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Scaling Success Lazaridis Institute Whitepaper
March 2016

Building a prosperous Canadian knowledge-economy depends in no small part on the creation of
a next generation of high-growth, globally competitive Canadian technology companies. These
high-growth companies contribute disproportionately to the creation of employment and economic
growth. However, compared to other mature economies, Canada has so far underperformed on the
creation of these firms.
As part of the development of the Lazaridis Institute at Wilfrid Laurier University, this white paper
is designed to shed light on the relative scarcity of high-growth Canadian technology firms. We
began by asking 125 of Canada’s most well-informed and best-placed industry stakeholders—in
particular the founders of, and investors in, high-growth technology firms—to talk about the major
impediments facing these firms. Their comments indicated a significant knowledge gap related
to the role management and executive skills play among these growth challenges. Their feedback
also demonstrated a shared understanding that scaling a technology company in today’s global
marketplace is radically different than in previous eras.
The analysis of this data reveals the following key findings:
• While science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related (STEM) talent is
abundant, the talent pool in general lacks business and management knowledge.
• Shortages of experienced management and/or executive talent are the primary inhibitors
to scaling up.
• Canadian technology firms lack key management competencies in specific areas including
sales, marketing, organizational design and product management.
• The talent shortage is linked to the lack of existing and/or exited growth firms in
Canada’s technology sector.
These findings underscore the importance of building a well-rounded cadre of managers and
executives in Canada’s technology sector. Doing so must take into consideration the fact that
today’s technology markets are distinguished by far shorter time-to-market and product life cycles,
as well as a generally more complex global operating environment.
This white paper presents an in-depth review of the challenges facing Canadian high-tech firms and
develops a strong evidence base upon which to build future initiatives designed to address them.
The work represents an important first step by the Lazaridis Institute to help a next generation of
Canadian technology companies scale into global leaders.
Canada  Canadian  gazelles  high-growth  investors  scaling  start_ups  talent  technology  Colleges_&_Universities  Kitchener-Waterloo  knowledge_economy  WLU  Mike_Lazaridis  team_risk 
6 weeks ago by jerryking
Toronto’s tech boom is transforming the city
July 26, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | MARCUS GEE.

the tech industry that is transforming Toronto. The city is in the midst of a spectacular tech boom. Big firms such as Microsoft, Twitter, Uber, Google and Netflix are setting up shop or expanding here. Thousands of workers are coming to live and work in the city. Thousands of startup companies are revving their engines.

The pell-mell growth of the city comes in part from the rise of tech. Patrick Fejér of B+H Architects says 10 million square feet of new office space is due to open by 2024, more than was built from 1992 to the present. Toronto, he says, has more than 120 construction cranes in the air, compared with 65 in Seattle and 35 in New York.

CBRE, a real estate consultancy, says that Toronto is the fastest-growing market for tech talent in North America, “adding an eye-popping 80,100 tech jobs in the past five years, a 54-per-cent increase.” It now ranks third, just behind San Francisco’s Bay Area and Seattle.
Big_Tech  creative_class  downtown_core  housing  King-Spadina  Kitchener-Waterloo  livability  Marcus_Gee  millennials  neighbourhoods  Port_Lands  property_development  Sidewalk_Labs  talent  Toronto  transformational  transit  walkability  technology 
july 2019 by jerryking
New partnership aims to create ‘a Bloomberg for private companies’ - The Globe and Mail
JACOB SEREBRIN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Apr. 27, 2017

The lack of data on Canada’s startup ecosystem is a major problem, says Dan Breznitz, the co-director of the Innovation Policy Lab and the Munk Chair of Innovation Studies at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. “On anything that has to do with innovation policy, and I would actually say a lot of other growth policies, we have horrible data in Canada,” Mr. Breznitz says.

Gathering more data on accelerators and incubators is a good step, he says......Hockeystick’s platform acts as a tool for private companies to store data and share it with investors and potential investors. That data ranges from investments and sales numbers, to the number of employees and the names of the company’s founders.

