SFU Beedie entrepreneurship programs to expand with federal funding support

Jul 26, 2019

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Thumbs up after Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai (centre) visits SFU’s Surrey campus to announce nearly $3 million in funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) to advance entrepreneurship and clean tech research. L-r: Rachel Chase, alumna and co-founder of Zennea Technologies, Joy Johnson, SFU VP Research and International, Sarai, Janice O’Briain, director, Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection, and Ali Dastmalchian, dean, Beedie School of Business.

Two key SFU initiatives, one focusing on entrepreneurship and another advancing clean technology research, will benefit from nearly $3 million in federal funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD).

Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection is receiving more than $1.9 million to expand its youth entrepreneurship program to underrepresented faculties, and engage with industries so that student innovators can work to solve industry challenges in key areas, such as health, sustainability, and creative technologies. The funds will also help turn more research into commercial ventures by growing SFU’s Invention to Innovation (i2I) program offered through the Beedie School of Business.

“This funding allows us to catalyze SFU´s growing leadership in unleashing the entrepreneurial mindset and developing the skills, ambitions and interdisciplinary teams required to tackle complex global challenges,” says Sarah Lubik, SFU’s director of entrepreneurship and executive director of the Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship.

Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai and Joy Johnson, SFU VP Research and International with SFU Beedie alumni Rachel Chase, co-founder of Zennea Technologies one of many Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection success stories.

Venture Connection and the Chang Institute deliver training programs and resources to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. Since Venture Connection started in 2008 the initiative has helped equip more than 10,000 future leaders and innovators with entrepreneurial skills, mentored more than 750 teams and provided business development services to more than 230 early-stage startups.

To learn more, read the full story on SFU News.