Crossing the 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.


Helping tech entrepreneurs conduct entrepreneurial experimentation by embracing the fail fast methodology

The BEST LAB 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.


Advisory Committee
  • 1.Work with company to identify:

    • Minimum Viable Idea
    • Minimum Viable Proposition
    • Minimum Viable Prototype : Test if hypothesis is correct, if not go back and try again
  • 2.Identify critical barriers to adoption:

    • What’s going to prevent the company from being successful (usually resources):
      • People
      • Technology
      • Funding
  • 3.Next step (after support service):

    • Use community to help grow rapidly
      • Strategic partnership
      • Funding
      • Custom acquisition
  • Link to York:
    1. Current student or Alumni
    2. Hiring York students/Alumni
    3. Technology advisor is a York Faculty member
  • Solving important problems: Not just another app
  • Clear plan that will take less than 1 year and $50K to execute ?

Why BEST early start venture fund?

  • Access to facilities, technology and resources of the BESTLab, the Lassonde School of Engineering, and across the University
  • Opportunity to engage widly diversified students / faculty from Lassonde School of Engineering, Osgoode Hall Law School, & Schulich School of Business, as well as Innovation York and YorkU alumni
  • Lassonde is an academic startup and has industrial partnerships with companies such as Shopify.
  • 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