Intro to Startups: Three Questions with Blair Simonite

The entrepreneurial spirit in Canada is alive. Canada is beating out most G7 countries as a leader in entrepreneurship, second in levels of activity only to the United States. 

IsoSiM students learned how to mix science with business during a recent workshop with Blair Simonite, Program Director of Entrepreneurship@UBC. We sat down with Blair after the workshop to ask him three questions:

1) Can you tell us what the workshop was about?
Did you know: 42% of startups fail due to "no market need" - that’s code for nobody wanting the product. The Intro to Startups workshop shows students how to prevent becoming a part of this statistic.Instead of pouring valuable time and funds into a product that perhaps nobody wants, students learn to discover and validate their market beforehand. The end result is that they can create a product based on what they've learned from the market itself.

2) How does this workshop help us in our careers?
Students learn about some of the language and tools of entrepreneurship and how to apply them. They will discover that creating a viable business model for a startup involves a similar iterative process as used in the lab: hypothesize, collect data, evaluate, modify hypothesis, and repeat.

3) How long have you been involved with e@UBC?
I've been involved for two years. I started as a volunteer industry mentor in two of the earliest Lean Launchpad accelerator programs and then I joined e@UBC as the Program Director in mid 2014.

Next, IsoSiM students are touring the Brain Imaging Center at UBC Hospital as we continue our professional development programming. Each month IsoSiM offers workshops, seminars, and field trips that are designed to enhance each students experience and create well-rounded candidates.

~ Nic Zdunich, Communications Assistant

Nic Zdunich