Discovering the Entrepreneur Within

Date & Time

Monday, 25 February 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm


Thea Koerner House, Graduate Student Centre, 6371 Crescent Road, UBC, Point Grey campus


Postdoctoral Fellows Office, Graduate Pathways to Success, and Mitacs



This session is being offered in collaboration with MITACS Training (formerly Mitacs Step). Mitacs Training provides professional development training to advanced degree graduates, supplementing their education and research experience with the tools necessary to succeed in today’s workforce.

Discovering the Entrepreneur Within has participants analyze successful entrepreneurial ventures and identify what it took for those entrepreneurs to reach their goals. Using an interactive, team-based approach, this full-day workshop builds awareness of the current Canadian entrepreneurial landscape and resources available to those looking to start their own business. Using the tools and techniques used in the first part of the workshop, teams create a product or service concept that they will present to the group. May the best idea win!


To expose participants to the benefits and trials of building a business while building awareness of the current Canadian entrepreneurial landscape and the resources available to entrepreneurs. The aim of the workshop is to broaden awareness of the entrepreneurial world to build confidence and expand a sense of possibility.


  • Through participating and completing this workshop, participants will: 
  • Have a broadened understanding of the elements that make a successful business and an unsuccessful business
  • Gain a greater sense of what it take to be an entrepreneur
  • Gain personal insight into taking the entrepreneurial routs
  • Understand different types of businesses
  • Build awareness on different sources of financing
  • Gain in-depth exposure to business planning
  • Understand and have practiced creating and presenting the elements of a successful pitch
  • What makes a good entrepreneur?
    • Self-assessment
    • Entrepreneurial attributes
    • Obstacles
    • Risk tolerance
    • Common pitfalls
    • Changing face of entrepreneurialism
  • Entrepreneurial Landscape
    • Current trends
    • Definitions and resources
  • Know your company: structure your idea
    • Entrepreneurial teams
    • Market analysis
    • Product vs. services
    • Types of legal business entities
    • Types of Funding
    • Plan your idea
    • Financial/People/Legal, accounting, admin
  • Make a plan
    • Plan your company
    • Creating a business plan
  • Selling your idea
    • Successful pitches to potential investors

Roger Patterson loves creating successful companies. He has over 15 years’ experience in the software and telecom industries – 10 years of which were spent founding his own companies. After starting off his career working for large corporate behemoths such as Nortel and Newbridge Networks, Roger found himself drawn to smaller, more innovative start-up companies, in search of that elusive feeling of being able to make a difference.  Since 2001, Roger has founded 3 companies. He has been involved in the painful process of raising capital, as well as the more pleasurable process of having his company acquired. And in between, he has invented new algorithms, managed small and large teams, created new products, and fostered customer relationships on 3 continents – including a lot of flying around.  Through all this, Roger has come to love and be humbled by the truly creative process of entrepreneurism, and looks forward to helping others turn their ideas into businesses.


Registration in this workshop is required, and is now open. Those postdocs who are successfully registered will receive a confirmation email within one week of the workshop date.

** Please note that lunch will not be provided as part of this session. **

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