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Kari LaMotte

Kari LaMotte

Managing Director, entrepreneurship@UBC

entrepreneurship@UBC: Launching transformative companies from the research and innovation of the University of British Columbia (UBC).

entrepreneurship@UBC helps to propel UBC innovations out into the world through entrepreneurship and venture creation. It provides UBC students, researchers, faculty members, alumni and staff with access to the resources, networks, and funding they need to succeed.

As one of the world’s top 40 research universities with 80,000 students, faculty, and staff and over $650 million in annual research funding, UBC has long been a catalyst for innovation. entrepreneurship@UBC supports UBC ventures and entrepreneurs to generate social and economic impacts in BC and around the world. As part of the Innovation UBC network, it encompasses entrepreneurship programs across both its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, and has created an expansive footprint of entrepreneurial leaders province wide.

To date, ventures that have been supported by entrepreneurship@UBC in Vancouver and the Okanagan have raised more than $221 million in funding and generated more than $30 million in revenue, stimulating the economic and social landscape of BC while building anchor companies that have a global impact.

Lifting barrels onto equipment

entrepreneurship@UBC’s story 

UBC is a world-class university and bedrock of innovation at the heart of the province’s booming tech and life sciences sectors. entrepreneurship@UBC was created in 2013 to build on UBC’s history of launching successful companies based on research discoveries, helping to generate commercially viable entities and translate the university’s leading-edge research into tangible impact. UBC is consistently recognized for its global impact and was recently ranked the number one university for both Climate Action and Life Under Water and number seven globally for overall impact in the 2020 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

As part of the Innovation UBC network, entrepreneurship@UBC provides research-led and high-potential ventures with the industry expertise, practical business training, and deep mentorship to transform discoveries into viable ventures. It connects with expertise and support across Innovation UBC, which helps researchers and their partners bring ideas to life through venture building, patenting and licensing, influencing practice, policy and public debate, and by forming new partnerships with industry, government, and non-profit and community networks.

Cultivating real-world intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial leadership, entrepreneurship@UBC supports innovation from the ground up, ranging from student entrepreneurial development to end-to-end venture creation through its incubator and HATCH Accelerator programs. 

Two science entrepreneurs working on a project and smiling

Building ventures by mobilizing knowledge

The entrepreneurship@UBC venture-building journey spans from ideation to launch and funding, giving founders a platform to validate their venture through incubator streams that transform research knowledge in areas like health science innovations, climate solutions, and marketplace disruptions into tangible companies that can drive global change. Teams are guided through company building by industry thought leaders, which is further elevated by the active participation of over 330 mentors and subject matter experts from the Vancouver and Okanagan innovation communities. 

The HATCH Accelerator program creates unparalleled experiences for UBC entrepreneurs, uniting a spectrum of university expertise, high-tech spaces, and industry knowledge. It began as a collaboration between entrepreneurship@UBC and the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS) and has expanded to form a diverse network including centres of innovation across the UBC ecosystem. HATCH ventures have access to over 10,500 square feet of office and makerspace housing state-of-the-art infrastructure and equipment to help them take their cutting-edge innovations to the next level. Founders are supported by established Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiRs) who bring a wealth of industry expertise, broad professional networks, and business acumen to their venture-building journey. 

For Aspect Biosystems CEO and Co-Founder Tamer Mohamed, entrepreneurship@UBC helped transform his venture from a wild idea into a BC anchor company pioneering the advancement of 3D printing human tissue. “Thanks to entrepreneurship@UBC, we added our fourth co-founder, became a group of business founders instead of just a group of scientists and engineers, and were prepared to launch our company,” he says.

Critical to early-stage company building, the UBC Seed Fund and entrepreneurship@UBC’s own Concept Fund help to get promising startups off the ground and close the gap in funding between basic research and investable ventures. These funds breathe life into the ventures, giving them the financial runway while in R&D to transform and flourish outside of the university into solutions that generate social, economic, environmental, cultural, and health impacts.

entrepreneurship@UBC has facilitated cross-disciplinary partnerships across the university’s Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, strengthening their contribution to the tapestry of innovation across the province. By way of the HATCH network, it has brought together facilities, faculty, and industry who share the values of creative energy and inclusive collaboration. Through venture-building programs and multidisciplinary collaborations, entrepreneurship@UBC helps unlock innovation by creating the next wave of companies and leaders poised to make a meaningful impact, worldwide.

“As part of Innovation UBC, entrepreneurship@UBC builds connections between the university, research, and entrepreneurs coming out of UBC, launching their innovations into transformative and investable companies. These companies generate economic impacts and contribute to the scientific and technological evolution of our world,” says Kari LaMotte, Managing Director at entrepreneurship@UBC.

Rocketship background

entrepreneurship@UBC accelerates ventures that are innovating their industries.

Meet some of its alumni:

Acuva Technologies logo

Acuva Technologies

Founder: Manoj Singh, 2017

Acuva Technologies is empowering customers to produce safe drinking water through its advanced UV-LED disinfection systems with disinfection rates up to 99.9%, securing partnerships with major OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) around the globe.

Aspect Biosystems logo

Aspect Biosystems

Founders: Tamer Mohamed, Simon Beyer, Konrad Walus, and Sam Wadsworth, 2013

Aspect Biosystems is a UBC spin-off venture pioneering the advancement of 3D printing human tissue through microfluidics and 3D bioprinting, having recently raised a $26 million Series A funding round in early 2020.

AVA Technologies logo

AVA Technologies

Founder: Valerie Song, 2016

AVA Technologies is creating the world’s smartest indoor garden filled with smart tech, an HD camera, and environmental sensors, having launched its product in spring 2020.

CarboNet logo


Founder: Michael Carlson, 2018

CarboNet is changing the way we treat water through technology that sustainably and economically removes contaminants from water, and was recently announced as a finalist for the BC Tech Association’s Company of the Year — Startup Success

TasteAdvisor logo


Founders: Alyssa Farr and Linsey Reimer, 2017

TasteAdvisor takes the guesswork out of buying wine. Their digital solution can be licensed by wine regions, retailers, and liquor boards to match consumer taste preferences to wine they love

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