Over 10,000 companies are currently using the platform. The new partnership will help the company reach its goal of having data on the majority of private companies in Canada instead of just a fraction, according to Raymond Luk, Hockeystick’s founder and CEO.
partnerships  WLU  start_ups  Kitchener-Waterloo  financial_data  privately_held_companies  innovation_policies 
april 2017 by jerryking
Go North - CBC.ca | Metro Morning
October 28, 2016 | CBC Metromorning | Matt Galloway + head of Google Canada, Sam Sebastian.

Is Southern Ontario the next big region for tech? The head of Google Canada seems to think so, Matt Galloway spoke with him this morning.
Canada  start_ups  crossborder  Google  Kitchener-Waterloo  Toronto  talent  Southern_Ontario  CBC_Radio  uWaterloo 
october 2016 by jerryking
Laurier initiative to separate the strong startups from the weak - The Globe and Mail
JENNIFER LEWINGTON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 08, 2016

[For Corey & UpSpark]
Earlier this year, the school’s Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises issued a report, Scaling Success: Tackling the Management Gap in Canada’s Technology Sector, that concluded Canada “continues to underperform its peers in the creation of high-growth firms.” For example, a majority of tech startups in the professional, scientific and technical sector demonstrated “consistently negative rates of business creation” between 2001 and 2012, according to the report.

Given the poor showing, the dean asks: “So how do we take our most promising startups and take them to the next level?”

One answer, he hopes, is a new collaboration between the Lazaridis Institute and several tech-focused industry partners.

Working with Communitech, a Waterloo-based innovation centre that supports more than 1,000 technology companies, the Institute plans to develop an assessment tool this fall to identify startups with the potential to scale up. The tool, currently being tested, would evaluate companies for the quality of their product, technology, staff, management and financial muscle.
assessments_&_evaluations  brands  business_schools  Colleges_&_Universities  Communitech  culling  failure  Fortune_500  gazelles  high-growth  Kitchener-Waterloo  large_companies  scaling  start_ups  tools  under-performing  WLU 
july 2016 by jerryking
'Stigma' against sales jobs hinders Canadian companies' growth - The Globe and Mail
BEN FIRMAN
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jun. 20, 2016

Canada’s technology and innovation sector feels the negative impact of this problem more acutely than any other. As a nation we have a wealth of established and emerging technology firms that are developing amazing innovations, but the two biggest barriers to growth are a lack of investor capital and sales talent. The two are inextricably linked and one will typically reinforce the other. These critical barriers to growth precipitate the failure of many Canadian technology ventures and often see our success stories refocus their operations south of the border. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for Canadian technology ventures to sell at an early stage, perhaps prematurely due to a lack of strategic sales leadership and the necessary sales talent pool that would be needed to take their venture to the next stage.
Kitchener-Waterloo  start_ups  selling  sales  sellout_culture  software  stigmatization  salespeople  talent_pools 
june 2016 by jerryking
Waterloo’s Kik launches Bot Shop, opens platform to outside developers
Kik Interactive of Waterloo, Ont., is the latest tech company to expand its effort to become a platform for third-party bot makers in recent weeks.The chat app
Kik  platforms  bots  chatbots  Kitchener-Waterloo 
april 2016 by jerryking
London lives again: Inside the revival in Ontario’s rust belt - The Globe and Mail
JOHN IBBITSON
LONDON, ONT. The Globe and Mail Last updated: Friday, Feb. 05, 2016

Synergies between the education sector and the private sector lie at the very heart of Southwestern Ontario’s future. By incubating, encouraging and then feeding workers into London’s emerging high-technology sector, Western and Fanshawe are doing for their city what the University of Waterloo has long been doing for Kitchener-Waterloo’s computer-based industries and the University of Guelph is doing for bio-technology in Guelph.
John_Ibbitson  rust_belt  manufacturers  job_loss  revitalization  Southwestern_Ontario  entrepreneur  automotive_industry  UWO  Kitchener-Waterloo  synergies 
february 2016 by jerryking
Southern Ontario should be an innovation cluster, not a farm team - The Globe and Mail
PATRICK DEANE, MERIC GERTLER AND FERIDUN HAMDULLAHPUR
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Dec. 28, 2015
industrial_policies  uToronto  uWaterloo  innovation  Ontario  clusters  Kitchener-Waterloo 
december 2015 by jerryking
Canada a new technology hotbed? If so, we need to commit to it - The Globe and Mail
KHANJAN DESAI
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Aug. 14, 2015

the end goal should be about making Canada the centre of gravity for another ecosystem.

