Lab2Market Oceans

Lab2Market Oceans is a national program for university research teams to explore their ocean research idea in a new way and identify commercial opportunities.

It encourages researchers to take their findings beyond the typical academic path and into the world of innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization.

Based on the US I-Corps program, Lab2Market Oceans fosters an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset in postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and faculty. The seven-week program teaches entrepreneurial methodologies and business best practices, with topics such as market sizing, stakeholder engagement, intellectual property, regulatory processes, revenue stream, cost structure, and more.

A significant part of the program focuses on customer discovery; teams will interview 15 potential customers each week to gain a systematic understanding of customer’s challenges, validate or invalidate business hypotheses, and receive constructive feedback, all while building meaningful relationships with prospective clients or partners. The process determines whether there is product-market fit and allows participants to translate their findings to product design, business model building or further research and development.

The next Lab2Market Oceans Cohort will kickoff in January 2024, with the following key dates for prospective participants to keep in mind: 

  • Orientation Week starts January 8, 2024
  • Program duration: January 22, 2024 through March 8, 2024

The application period will take place in winter 2023. Stay tuned to our social media channels and website for more information on the process.

Download the 2022 program information package.

Allos Bioscience designs and builds custom protein-based biosensors using molecular dynamics simulations. The team was part of the Lab2Market Oceans 2021 Cohort and was accepted into Braid Theory, a California-based accelerator in Jan. 2022.

The program launched in 2020 and has had three cohorts

57 teams have participated in the program

2,553 Customer Interviews

$850,000+ Funds Raised

24 teams commercialized/pursuing entrepreneurship

*this number currently reflects the 2020 and 2021 cohort and will be updated after the six-month follow-up survey of 2022 participants 

Learn more about Lab2Market Oceans

Application Process

Submit an application

The Entrepreneurial Lead (graduate student/postdoctoral fellow) should be the main applicant. The Technical Lead (faculty member) must be included as a co-applicant. Only non-confidential information should be provided. The application must include how the research outcomes will contribute to the problem’s solution and assumptions on its potential customer or commercial market. The application should NOT reveal any proprietary information that is not yet publicly disclosed or covered by a patent/provisional patent. Consider any information disclosed in the application non-confidential information. Please contact the technology transfer office at your institution if you have any questions regarding intellectual property. Applications are now closed for the 2022 cohort.

Review and Interview

The application will be reviewed, and short-listed teams will be interviewed. Teams will be short-listed based on: – the size of the problem – novelty and quality of the research – market potential – commitment to the program

Mitacs e-Accelerate

Each short-listed team will be contacted by their local Mitacs representative and will have at least two weeks to complete a Mitacs e-Accelerate funding proposal. May 31 is a hard deadline for the Mitacs funding application. Your application will not be considered if you do not complete the Mitacs funding application on time. The partner organization for the Mitacs application is Springboard Atlantic Inc. Once teams submit the Mitacs application, it will take eight to 10 weeks to review it.

Program Acceptance

Acceptance to the program depends on the success of the Lab2Market Oceans application and the Mitacs funding application. If you are accepted, the Lab2Market Oceans Program Manager will reach out with the next steps for enrolment. Each accepted team will receive an acceptance letter that confirms the funding and the program objectives. Teams also need to follow their university’s policies concerning intellectual property and research commercialization. Teams need to contact their Technology Transfer Office once accepted into Lab2Market.


  • Applicant must be a graduate student (Master’s or Ph.D. level) or postdoctoral fellow (graduated within five years)
  • Project must be realistic and technically feasible
  • Project must be the focus of the graduate student/postdoctoral fellow applicant’s study and research
  • Graduate student/postdoctoral fellow must receive permission from their research supervisor to take seven weeks to work on Lab2Market Oceans full-time (minimum 35 hours/week)

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