Launch Academy was founded on April 1st, 2012, by Ray Walia, Roger Patterson, and Jesse Heaslip, three entrepreneurs who wanted to work with like-minded entrepreneurs and leverage each other’s experience and networks. Mike Edwards joined the group and offered the available space at GrowLab, a Vancouver based tech startup accelerator.
Within two weeks, 12 entrepreneurs jumped in on the opportunity, and by the end of April, over 30 entrepreneurs were working out of the space. Using the revenue from selling desk space, Ray bought more desks, but as demand for shared resources and learning grew, Launch Academy and it’s business model had to evolve.
In September of 2012, Alex Chuang joined the group and helped Launch Academy transform from a collaborative workspace into a tech hub offering a variety of essential startup programs and resources. 12 months later in April 2013, Launch Academy established its new 12,000 sq.ft. home at the heart of Gastown in Vancouver.
Launch Academy is an early-stage tech incubator that provides entrepreneurs with the mentorship, resources, network and environment they need to launch, fund and grow their startups.
Since 2012, Launch Academy has incubated over 700 companies that have collectively raised over $250 million and created more than 2500 jobs. As a nonprofit leader that’s focused on community impact, Launch Academy aims to train and support more than 100,000 entrepreneurs by 2025.