Helping Technology Innovators Cross Valley of Death

Early stage technology projects face multiple hurdles in their journey from a prototype/lab bench to market success. Specifically, these ventures require commercialization resources (e.g. guidance and money) to de-risk the technology to the point where a first customer, or an early stage investor, will commit. The BEST Founders Club is a unique early stage technology venture support program that offers innovators: technology resources, technology commercialization expertise, mentoring and capital (eligible for matching government funding). Access to these essential elements for entrepreneurial success improve the likelihood that individual technologies cross this “Valley of Death” by de-risking the technology in an accelerated 12-month process. This allows the innovator to get to the point that they can attract a first customer or Business Angel investor. Increasing technology commercialization success rates and entrepreneurial activity will enhance the York University community, building regional wealth creation by encouraging future research, enabling investment and enhancing graduate employment opportunities.


  • Access to facilities, technology and resources of the BESTLab, the Lassonde School of Engineering, and across the University
  • Opportunity to engage students / faculty from Lassonde School of Engineering, Osgoode Hall Law School, & Schulich School of Business, as well as Innovation York and YorkU alumni
  • Eligibility to apply for a BEST Grant (up to $40,000) – designed to attract matching government funding to complete technology development within 12 months
  • Membership of the BESTLab community of early stage technology entrepreneurs

Supporting BEST Founders

BEST offers an inclusive experiential learning laboratory where technology innovators become members of the BEST Founders Club and develop both their technologies and skills to become world-class innovators. An essential component of the BESTLab is the support provided by the BEST team, and by BEST Supporters, who are usually Lassonde / York alumni or friends. BEST Supporters engage with our entrepreneurial Founders to provide advice and guidance to the next generation of entrepreneurs, and to re-engage with the University and its broader community.


BEST Supporters engage BEST through one or more of the following:

  • Offering to mentor one of our BEST ventures, or to connect them with strategic partners, resources or customers
  • Donating (tax deductible) funds towards BEST Grants:
    • $5,000 (Bronze Supporters)
    • $10,000 (Silver Supporters)
    • $20,000 (Gold Supporters)
  • Enhanced access to investment in BEST startups through a program with York Angels

BEST Supporters play a valuable role in building a thriving and innovative entrepreneurial community at York University, and their directly support for early stage ventures enables them to achieve their potential and enhance their impact on society.