Monthly Archives

November 2016

Is the Trampoline Business Model Validation Program right for you?

By | RADIUS Ventures, Trampoline | No Comments

As you may have heard, the RADIUS Trampoline Business Model Validation Program is currently accepting applications.

If you’re considering applying, but aren’t sure if Trampoline is right for you, there are a number of ways to learn more. You could…

  1. Attend our Information Session on December 9th
  2. Send an email to ventures[at]
  3. Start by simply asking yourself the following questions: 
  • Are you working on a social venture?
  • Are you the founder or co-founder of your venture?
  • Is your venture recently launched or about to launch?
  • Are you ready to rigorously test and refine your business model?
  • Are you ready to grow your network and connect with other social entrepreneurs?
  • Are you trying to confirm alignment between your venture and the problem you want to solve?

If you answered “yes” to most or all of these, then the Trampoline Program might be just what you need. Visit the Trampoline page of our website for more information and, if you’re in Vancouver on December 9th, join us in person for the RADIUS Ventures Information Session.

One Radical Doer’s Path through Fellows and Trampoline

By | Fellows, RADIUS Ventures | No Comments

Two years ago, Devon Carr had just moved back to Vancouver.  A sailor, tinkerer, chef, and innovator – he came to RADIUS searching for an impactful way to apply his considerable talent and passion. Today, Devon is leading two exciting initiatives.  

Coastal Cover & the Trampoline Business Model Validation Program:

I first met Devon in the 2015 when he brought “Coastal Cover” to the RADIUS Trampoline Business Model Validation Program. Devon’s idea was to pull old sails out of the waste stream by turning them into tents for special events.  

Over eight weeks, participants in RADIUS Trampoline build the skills and confidence they need to validate the business model and potential impact of a social venture idea. Participants test their idea to ensure that:  

a) the venture addresses a meaningful problem;
b) the solution is viable and competitive; and
c) the founder has the skills and passion to carry it forward.


One of Devon Carr’s Coastal Cover tents

Most of the time success means a refined business plan and more confidence. Sometimes, though, success means recognizing that one piece of that triad is missing. Better to find that out in eight weeks than after eight months of trial and error!

That was the case for Devon. A couple weeks in, Devon realized that although the tent rental market was underserved and his business model was economically sound, his solution wouldn’t divert enough waste to be his life’s work.  After doing a couple of events he put the business on the shelf and continued to explore ways to apply his entrepreneurial learning.  

The next challenge that he sunk his teeth into emerged out of his experience with the RADIUS Fellowship.

Precarious Employment & The RADIUS Fellowship in Radical Doing

Devon was a 2015 RADIUS Fellow.  He credits this experience with fundamentally developing his understanding of social innovation (“like drinking from a firehose”) and with connecting him to a network of likeminded peers.  

While participating in the Fellowship – which pulls together the next generation of untamed social entrepreneurs and innovators early in their journey – Devon noticed that most of his peers faced precarious employment. These vibrant young changemakers who demonstrate remarkable accomplishment and a relentless dedication to creating positive impact are among approximately $5.5million Canadians whose work is seasonal, temporary, contract based, or self-employment.

Exemplifying the best of a social innovation mindset, Devon asked, “How might we create conditions to better enable young Canadians to take chances to create a better economy?”

Devon is close to launching a group benefits program for people precariously employed but dedicated to positive social change.  “I didn’t set out to be an insurance provider,” says Devon, “but I am dedicated to reducing the risks associated with following your own path, and benefits are great a way to do this.”

Moving forward

Devon is now structuring the benefits offering, and exploring a partnership with Ontario’s Coworking Health Insurance Plan (COHIP).  If you would like to learn more about whether this program may be a fit for you, please contact Devon at benefits[at]

Ironically, Coastal Cover – the sail cloth tent company – is also alive and well.  Coastal Cover delivered 18 events in 2016, all in response to inbound inquiries.  “Even after I decided that this wasn’t the full deal in terms of impact,” Devon says, “I realised that it’s a good little business that can help generate revenue for other projects while serving a market need.”  

Today, Devon is an active member of the RADIUS community and is continuing to develop solutions that apply his unique skills toward addressing market and societal needs.

More about Trampoline

RADIUS is currently recruiting for its next Trampoline cohort, which runs January to March 2017.  Learn more or apply now by visiting the Trampoline page.   

More about the RADIUS Fellowship

Apply to the 2017 RADIUS Fellowship before November 26. For additional information, please email Fellowship Program Manager, Tamara Connell at tconnell[at]

Rent a Hot Desk at the RADIUS Hub!

By | Community, Hot Desks | 2 Comments

Looking for a beautiful, community-oriented workspace in downtown Vancouver?

RADIUS is expanding our commitment to developing social innovation in Vancouver by offering accessible workspace to individuals and ventures who are building solutions in support of a more just, sustainable and resilient society. Located at the Charles Chang Innovation Centre, within Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business, RADIUS serves as a hub for entrepreneurial education and acceleration – building a network of ventures, programs and people embedded within the university and the social innovation ecosystem.

Rent a RADIUS Hot Desk

RADIUS currently has a limited number of Hot Desk Memberships available for social entrepreneurs and innovators who are interested in joining our community. All RADIUS Coworking Members are entitled to the following benefits:

  • Access to the Hot Desk Bar for 10 days per month during operating hours
  • 2 hours per month of free meeting room bookings per Coworking Membership plan
  • Additional meeting room bookings at an accessible hourly rate
  • Spontaneous use of small break out rooms & lounge space
  • Priority reservations & discounts for public facing events
  • Offers with community partners including MODO car-share
  • Secure bike lock up & shower facility
  • Use of the kitchen & lounge
  • Good coffee & good company

Download the Membership Agreement today, or email community[at] to learn more.

