Commercialization: Building a Business Case

Commercialization: Building a Business Case

Workshop Dates: March 13-14, 2020
Location: Michael Smith Labs (Rm 101), Biomedical Research Centre (351), University of British Columbia (TBC)
Application Deadline: January 23, 2020

Please note that all individuals must complete an application to participate. If you are associated with one of the partnering organizations, you will automatically be considered for financial support to attend the workshop (details below).

Workshop summary:
The commercialization of stem cell and regenerative medicine discoveries is a key element in ensuring Canadians benefit from new treatments and technologies, however the process is challenging and complex. The Stem Cell Network is excited to partner with STEMCELL Technologies and BCRegMed to host the Commercialization: Building a Business Case workshop. This 2-day workshop is designed to be an active learning event for innovative, creative researchers and potential business founders that will introduce and develop the core knowledge required to move a discovery from bench to the market.

Guided by the three key aspects: Product – Market – Finance participants will examine some of the many questions and hurdles they will have to deal with to achieve successful commercialization of an idea, whether through licensing or through their own start-up company.

First, participants will be asked to prepare and present an elevator pitch of their idea. Working in teams of three, the best pitches will be fleshed out into business plan. Presentations and discussions will focus on the three main themes, with time provided to work the gained knowledge into a final business plan. Participants should come to this course with an idea or invention you wish to commercialize.

Learning objectives:

  • During this course participants will gain an understanding of how to prepare and present an elevator pitch to potential business partners
  • Having heard the presentations and discussions in this course, participants will be able to address the three main themes in a solid business case
  • Upon completion of this commercialization training, participants will be better informed regarding the benefits of starting a company – and whether a startup is the best choice to commercialize your idea
  • Through presentations and discussions participants will gain an understanding of the complex interplay of product, market and finance in the context of commercializing an invention

Pre-learning tasks and prerequisites:

  • Have an invention or idea that you think needs to be shared with stem cell researcher in Canada and the rest of the world
  • Prepare a 2-minute elevator pitch intended to convince an investor to take a half-hour meeting with you (guidance for preparing elevator pitches will be prepared).

Preliminary Schedule (subject to change):

 Day 1 

8:15 – 9:00 am Breakfast
9:00 – 9:30 am Introductions (all)
9:30 – 10:30 am Presentation of elevator pitches; group designations (teams of 2-3)
10:30 – 11:00 am Critiques and questions
11:00 – 11:30 am Coffee break
11:30 am – 12:00 pm Introduction of business plan subject (selected based on elevator pitches)
12:00 – 12:45 pm Lecture: market concepts
12:45 – 13:45 pm Box lunch
13:45 – 15:00 pm Group work on market concepts
15:00 – 15:45 pm Lecture: product design and manufacturing
15:45 – 16:00 pm Coffee break
16:00 – 17:00 pm Group work on product design and manufacturing aspects


Day 2

8:15 – 9:00 am Breakfast
9:00 – 9:15 am Open forum
9:15 – 10:00 am Lecture: Finance
10:00 – 10:30 am Introduction to a business plan
10:30 – 10:45 am Coffee break
10:45 am – 12:30 pm Group work creating a business plan outline
12:30 – 14:00 pm Lunch
14:00 – 16:00 pm Presentation of business plans and discussion
16:00 – 16:30 pm Discussion, questions and wrap up


Details of the SCN Award and Application Procedure:
This SCN award provides financial assistance for eligible trainees to attend the Commercialization: Building a Business Case workshop, March 13-14, 2020, organized by the Stem Cell Network, STEMCELL Technologies and BCRegMed.

Travel Support Award Conditions:

  • The SCN award will cover travel expenses associated with attending the course, for trainees not based in Vancouver:
    • travel to/from the course location
    • up to three nights accommodation at our designated hotel and meals not provided during the course.
  • Successful applicants will be automatically registered for the course by the Stem Cell Network upon confirmation of their acceptance of the award.
  • Reimbursement will be processed following the course, in accordance with the SCN Travel Booking & Reimbursement Policy (policy will be provided to the selected applicants).
  • Accommodation during the course will be provided for trainees not based in Vancouver. Two trainees of the same gender may be required to share a room.

Eligibility (SCN):
Applications will be accepted from Investigators or HQP (i.e. a graduate student, post-doc, research associate and/or technician) from a Canadian lab who are seeking to commercialize a discovery in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine. Applicants must clearly demonstrate that they will apply the techniques learned at the course to their own research project within one year.

Application Procedure:

  • Complete the application form and return it, along with any additional documents required, by email to by 11:59 PM (sender’s time) Thursday, January 23, 2020.
  • The SCN Training & Education Committee will review all complete applications, and applicants will be informed of the competition outcome by mid-February 2020.

Reporting and Communication Requirements:
By accepting a SCN award, the recipient agrees to provide a report describing the value of the training and networking opportunities made available through the award. This information will be used at SCN’s discretion on its website, newsletters and for the purpose of reporting to its funding agency. By accepting the SCN award attendees also accept to have their pictures taken during the course, which may be used in the reporting tools mentioned above. Please note that expense reimbursement will be processed only once the completed report is received.

For further information on course content, please contact Jon Draper at
For further information on applying for a SCN award to attend this course, please contact Rebecca Cadwalader at