage HATCH accelerator, although the event is geared towards “ready to raise” ventures that have commercialized and gone through some finance training. 

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Choosing which businesses should get a chance to present this spring can be intimidating, especially if they’ve been under your wing since ideation. That’s why e@UBC put together an objective evaluation panel—including Darrell Kopke, director of UBC Sauder’s Creative Destruction Lab-Vancouver, Thealzel Lee, founder, director and president of E-fund at VANTEC Angel Network, and Maria Pacella, managing partner at Pender Ventures—to sift through all 30 applications. 

“We had a scoring group, and then from that we went down to 14,” explains Sklar. “The judges took into consideration the viability—is there a strong business model, does the pricing structure make sense, do they have a high-performing, committed team, what kinds of partnerships or traction are they getting in the industry, things like that.”  

The 2022 Investor Showcase, scheduled to take place next week on May 10th from 5-9 p.m. at UBC Robson Square, will be a hybrid affair with some 250 in-person attendees and another 100 virtual viewers. A full list of the 14 presenters can be found here 

The event has always been an “aha!” moment with game-changing opportunities, according to Sklar, and biotech firm AbCellera is a great example of a UBC spinout company. “e@UBC has created over a thousand jobs in the 10 years that we’ve been around,” she says.

“We’ve supported 600 ventures that have gone on to raise over $1.4 billion and have generated close to $120 million in revenues. So that’s real economic and social impact, because these are ventures that are creating jobs, they’re paying taxes, they’re really contributing to a thriving economy.”