In the words of Wayne Gretzky, we need to skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.

The hardware opportunity has already become mainstream, and other ecosystems have already pounced on it, but Canada isn’t far behind. We are creating companies to solve complex problems in the health-medical and wearable-technology spaces, and applying complex nanotechnologies to revolutionize conventional markets.

Nanotechnology engineering graduates from the University of Waterloo are now starting companies at the same pace as any other program at the university, and a venture fund for innovations exclusively in the quantum domain was just created in Waterloo. Wearable-technology and machine-learning startups are booming, with the University of Toronto alumni leading the charge, and we’re just getting started. The Creative Destruction Lab is launching a separate stream to support machine-learning startups and Velocity recently launched the Velocity Foundry program to house startups that build physical products.

If Canada is going to become the hotbed for wearable technology or create a Quantum Valley in the Waterloo region, we need to commit to it. It’s much better to be extremely good at one thing than be mediocre at many things.
Neverfrost  start_ups  uWaterloo  uToronto  Silicon_Valley  CDL  Canada  Y_Combinator  ecosystems  wearables  nanotechnology  machine_learning  Velocity  Pablo_Picasso  widgets  Kitchener-Waterloo  quantum_computing  complex_problems 
august 2015 by jerryking
Waterloo tech startups absent from Y Combinator’s roster - The Globe and Mail
SHANE DINGMAN - TECHNOLOGY REPORTER
Waterloo, Ont. — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jul. 20, 2015
uWaterloo  Silicon_Valley  Y_Combinator  Kitchener-Waterloo 
july 2015 by jerryking
Perimeter Institute's formula for a calculated physics reboot - The Globe and Mail
IVAN SEMENIUK
WATERLOO, ONT. — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jun. 23, 2015

“We want to reboot physics – globally,” says Neil Turok, Perimeter’s director and the driving force behind Convergence, a four-day physics summit that kicked off here on Sunday. Turok wants to channel the daring originality of the likes of: (a) Albert Einstein’s radical rethinking of gravity that gave us warped space and black holes; and (b), Emmy Noether’s first theorem, a tour de force of abstract reasoning that demonstrates the relationship between forms of symmetry in mathematics and the physical laws that govern the way the universe operates-- to help spark a another revolution.

The meeting’s premise is that theoretical physics has worked itself into the tall weeds, getting more complex and less connected to experiment than it ought to be. To get back out, Dr. Turok says, the field needs ideas as rich and startling as those that came from Einstein, Noether and their peers....The challenge in working with such individuals, says James Forrest, who runs the institute’s academic programs, is “how do you teach physics to the people who are already good at it?” It’s a dilemma universities seldom worry about – but for Perimeter, which aims to optimize the randomness of human brilliance, the question is crucial.

Another way in which the institute has tried to leverage the global talent pool is to bring in more female researchers. Women are conspicuously underrepresented in physics but through a funding stream called the Emmy Noether Circle the institute has significantly boosted its share of young women theorists.
Albert_Einstein  Perimeter_Institute  physics  Colleges_&_Universities  rebuilding  revitalization  reboot  physicists  women  Kitchener-Waterloo  randomness  talent_pools 
june 2015 by jerryking
Why tech giants are investing in STEM programs for students - The Globe and Mail
JENNIFER LEWINGTON
WATERLOO, ONT. — Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Oct. 28 2014, 5:00 AM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Oct. 30 2014,
STEM  uWaterloo  Google  Cisco  high_schools  outreach  coding  Lego  robotics  Kitchener-Waterloo 
november 2014 by jerryking
A Snowier Silicon Valley in BlackBerry’s Backyard - NYTimes.com
By IAN AUSTEN
Published: December 22, 2013

Stacy Tozer : While friends and relatives were skeptical about her plan to return, Ms. Tozer had several job offers. In the end, she took a 75 percent pay cut to become director of marketing at MappedIn, a start-up that creates online interior maps of large buildings like airports and shopping malls. At 30, Ms. Tozer is her new company’s oldest employee. She believes that she will ultimately surpass her old salary, but that will depend on MappedIn’s prospering.

