Projects / Lean Entrepreneurship | 2015

Supported by the Scotiabank Program for Emerging Entrepreneurs, Living Labs partners with Launch Academy to send students to the Lean Entrepreneurship Program. These highly motivated, senior level students are engaged in entrepreneurial mentorship, with the longer-term goal of launching their own business.

Influenced by the Lean Startup Movement and taught by Vancouver’s best entrepreneurs, developers, and designers, this program teaches students the fundamentals of building a startup. The program is intended to foster an ability to think differently about developing innovative products and disrupting marketplaces. Through this program students hone their ability to generate and implement new ideas, access the industry’s top mentors, and learn everything from incorporating your business to acquiring your first customer. Students applying for this opportunity have a business idea that they wish to develop.

Over the last 2 years, Launch Academy has incubated over 180 companies, who have raised over $25 million dollars and created over 400 jobs, twenty of which have been accepted into premier accelerator programs. Program mentors include former partners from Deloitte, former Googlers, writers for The Huffington Post, major law firm partners, HR professionals, Marketing and PR experts, and some of the country’s top entrepreneurs.

Through this program, students learn to:

  • Understand and implement the fundamentals of lean methodology
  • Understand and implement customer development processes
  • Utilize a step-by-step guide to operating a small tech-based business
  • Implement tips and tricks of multi-channel distribution with minimal resources
  • Build relationships with potential advisors, co-founders and investors
  • Build a real and viable startup business
  • Prepare a startup for top accelerators like 500startups, TechStars, GrowLab, and FounderFuel



This project is a partnership between Living Labs and Launch Academy, with generous support from the Scotiabank Platform Program from Emerging Entrepreneurs. 


Spring 2015 Entrepreneurship Students

Hope Akello | Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Hope is an industrial design major at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Hope finds enthusiastic inspiration within inclusive design. Before transferring to Emily Carr University, Hope studied ID in Toronto at Humber College where she gained valuable knowledge of technical aspects and discovered her passion for footwear design.

Rachel Apted  | Continuously in a state of creating and creativity, Rachel has always been considered an “ideas person”. Rachel finds inspiration in observations of both the natural and the urban environment, coupled with trending designs in pop culture and the random chaos of life. Rachel enjoys working with bright cheery imagery and colors; symmetry and pattern. Rachel’s appreciation for design is complimented by an intrigue in business and the possibilities of improving the client experience within the design world. Rachel is looking forward to the challenge of running her own design agency in the future.

Andreas Eiken | Trained as a product designer, Andreas can now be found working and researching in service design and user experience based on growing interest and experience in user-centered design research. Andreas’ interests lie in emerging roles for design, the design process in new contexts, and how design can be utilized for the greater good, both socially and ecologically. Andreas co-founded an interdisciplinary class, platFORM (, with undergraduate design and business students to collaboratively develop products and expose students to the idea of the ‘designer as entrepreneur’ and the relevant business skills. Andreas wrote his masters thesis, ‘Citizen centred services’, looking at how local governments can utilize user-centered design to help innovate and improve the services they provide to the public.

Alice Honiqin | Alice Honiqin is a communications and UX designer. She has experience in media, publishing, and community engagement. Currently, her curiosity is ignited with content strategy and delivery for print to digital publications. She is currently enrolled in Emily Carr’s UX Design Essentials program.

Maia Rowan | Maia Rowan is a Masters of Design candidate at Emily Carr University in the 2016 cohort. She is fascinated by design entrepreneurship, and experimenting with new designer-client relationships. Her thesis explores how service design can offer alternative consumption models in the clothing industry.


Fall 2014 Entrepreneurship Students

Jessica Baratta | Jessica is a first year student in the MDes. program. Originally from Toronto, she completed her undergraduate degree from the YSDN Bachelor of Design program. Her design approach is very simplistic; built upon curiosity and a strong attention to detail. ThrougH use of the reduction method, she works with the essential components of a problem to find a gap where a design solution can exist. In her spare time, you will find her running, baking a batch of cookies or spending time with friends and family.

Jean Lin | Jean is currently working as a Research Assistant at GrowLab where she is partnering with Farm at Hand, a startup that offers farm management services via mobile platforms. She is also a 3rdyear Interaction Design student at ECUAD and believes a good User Interface needs successful Information Architecture. In the past, Jean studied Interior Design and Marketing Management at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She has also held positions in retail management and visual merchandising.

Mike Majeski | Born and raised in New Jersey, Mike moved to Vancouver to pursue industrial design. He is interested in the design of bicycles, orthotics/prosthetics and sustainable building/manufacturing practices. His goal is to one day have his own company in any of these fields.

Jon Peters | Jon Peters is a photo-based artist, writer, and arts administrator. His practice deals with space and identity, with current interests in modernist architecture, melancholy, and the phenomenology of the image. He is currently the administrator of Republic Gallery, as well as research co-ordinator for a documentary film project produced by Atelier Bolombo.

Bob Ross | Bob Ross is a industrial design major specializing in smart objects and UX/UI. He is working with Spacelist, a Vancouver based startup making it easier to find and market office, retail and industrial space for rent. Spacelist is a Growlab alumni company, with 6 employees in its Gastown offices. Working with spacelist Bob is helping them develop their email campaigns and product UX.

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