Lab2Market Oceans

Lab2Market (L2M) is a national program that encourages researchers to take their findings beyond the typical academic path and into the world of innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization. Throughout the program, they’ll discover their passion for entrepreneurship, build an entrepreneurial skillset, and connect with the network they need to turn their ideas into successful businesses.

Lab2Market’s three program streams, including Discover, Validate, and Launch exist to guide you through every step of the entrepreneurial journey.

The Ocean Startup Project funds the industry-specific Oceans cohort of Lab2Market Validate (L2M Oceans / Validate), hosted by Memorial University of Newfoundland.

L2M Oceans / Validate is a national program for university research teams across Canada to explore their ocean research idea in a new way and identify commercial opportunities.

Based on the US I-Corps program, Lab2Market Validate fosters an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset in postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and faculty. The 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 systematically understand customer’s challenges, validate or invalidate business hypotheses, and systematically understand 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 building or further research and development.

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

  • Application window: Jun 8 – Jul 31, 2023
  • Orientation starts: Jan 8, 2024
  • Core Program starts: Jan 22, 2024
  • Winter Break: Feb 19 – 23, 2024
  • Program Ends: Mar 15, 2024

Download the 2023-2024 L2M Oceans Validate program information package. Memorial University’s Research Innovation Office is the L2M Oceans delivery partner and all partners and supporters are listed in the program info package:

Memorial University logo

Lab2Market Oceans logo across the top of a photo of a Black woman in a lab coat using a pipette

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 

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.

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. 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 for review.

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 four years) or a recent graduate of a Master’s or Ph.D. program
  • Project must be realistic and technically feasible
  • We recommend that the project focus on the applicant’s research area
  • Graduate student/postdoctoral fellow must receive permission from their research supervisor to take eight weeks to work on Lab2Market Oceans full-time (minimum 35 hours/week)
  • While L2M Oceans is open to participation nationally, it is delivered in English. A French version, L2M Validation (QC) without the ocean lens, is available through V1 Studio for participants who are affiliated with QC universities.

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