“In Seattle, I was very connected and I’d been headhunted by a number of major companies,” she said. “As much as I love Seattle, it was an individualistic, career-driven situation. Here it’s not about competition. It’s about building a community helping other companies grow.”
start_ups  Blackberry  bouncing_back  Second_Acts  MappedIn  Kitchener-Waterloo 
january 2014 by jerryking
Upstart Canadian chat service Kik logs 100 million users
SEAN SILCOFF | The Globe and Mail | Dec. 12 2013.

Kik Interactive, a Waterloo, Ont.-based instant messenger service started in 2009, said Thursday it now has more than 100 million registered users – a 233-per-cent increase in 12 months, and ahead of rival BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). “We’re probably one of two Canadian companies ever to get 100 million regular users,” said Ted Livingston, Kik’s 26-year-old founder and CEO....Kik is one of several instant messenger services, or “chat apps,” to pick up where BBM left off after the smartphone maker pioneered the mobile-only chat service, an application than enables smartphone users to send rapid messages to one another while bypassing their carriers’ texting service.

For years, BlackBerry Ltd. resisted making its hugely popular BBM available on other platforms, leading to the emergence of rival chat apps that could be used on Apple and Android devices. As those platforms took off and BlackBerry waned, the rival apps surged – including market leader WhatsApp, which boasts 350 million users. BlackBerry finally launched a cross-platform version of BBM this fall, but it now lags its upstart rivals.

These chat services have been tabbed the “killer app” of mobile computing and, along with social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter, are redefining how people communicate in the mobile age.
milestones  BBM  BlackBerry  Kitchener-Waterloo  mobile_applications  WhatsApp  Kik  IM  messaging  cross-platform 
december 2013 by jerryking
Hundreds of former BlackBerry staff hunt for Canadian tech jobs -
Nov. 14 2013 | The Canadian Press via The Globe and Mail |David Friend

Published Thursday,

Mobile payments firm Square Inc. has established a local office that will eventually house 30 to 40 Canadian employees, said Jack Dorsey, the company’s CEO who also founded Twitter.

“We’re really inspired by the engineers up here, so we want to invest in it,” he said in a recent interview, pointing to local schools as a key resource.

“There’s a skill level that was extremely impressive to us right away.”
BlackBerry  RIM  job_search  Square  alumni  Kitchener-Waterloo  engineering  talent 
november 2013 by jerryking
THE NEXT BILLION-DOLLAR IDEA
September 27, 2013 | Report on Business Magazine | Alec Scott.
The Toronto-Waterloo corridor is one of the top places in the world to start a tech business. We meet some of the geniuses, the mentors and the money men in search of the next big thing
Toronto  Ryerson  OMERS  venture_capital  vc  start_ups  Vidyard  Paul_Graham  Y_Combinator  Keek  serial_entrepreneur  Kitchener-Waterloo  uWaterloo  entrepreneur 
september 2013 by jerryking
Don't just co-operate on innovation: collaborate too
March 14th, 2012 | Globe & Mail | Editorials.

A Public Policy Forum report makes a persuasive case that Canada's comparative weakness in innovation and productivity growth is not so much a matter of any supposed lack of inventiveness, or of deficient economic policies, as of a characteristically Canadian difficulty in making contacts and establishing practical collaborations among innovators and investors.....there is a need to identify ways and means by which "angel" investors, venture capitalists and mentors, on the one hand, and researchers and inventors, on the other, find each other.......a recurrent theme of this report is the fairly inexpensive creation of "incubators" and other physical spaces and contexts – "soft infrastructure" – in which such relationships can be hatched. All concerned should encourage networking.....although competitiveness in the global marketplace matters more than geography, the distinctly geographical fact of regional clusters is central to the report – Waterloo, Ont., is the best-known Canadian example....Canadians need to learn how to accept failure and to try again – as inventors must do........Lynch spoke about being co-operative – in other words, accommodating – but Canadians are often lacking when it comes to being collaborative described as the creation of "real working arrangements to share risk, obligation and reward."

