Helping Technology Innovators Cross the “Valley of Death”
Early stage technology projects face multiple hurdles in their journey from a prototype or lab bench to market success. Specifically, they require commercialization resources (guidance and money) to de-risk the technology to the point where a first customer, or an early stage investor, will commit. Most technologies fail to cross this “Valley of Death” because customers and early stage investors believe their excessive technology risk. Mentoring and small amounts of capital (which enable the company to attract matching government funding) will improve the likelihood that ventures developing novel technology solutions will reach their first customer and attract seed funding.
Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology (BEST) supports these early stage technology commercialization projects and potential startups, in conjunction with IPOsgoode, Schulich, and Innovation York, through a unique suite of solutions specifically designed to help innovators cross this “Valley of Death.” Our goal is to substantively improve the likelihood of successes of technology innovations linked to York University, which will increase the economic and societal impact for the economy, the university, and our students, faculty and alumni.
BEST supports selected technology innovators, by providing specific guidance to help de-risk technologies to the point where they can achieve trajectory to develop as a business, within 6 – 9 months, and with less than $100,000. Our research shows that 80% of our potential innovators need this short level of extra support and help. Specifically, we provide:
- Access to the facilities, resources, expertise, students and faculties within BEST and York
- Access to individual mentors, specialist advisors and community leaders
- Access to direct financial support from BEST and from alumni through BEST Early Stage Venture Funding
- Fast track access to angel funding, through York Angels
How the novel BEST Early Stage Venture Funding works:
BEST Early Stage Venture Funding is used to de-risk the technology development stage of the commercialization process, to enable BEST ventures to attract additional government funding, and to allow our York community to help build technology ventures at York. York Alumni donate between $5,000 and $50,000 to the University – to fund the BEST Early Stage Venture Funding and receive a tax receipt. Alumni can decide which BEST venture to support or be guided by BEST management team. Alumni can also mentor these companies. Those wishing to invest in BEST Ventures at a later stage in the venture process can do so through York Angels
Please contact Andrew.Maxwell@Lassonde.yorku.ca Bergeron Chair in Technology Entrepreneurship for further information.