Electronic Products & Technology

Lazaridis Institute selects 10 Canadian companies for Scale-Up Program

Stephen Law   

Electronics Engineering Supply Chain start-up start-up tech tech

The Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises, based at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics in Waterloo ON, has selected 10 of Canada’s most promising technology companies to participate in the third cohort of the Lazaridis Scale-Up Program. 

The innovative program, now in its third year, helps emerging companies achieve global success by providing critical resources, including one-on-one time with international business experts, 120 hours with dedicated growth specialists, and access to a national peer group of entrepreneurs.

The Lazaridis Institute has chosen 10 Canadian companies that have demonstrated the potential to dominate their markets and are ready to take the next steps to grow globally.

The companies in the third cohort of the Lazaridis Scale-Up Program are:

  1. