About The Program
entrepreneurship@SFU is an initiative that focuses on a wide range of entrepreneurial skills that allows students to have important roles in creating new businesses that fuel progress in societies worldwide. Students will be able to use innovation and technology to foster positive impact and activity in all facets of life. The capable entrepreneur student learns to identify, select, describe, and communicate the essence of an opportunity that has attractive potential to become a successful venture.
Participating students will be able to describe valuable contributions of a venture and to create business models sustainable by competitive advantage through various forms of support provided through the initiative.
entrepreneurship@SFU is a project initiated for SFU Surrey through collaborative efforts between Mechatronic Systems Engineering Department in the Faculty of Applied Science and Beedie School of Business to provide the opportunity to students to learn and integrate entrepreneurship skills into their academic work. The initiative will encourage the development of entrepreneurial skills and further provide connections to a network of useful resources that encourage interactions between engineering and business students by providing an experimental incubator for multidisciplinary team of young entrepreneurs.
The initiative is also supported by the vision and generous financial support from Ken Spencer, and the British Columbia Innovation Council.
Benefits to students
Engineering and Business students will learn valuable entrepreneurial skills in teams of four, five or six members with at least one business student in each team. The business students will bring in-depth knowledge of the internal workings of a business, marketing, and business strategy which will complement the engineering student’s technical and extensive knowledge of product design. Each project team creates a road map that can, with good chances, effectively lead by a mentor to the commercialization of the new product or service in the marketplace with sustainable competitive advantage.
Admitted students enjoy a monetary award to assist with their business venture, access to the Product Design Studio, connection to a business consultant, and laboratory to develop a business plan. Participating students also receive course credit towards their degree.
entrepreneurship@SFU includes many helpful supporting activities:
- Guest speakers
- Business set up
- Product commercialization
- Product marketing
Technology and similar high-growth enterprises are both an important part of our world’s economic growth as well as the place where many young entrepreneurs realize their dreams. Unfortunately, there have been relatively few complete and analytical entrepreneurship opportunities to achieve real entrepreneur success. One of the most impressive aspects of this initiative is its broad coverage of the challenges involved in technology entrepreneurship.
The overall objective is to process the business venture from the creation of a hypothetical business plan to commercialization of the business. Project team supervisors will provide support and assistance throughout the entire process. Each participating group is expected to produce four mandatory outcomes designed to prepare the team from launching the business venture to monetizing on the product:
- Acquire and develop a mentor relationship with one of the entrepreneur mentors
- Produce a business plan for a commercial product/system
- Complete a working prototype of the product/system
- Identify and qualify a lead client/customer for the product/system
- Develop teams of techno-savvy entrepreneurs that are able to compete globally
About Ken Spencer
Ken Spencer co-founded CREO in 1983. CREO, was the leading manufacturer of computer-to-plate technology in the 1990s, grew to be BC’s largest technology company with over 4000 employees spanning the globe. It was BC's largest high technology company with sales of almost $1 Billion. In 2005 it was sold to Kodak. Ken retired as CEO in 1995, remaining active on CREO’s board through its Nasdaq IPO and until its acquisition by Kodak for over $1 billion in 2005.
Ken retired in 1995 but stayed on the board of CREO. He now spends some of his time mentoring other CEO's and serving on boards. He is Chair of the board of Bycast, is Past Chair of Science World. Previously he has been Chair of the Board of Spectrum Signal Processing Twinstrand Therapeutics and CityXpress and a member of the Board of BCIT and AceTech. He is also chair of UBC's Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Committee, on the Council for UBC's University Liaison Office and on the Dean's Advisory Committee for the Business Faculty at Simon Fraser University.
BCIC (British Columbia Innovation Council) develops entrepreneurial talent and commercializes technology. BCIC focuses on competitively positioning British Columbia in today’s global knowledge economy in order to provide significant employment opportunities and a high standard of living for British Columbians.
In today’s economic climate, it is increasingly important for British Columbia to be competitively positioned in the global knowledge economy. BCIC is developing an ecosystem that increases the number and success rate of technology startups in the province to promote economic development and strengthen BC’s contribution to the Canadian high tech sector. BCIC does this by developing programs and providing support for initiatives that develop entrepreneurs and promote the commercialization of technology.
BCIC is a Crown Agency of the Province of British Columbia.