In effect, this report takes E.M. Forster's phrase in his novel Howard's End, "Only connect," and adds, "Actually work together, too."
angels  clusters  editorials  collaboration  incubators  innovation  inventiveness  investors  Kevin_Lynch  Kitchener-Waterloo  productivity  vc 
april 2012 by jerryking
globeadvisor.com: Shaken, but not bitter
February 25, 2011
Gordon Pitts

Savvas Chamberlain rode an emotional roller coaster late last year as he negotiated the sale of Dalsa Corp., the Waterloo, Ontario, technology company he had built and nurtured for three decades.

The 69-year-old electronics engineer agreed to accept a takeover offer from Teledyne Technologies of California.

Why do so few Canadians grow companies past $1 billion in sales?

Canadians don't really appreciate or understand the significance of
enterprise business - start-ups, private firms and small- and
medium-sized companies. The success of enterprise businesses benefits
Canadian society. The wealth generated by the enterprise is spent in
Canada. It can't easily be taken somewhere else.

What are you going to do now?

I've already started investing in other high-tech companies in the
Kitchener-Waterloo area. I'll concentrate on technology areas I
understand.
prospects  JCK  angels  investing  SMEs  Gordon_Pitts  uWaterloo  Kitchener-Waterloo  Dalsa  sellout_culture  shareholder_activism  investors 
february 2011 by jerryking
Foreign scholarships and the risky business of innovating - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 16, 2010 / Globe and Mail / Editorial. Neil Turok,
director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo,
Ont., which sets out to attract some of the world’s top scientific
minds, told The Globe and Mail’s editorial board yesterday, “Because the
rest of the world is in relative difficulty financially, now is the
time to attract global talent. Canada has an amazing opportunity.” A
good case, a difficult sell. Innovation means trying something that
can’t be proven in advance, as Roger Martin, dean of the University of
Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, says. The foreign scholarships
are a investment with a strong upside, and a high risk that is mostly
political.
Colleges_&_Universities  innovation  Ontario  scholarships  risks  talent_management  Rotman  editorials  Perimeter_Institute  political_risk  poaching  Kitchener-Waterloo  upside  high-risk  Roger_Martin  foreign_scholarships  war_for_talent 
november 2010 by jerryking
Toronto now being powered by Polar Mobile
May. 10, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | Omar El Akkad. Polar
Mobile, a 30-person Toronto-based startup, has no shortage of famous
customers. TIME Magazine, Sports Illustrated and BusinessWeek have all
turned to the company to help develop their mobile applications for
smart phones.

Now, Polar is on the cutting edge of a new technology phenomenon fuelled
by the rise of the app generation: call it reverse outsourcing.

A number of Asia's biggest publications have just signed deals with the
firm to develop the mobile versions of their websites, leveraging
Polar's content management system. The deals lend credence to a growing
sentiment in technology sectors: that Toronto and Waterloo, where Polar
was founded and where Research In Motion has its headquarters, are
joining Silicon Valley as the world's application development hotbeds.
mobile_applications  smartphones  Kitchener-Waterloo 
june 2010 by jerryking
globeandmail.com - From the ashes of its predecessor, a winner rises
Sept. 20, 2007, G&M article by Dale Jackson profiles the founders of Sandvine Corp.
Sandvine  Bering  PixStream  Kitchener-Waterloo  venture_capital 
february 2009 by jerryking
Waterloo Institute's Big Bank
Article on Stephen Hawkins visiting Waterloo. Fodder for note to Pat Condon.
Kitchener-Waterloo  endowments  Stephen_Hawking 
december 2008 by jerryking

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