New Venture Design (APSC 486, 496D/E, COMM 466)

Are you a natural problem-solver who dreams of developing novel solutions?

Check out the New Venture Design course. Students work in interdisciplinary teams to develop their creativity, and learn about market definition, financial projections, the design cycle, product marketing, manufacturing, distribution to develop their own products to take to market. Find mentors, develop your ideas and build contacts.

Teams have seen success in competitions including CBC’s Dragon’s DenNew Ventures BCLee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition in Singapore, and Queens University to name a few, and many have started their own businesses from projects developed in the course.

Students from all faculties welcome.

Application deadline: midnight, May 15, 2020.

Click here for application information.

Upcoming Events (2020-21):

  • Information Session (at Sauder): Schedule to be posted in October, 2020.  Event typically takes place in mid-March (2021). Speakers will include current and former students and faculty. A pizza lunch will be served.
  • Demo Day (at Sauder):   Schedule to be posted in October, 2020.   Event typically takes place in late March (2021), at Sauder in David Lam Learning Labs DL009/005 – open to all who are interested in the NVD program.  This year’s students will be demonstrating their projects in a trade fair format.  Feel free to drop by at any time during this session.   NOTE: The David Lam Learning Labs are located in the basement of the Sauder Building, below Tim Hortons and WhiteSpot.  While the Labs are in the Sauder compound, access cannot be gained from the main building.  To access the learning labs, enter the Robert H Lee Graduate School doors to the left of the restaurants (not the main Sauder entrances) and take the stairs or the elevator down to the basement.  Alternatively, you can walk around the back of the building past WhiteSpot (West on Agricultural Road) and take the first pathway at the back of the building down into the learning labs.

More about New Venture Design

This course is an interdisciplinary project course open to students from ALL faculties (i.e. not limited to APSC and Sauder) that has the primary goal of providing students with knowledge and practical experience related to the formation of an entrepreneurial enterprise based on the development of a new product or process. Working in teams of 6 students (3 Engineering/Science/etc students/3 Commerce/Arts/Law/etc students), the end-target in the course is to produce a viable product prototype and the necessary business plan to ensure its success in the marketplace.

The course is 6 credits and will encompass the entire school year. Students from the Sauder School of Business who take this course can obtain equivalent course credit for Commerce 468 (3) and 497 (3). Students from Applied Science may be able to obtain credit for an applicable capstone project course within their Department (e.g., MECH457, EECE496, …). Please consult your department for precise conditions and rules.  Generally, MECH students may opt to take a 9-credit version of the course (APSC 496D) that satisfies requirements for both NVD and MECH 45X, while ECE students may take the 10-credit APSC 496E that satisfies requirements for both NVD and the ECE capstone course.

How will this course be taught?

This course is a combination of both lecture instruction and dedicated lab-time in which student teams will advance their new venture concept toward market introduction. Lectures will draw upon knowledge from both the engineering and business disciplines. Projects and assignments will be conducted in a team-learning format.  For the coming year, we anticipate running two cohorts of 7 teams with 6 students per team and three instructors per cohort.

Dedicated class time for the first term is scheduled for Tuesday 6:00 – 9:00 pm each week. Lecture sessions are interspersed throughout the term and significant class time is also allocated to team meetings with instructors. Consultation with course instructors can be done during scheduled hours or by appointment. This course requires significant independent effort and effective team management skills.

Please note that because the course is built around team activities, weekly attendance is required and is NOT optional. You must make a serious and firm commitment to be present each and every class. Students will have one ‘free pass’ to use during the year (which may be exercised at the student’s discretion).  Beyond that, a significant grade penalty will apply for each unexcused absence;  excuses will only be granted for reasons of illness or other circumstances beyond a student’s control.  In addition, we take in precisely enough students to form properly balanced teams.  Once the term starts, we cannot add students from the waitlist, and it is often difficult to add students from the waitlist as the start of term approaches, so we strongly discourage course withdrawals.  By accepting a place in this course, you are potentially denying another student the opportunity to register, so please do not accept an offer of admission without fully intending to enrol and be committed to the course.

2019-20 Course Instructors




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