Launchpad

Create what you think should exist

Our flagship program, allowing students and post-docs from all faculties and departments to become founders and changemakers in their fields—bolstering their resumes and early-career experience, building entrepreneurial thinking skills, and encouraging participants to make an impact by finding problems worth solving.

Skills

Participants focus on skill-building & learning entrepreneurial thinking skills

Funding

Receive up to $1000 in project funding to support startup costs

Liftoff

Launchpad culminates in the Liftoff pitch competition, with over $20k in prizes

What is Launchpad?

Launchpad is a six-month, co-curricular program, aiming to build entrepreneurial thinking skills in undergraduates and graduate students, post-docs, and researchers from every faculty at the University of Calgary. Individuals and teams with a social venture or startup idea are encouraged to apply for the program in September. Through a series of weekly presentations (Launchpad Live) alongside workshops with coaches, an interactive online learning system, and a final pitch competition, participants are able to hone their entrepreneurial skills to make an impact in their respective industries and fields of study. 

The Launchpad program teams are supported with additional relevant workshops after each Launchpad Live weekly event and a dedicated coach to help create their Entrepreneurial Journey Plan containing the key deliverables they will build throughout the course. 

Not quite ready to join the Launchpad program but interested in honing your entrepreneurial thinking skills? This year, Launchpad will make the Launchpad Live presentations available to the greater public providing the UCalgary and greater Alberta innovation community and beyond with free weekly seminars from leaders and changemakers.

Program Start Date 

October 5, 2021 

Program End Date 

April 1, 2022 

How to Apply 

Applications have now closed. Sign up for our newsletter to get notified when applications open for the fall 2022 program.

Info Session

On September 15, the Hunter Hub held a virtual info session to answer your questions about Launchpad. If you weren't able to attend, you can watch the recording below.

Key Information

Innovative individuals and teams who are eager to explore entrepreneurial thinking, build future ready skills they can bring into their respective careers, and expand on existing ideas are encouraged to apply for the program.  

  • Applicants must be part-time or full-time UCalgary students or post-doctoral fellows. 

  • Applicants and team members must be legally eligible to work in Canada.  

  • Applicants and team members must reside in Alberta and be available to engage in all Launchpad program activities and attend the final pitch session in person.

The application procedure is slightly different if you are applying as an individual or part of a team. 

All applications require you to record and upload a 3-minute video that introduces you, your team, and your startup/idea. The video must include a 30-second elevator pitch and you telling us why you think you should be a part of Launchpad 2021/22. 

Focus more on clarity of information rather than video quality - recording on your phone is sufficient. 

Instructions for applying as an individual 

Click on the ‘Apply’ button at the top of this page and fill out the form. Be sure to have your video finished so you can upload it at the same time. 

Instructions for applying as part of a team 

Click on the ‘Apply’ button at the top of this page. This is the main application form, and only one person from the team should fill it out. Be sure to have your video finished so you can upload it at the same time. All other team members must fill out a separate form here.

Participants will learn the essential skills required to take an idea from concept to prototype through topics including: 

  • Developing an early prototype of your idea 

  • Defining a value proposition 

  • Validating an idea through customer insights 

  • Drafting a business model 

  • Working with teams 

  • Pitching to an audience 

  • Developing the skills to pitch their ideas 

Do I need to be a UCalgary student to participate in the Launchpad program? 

Participants must be current students, post-docs, or alumni up to 5 years. Anyone can attend the Launchpad Live speaker series. 

Is the Launchpad programming virtual or in-person? 

The speaker series is hybrid, so anyone can attend these sessions online or in person. The Launchpad workshops are in-person for program participants. 

How do my colleagues and I apply as a team? 

If you are a part of a team, there are two application forms. Click the ‘Apply’ button near the top of this page to get to the main application form – only one person per team should fill this out. All other team members must fill out a separate form here

Who can attend the speaker series? 

Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend! The sessions will be public, available in-person and online, so you have access no matter your location. Click here for more info.

How will the Hunter Hub be handling concerns regarding COVID-19? 

Our team is following the University of Calgary’s guidelines in exercising caution and awareness when planning Launchpad. For any in-person workshops, we will be encouraging attendees to wear masks, ensuring capacity limits are closely monitored, and Facilities Management is paying close attention to ventilation systems. 

The speaker series will be available both in-person and online, with limited attendees in each session. 

Click here for UCalgary’s full COVID-19 response.

Questions? Contact the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking by email at hunterhub@ucalgary.ca, or by phone: 403.220.4425.