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.

Applications for the 2022 cohort are now closed.

Download the full 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 two cohorts

38 teams have
participated in the program

1,517 Customer

Funds Raised

24 teams commercialized/
pursuing entrepreneurship

The 2022 Lab2Market Oceans Cohort will be facilitated by:

Carol Bartlett is a geophysicist and a sales expert. She worked in the oil and gas industry for many years and leveraged her skills in sales to climb the corporate ladder. Now as an independent consultant and entrepreneur, Carol teaches other entrepreneurs sales skills, and she helps organizations bring in a constant and steady pipeline of revenue.

Randy Gillespie has 30+ years experience working with entrepreneurs in ocean technology and geomatics to help them access technology, markets and investment to support the development and growth of their startups. Over the years he has worked with Provincial Aerospace, Rutter Technologies, C-Core, Compusult, AXYS Technologies, Quester Tangent, AMEC (now Wood), RPM Aerial, and others.

Leah Sanford is all about the joy in entrepreneurship. As one client said, “she’s the business hug every entrepreneur needs.” Leah is co-owner and principle at the strategy firm The Family Knife. Here she coaches entrepreneurs to get great strategies in place, get their stories to their best customers more effectively, and to have more fun while they’re at it. She translates complex entrepreneurial emotions and desires into clear operational, financial, and marketing actions that achieve meaningful business results—and lifelong desires—for consultants and creators around the world. Over her 15+ year career, Leah has worked with some of the country’s top employers and largest organizations, helping them communicate effectively and bolster their community reputations.  She’s a born coach and teacher, and she never lets the joy slip away, nor her clients fall.

Learn more about Lab2Market Oceans & apply today!

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)

Are you ready to explore commercialization opportunities for your research?

“Participating in the L2M program taught us how to get and have effective interviews with key industry stakeholders. Not just that we are getting conversations with these key stakeholders with guidance how to approach these stakeholders, but that we are asking them the right questions to determine if the market need is great enough that we should invest time and money into developing our technology further for this specific industrial problem. These skills are easily transferable to assessing other industries, which is a great help for us as we have a platform technology that is not restricted to any one industry.

– Dr. Harland Brandon
CEO and Co-Founder, Allos Bioscience

“Lab2Market program had a really huge effect on my entrepreneurial journey. Before Lab2Market, I did not know where I should start or what were the next steps. This program made me confident in my product’s commercial viability and [helped me] figure out the way to move forward, which ended in getting into the Ocean Startup Challenge.

After being successfully awarded in the idea stream of Ocean Startup Challenge, I got familiar with many fantastic mentors, who I am in contact with to plan my next steps of customer validation.”

– Fereshteh Shahhoseini
Co-Founder and CEO, ExTech MIP

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