Lab2Market Oceans / Validate

The Lab2Market Oceans / Validate program gives ocean researchers the opportunity to critically test and evaluate their research idea in the entrepreneurial landscape. This carefully curated 16-week customer discovery experience (8 weeks full-time) is complemented by funding, exercises, workshops, and mentorship from industry experts – all with exploration at its core.

By engaging in this program, hosted by Memorial University, participants have the unique opportunity to develop professional skills that are crucial in today’s competitive market. Additionally, it serves as a platform to validate the practical applications of your technology, ensuring that what you bring to the table is not just innovative but also viable in real-world scenarios. Establishing product-market fit becomes more accessible, significantly improving your chances of commercial success. Beyond the technical and business aspects, this program is an excellent avenue to expand your professional network, connecting you with like-minded individuals and industry leaders who can provide invaluable insights and opportunities. Participants will also receive a $15,000 stipend, provided by Mitacs. Research teams will be equipped with the tools, resources, and connections necessary to navigate the challenges of the modern business landscape successfully.

We anticipate that program applications will open in the summer, with program acceptance by the end of the calendar year. The next Validate program will begin in January 2025 and run for eight weeks. 

This program is hosted by

And is presented in partnership with 





Applicants 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. The 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 for participants who are affiliated with QC universities.

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.

Lab2Market Oceans / Validate launched in 2020 and has had four cohorts

75 teams have participated in the program

3,309 Customer Interviews

~$1,020,000+ in non-dilutive funds raised

*this number does not include the most recent cohort and is not comprehensive of the entire alumni project team funds raised to date

33 teams commercialized/pursuing entrepreneurship

*this number will be updated after the six-month follow-up survey of 2024 participants, to better reflect their decision to pursue commercialization or not

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