Is the RADIUS Fellowship or the Trampoline Program right for you?

By | Fellows, RADIUS Ventures | No Comments

The RADIUS Fellowship and Trampoline Business Model Validation Program are both currently accepting applications.

Theunis Snyman of Basic Design is an alumnus of both programs.  He’s active in the community and has partnered with and been contracted by alumni, by SFU, and by RADIUS itself. To help you decide if the Fellowship or Trampoline is right for you, Theunis shares highlights from his experience and learning in each program.

Theunis’ Journey with RADIUS

“The RADIUS Fellowship gave me a network of peers and friends, and a deep connection to a purposeful community. As a participant in the Fellowship, RADIUS gave me a place to really think about social change and surrounded me with people who supported each other in the work we do to solve problems. I didn’t have that before. And I’m forever grateful.

A year after completing the Fellowship, Jesi (my partner at Basic Design) and I were back for the Trampoline Market Validation Program. Trampoline was all about testing our business model. Through really frank conversations with expert instructors, we identified potential pitfalls that would impact our success. To get the most of out of Trampoline, you want to go into the program with clarity about the idea you are working on.

I came to RADIUS because I was really drawn to the idea of a community of people acting on their beliefs and creating solutions to complex social and environmental challenges. And that’s exactly what I found at RADIUS. SFU and RADIUS have supported me more than you can imagine.”

Apply to the RADIUS Fellowship

Applications are due by November 26th! Apply now.

The RADIUS Fellowship is looking for the next generation of untamed social entrepreneurs and innovators who are early on their changemaking journey, demonstrating remarkable accomplishment and a relentless dedication to creating positive, sustainable impact in all they do. Fellows will take a four-month journey from late January until early June 2017. During weekly learning sessions they will explore their own leadership, build their network; receive coaching and mentorship; and generously support their peers to help foster as much positive change as possible.

Join an information session on November 21st to learn more or email Fellowship Program Manager, Tamara Connell at tconnell[at]

Apply to the  RADIUS’ Trampoline Business Model Validation Program

Applications are due by December 6th. Apply now.

Trampoline gives emergent entrepreneurs the skills and confidence they need to validate both the business model and potential impact of a specific social venture idea. In this eight week program starting January 2017, participants will test a business idea they have in development and to ensure that the venture addresses a meaningful problem; the solution is a viable and competitive solution; and the founder is ready to carry it forward.

Learn more about Trampoline online or RSVP for an upcoming Ventures Q&A session by emailing ventures[at]

RADIUS make the front page of The Georgia Straight!

By | Media Releases | No Comments

The Georgia Straight recently profiled RADIUS Director Shawn Smith alongside Beedie Business School’s Director of Entrepreneurship Sarah Lubik and Associate Dean Andrew Gemino. The article sheds light on the origins of RADIUS, changing values in entrepreneurship and the evolving role and purpose of business schools in today’s economy.

Read Charlie Smith’s full article in The Georgia Straight.

SFU Participating in the Skoll Global Challenge

By | Funding, Social Innovation | No Comments

SFU is participating in the Skoll Global Challenge along with other top schools from around the world. This is a unique competition focused on understanding social problems before trying to solve them and we’re looking for SFU students to participate around issues they are passionate about!

  • Who can apply? Individuals or teams of up to three people. You must have at least ONE SFU student (undergraduate, graduate or doctoral) or recent alumni (within 1 yr), and may include community members.
  • What’s the deadline? December 20th to complete the short registration form, and Feb 6th for your full submission to the SFU local competition round.
  • Do I need a solution idea for my problem? No, you just need a thorough understanding of the problem and current gaps or opportunities.
  • How do I apply? All the info you need is here – note the registration deadline is Dec 20th – this is just a 20 minute process.
  • What problem should my team work on? Anything you are passionate about – all the better if you have already been  working on something. We are particularly interested in learning more about:refugee and immigrant integration, informal economies, circular economy (and particularly clothing industry sustainability/recycling), sustainable food systems (including food waste and food security), precarious work, first nations economic development, and community health topics (inc. health, ageing, active transportation)
  • What do we submit? Pretty simple –  1) A visual map or representation of the issue, 2) a document or slide deck (max 2000 words), 3) bibliography of sources.
  • What can we win? Prize money, trips to Oxford and the Skoll World Forum, access to further funds and support, fame and glory.  SFU will provide at least $1,000 for the top SFU individual or team, and $500 for two runners up. There is a special $1000 local prize for the top team working on refugee settlement issues, and more funding at the national and international levels.
  • What support is there at SFU? We’re hosting a workshop in January and we’ll do our best to advise any teams looking for input on their work before the submission deadline in an informal manner. There are also lots of great resources posted by the Skoll Centre already.

More on the competition from the global host, the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford:

The Global Challenge is a chance for students and recent graduates to learn more about the issues they care about and present their findings to the world.

Tackling global challenges starts with understanding a problem and its wider context, rather than jumping straight into a business plan or an idea for a quick fix. Participants are asked to demonstrate a deep understanding of a pressing social or environmental issue by mapping out the landscape of the current solutions and identifying missing opportunities for positive change.

Winners will be invited to attend the Skoll World Forum and all finalists will have an opportunity to apply for further funding to directly ‘apprentice with a problem’ in a global location relating to their chosen topic.

More questions? Check out their FAQ, then register!

Feel free to contact Shawn with any questions you can’t find answers for on the website –

The Global Challenge at SFU is offered in partnership with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at The University of Oxford, RECODE at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, and the Trico Charitable Foundation.