UBC entrepreneurs offered chance to pitch business ideas directly to Silicon Valley VCs

Forget Dragon’s Den—University of British Columbia entrepreneurs have an opportunity to pitch their business concepts and products directly to Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

At an August 31st alumni event at the Plug and Play Tech Centre in Sunnyvale, California, and hosted by UBC President Professor Stephen Toope, Accelerating Entrepreneurship: UBC’s New Venture is a panel discussion aimed at defining and expanding the role of universities in encouraging entrepreneurship. From UBC’s site:

As part of the new entrepreneurship@UBC program, a campus-wide initiative designed to facilitate and encourage new business ventures, an open invitation was extended to companies created by current students and recent alumni to join Prof. Toope and the UBC deans of Applied Science and the Sauder School of Business at the California event.

A judging panel of local business leaders – including UBC entrepreneur-in-residence Andrew Csinger, biomedical device entrepreneur Geof Auchinleck and technology start-up veteran Peter van der Gracht, all of whom are UBC alumni – chose three student- and three alumni-founded companies from 54 applications.

“The number and outstanding quality of the applications is a reflection of the creativity and resourcefulness we have come to expect from UBC students and alumni,” says Stephen. “We are delighted to facilitate opportunities where UBC entrepreneurs can advance innovations that impact local and global communities.”

Accelerating entrepreneurship: UBC’s New Venture will be held on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 6:00 – 9:00 pm, at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, California. For more information or to participate, click here.

Six companies, all founded by UBC students and alumni, have won a competition for the opportunity to present innovations to a panel of business leaders and investors, including Plug and Play Tech Center President and CEO Saeed Amidi, after the panel discussion. They are briefed below.

Dragonfly Instruments: The time it takes environmental field technicians to achieve lab quality water testing results could be reduced from weeks to just minutes with Dragonfly Instruments’ innovative on-site testing device, created by engineering students Lin Watt and Tagg Jefferson.

Optemo: Founded by Faculty of Science graduates Maryam Mahdaviani and Jan Ulrich, the company’s intelligent shopping platform for browsing product catalogs has already been validated by Best Buy Canada.

Veridae Systems: Founded by Applied Science PhD graduate Bradley Quinton, the technology at the core of Veridae Systems vastly reduces the time it takes engineers to get their microchip designs to production.

RedRovr: Founded by Sauder graduate Chris Coldewey, RedRovr enables “demand-driven events” by generating collaborative interaction among audiences, performers and event organizers.

Clinicbook: Finding health care will be less of a pain with online booking and real-time wait times for walk-in clinics provided by Clinicbook, founded by Applied Science alumni Winnie Lai and Robin McFee.

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