COMM 466 - New Venture Design

Jointly offered by the Faculties of Applied Science and the UBC Sauder School of Business, and now open to students from all faculties, the goal of the course is to provide students with knowledge and experience related to the formation of entrepreneurial enterprises based on the development of a new product or process.

This course has been endowed with a financial gift from Dr. Ken Spencer that provides funds for student teams to develop their product or process and compete at business plan and engineering competitions. New Venture Design student teams have gained recognition and won prizes in each of the last several years. Teams have seen success in competitions including CBC’s Dragon’s Den, New Ventures BC, Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition in Singapore, and Queens University to name a few. The main benefits of these competitions however is to gain experiences, find mentors, and build contacts.

During the course, teams of five or six students will propose one or more products, then evaluate the products based on their potential market, their estimated manufacturing and distribution costs, and other factors. The output from the course will be the development of a business plan for a proposed new enterprise, and the demonstration of a prototype of the product. Commerce students will primarily lead the business plan development, and students in engineering will primarily lead the prototype development. For example, the product can be a new physical device, a new software product, or a new engineering process. Lectures in the course will address creativity, market definition, financial projections, the design cycle, product marketing, manufacturing, distribution, support and repair.

This course is open to students who will have 4th-year status by January 2025. Admission to COMM 466 (cross-listed with APSC 486) is by application only. Visit for instructions on how to apply. Check for this year’s deadline.

Application of course credits

COMM 466 is a two-term, six-credit course. You can apply these credits toward your degree requirements differently depending on which option(s) you plan to complete. Note that credits used toward the requirements for one option cannot be reused toward the requirements for a second option or the Year 4 capstone requirement (i.e., double counting is not permitted).

The six credits can be applied toward your degree requirements in one of the following combinations:

  • 6 credits toward Entrepreneurship option requirements.
  • 3 credits toward Entrepreneurship option requirements (as a Year 4 Entrepreneurship course) + 3 credits toward Marketing option requirements (as either a Year 4 Marketing course or in place of COMM 468, but not both. If you choose to take COMM 466 and COMM 468, you will receive credit for both courses). 
  • 3 credits toward Entrepreneurship or Marketing option requirements + 3 credits toward Commerce elective requirements. 
  • 3 credits toward Entrepreneurship or Marketing option requirements + 3 credits toward Year 4 capstone requirement (these 3 credits are equivalent to COMM 497; if you take both COMM 466 and COMM 497 you will receive credit for only one of the courses).
  • 3 credits toward Year 4 capstone requirement + 3 credits toward Commerce elective requirements.
  • 6 credits toward Commerce elective requirements.
Course credits:

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