SFU VentureLabs provides clients with support during COVID-19

Photo by Matthew Waring

SFU VentureLabs has met clients’ need for greater support and resources during these challenging times.

Due to the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, SFU VentureLabs has brought together resources, support, tools, and the right people to give clients an extra hand. Here are some of the ways we’ve supported clients over the past few months:

BC Technology Resiliency Program

SFU VentureLabs’ main priority is to deliver exceptional service to our clients. The BC Technology Resiliency Program is a federally-funded program that enables us to focus our efforts on existing programs and also expand our advisory services and resources. Developed and delivered by Innovate BC in partnership with the BC Acceleration Network (BCAN), this program gives clients opportunities to attend expanded EIR hours. Those who were not existing clients were able to meet with one of the VentureLabs EIRs or tap into our education programs and/or apply to join MVT or Scaleup.

Marketing Services Program

SFU VentureLabs’ senior marketing mentors gathered a small team of enthusiastic marketing students to provide writing, editing, social media marketing, email marketing, marketing and communications planning, and graphic design support in an ‘agency-like’ setting to our startup companies. This pilot program was launched to help our companies with their marketing efforts at no cost.   

Know and Thrive: Financial Strategies for Resilient Businesses program

By providing the “Know and Thrive: Financial Strategies for Resilient Businesses” program in partnership with the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and support from the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, SFU VentureLabs was able to provide clients with a one-time webinar, one-on-one mentorship with industry experts, a resource handbook, and community support from women across the program.

Office Safety Measures

SFU VentureLabs took the pandemic seriously from the onset and continues to ensure protocols are carried out and standards of cleanliness and safety are met.  Our main goal throughout the pandemic has been to protect the health and wellbeing of employees and client companies. 

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve limited the activities we offered in our office at the Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver. 

In July, essential work resumed in the office while we continued to support clients and employees working from home if their work could be done from home.  Working in the office was contingent on the availability of cleaning/disinfecting supplies, hand hygiene products, personal protective equipment (PPE) and a commitment by all returning individuals to adhere to safe operating practices.

Support from Granted

SFU VentureLabs staff met regularly with CEOs. Our inside client company, Granted Consulting, offered one-on-one sessions multiple times a week in order to provide information on the ever-evolving government grants available to help startups get through these tough economic times.

COVID-related Webinars

SFU VentureLabs offered a diverse range of topics related to building resiliency, getting support, and attracting funding during economic downturns to help clients and their companies survive and thrive during the pandemic.

Our COVID-19 Resource Page

SFU VentureLabs worked extensively to put together a detailed list of resources at the federal and provincial level. Also listed on the page are support groups for mental health (including tips on how to handle stress and stay emotionally healthy, but also resources in case you’re in crisis) and remote working guides, including a helpful list of apps that support remote work.

SFU VentureLabs is committed to providing support to clients at this challenging time, especially given that clients are doing important work in creating solutions to support Canadians during COVID-19.  We also continue to play an advocacy role with various levels of government about the unique needs facing technology startups, and will continue to support clients through advocacy efforts, resources in the form of mentorship and marketing services, and education.

Read about some of SFU VentureLabs’ clients that are doing excellent work tackling issues and challenges brought about uniquely by COVID-19.

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