Design for Startups

Bridging the gap between technology and design for improved product development

Project Budget* - $0.5M

Partner Co-investment - $0.2M

Supercluster Co-investment - $0.3M

Emily Carr University – $0.29M 

*Contracted amounts as of September 30, 2020. 

Project Partners

* With funding support from BC Tech and Innovate BC

Project Overview

Design expertise improves the form and function of products, platforms and services, making consumer items and software platforms more functional, aesthetic and human-centred. Start-ups face a challenge in connecting to design talent, and most often, a start-up’s team is missing the fundamental design pillar, focusing mostly on business and technology.

Led by Emily Carr University of Art + Design and bringing together A&K Robotics and CoPilot AI, Design for Startups helps close the gap between the technology and design communities. This is a fundamental step in building new talent capacity paving the way for a brighter future for design-led technology companies in B.C.

Over a two-year period, Design for Startups connects designers from Emily Carr with a tech startup in intensive 12-week sessions. Together, the designer and company develop applied solutions to a product design problem. This hands-on project helps advance the careers of emerging designers and improves product offerings of about 40 startups in B.C. 

The project is also boosting diversity in the sector. Currently, 31 per cent of web designers and developers in B.C. are women, compared to the national average of 48 per cent. Design for Startups leverages Emily Carr’s diversity, where more than 70 per cent of participants in entrepreneurship programs are women with design backgrounds.

Get Involved

There are two ways that your organization can join the Supercluster and start to get involved in collaborative projects designed to build world class digital technologies while growing our ecosystem and capacity as we become a world leader in the digital transformation of our economies and our society.