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UBC entrepreneurs making a splash in Silicon Valley

August 18, 2010

I’ve been consulting privately for about four years now.  I’ve benefited from some very interesting assignments.

These assignments have ranged from working for very small entrepreneurial start-ups through to managing complex corporate development assignments for large private and public sector corporations.

The common theme amongst all of my work is entrepreneurship:  Helping grow a business from seven people to more than twenty.  Participating both strategically and operationally as senior management for an entrepreneurial $30 million tourism business wanting growth.  Co-developing a plan for spinning out a start-up from a federal crown corporation.  Helping a raw start-up with its growth.

One of my most fulfilling assignments has been working with a team establishing entrepreneurship@UBC.  This is an alumni led initiative for UBC students and recent alumni.  It includes mentorship, coursework and equity capital for promising student led ventures.  It’s very exciting and I think it’s one of the first (if not the first) in Canada.

Our group is putting together a trip to Silicon Valley so that six UBC student and alumni entrepreneurs can pitch their business opportunities at the Plug and Play Technology Center.

The selection process beat all of our expectations.  More than fifty companies applied (we would have been happy with fifteen) and many of those were very viable opportunities.  A committee comprised of three UBC alumni, all very successful entrepreneurs in their own rights, selected six to join the trip.

As an alumnus I’m proud of all 54 applicants.  They’re out there taking risks and executing on their visions.  It’s wonderful to see.  I’m even more excited for the six that were selected.

Here’s a brief descriptor of who they are and what they’re trying to do:

Aeos

Based on a business idea generated as students in Applied Science and Commerce, Colin O’Neill, Wylie Spencer and Nicolas Seto founded Aeos Biomedical to develop “Target Tape”, a product aiming to increase accuracy in applications ranging from thoracic to plastic surgeries.

Clinical Media Ltd. – www.clinicbook.ca

Founded by Winnie Lai and Robin McFee as students in the Faculty of Applied Science, Clinicbook was created to help people find health care, allowing them to book appointments online and view real-time wait times for walk-in clinics

Dragonfly

A company created by Applied Sciences students Lin Watt and Tagg Jefferson, Dragonfly has created an innovative on-site water testing device providing environmental field technicians with lab quality results in minutes rather than weeks.

Optemowww.optemo.com

Optemo is a company founded by Faculty of Science graduates Maryam Mahdaviani, and Jan Ulrich, who have created an intelligent shopping platform for browsing product catalogs. The platform incorporates three ways of search and has already been validated by Best Buy Canada.

RedRovrwww.redrovr.com

A consumer internet company founded by Chris Coldewey, a Sauder School of Businss gradate, that enables demand drive events by generating collaborative interaction between audiences, performers and event organizers.

Veridaewww.veridae.com

Founded by Dr. Bradley Quinton, a PhD graduate of UBC’s Faculty of Applied Science, Veridae’s technology vastly reduces the time it takes engineers to get their microchip designs to full production.

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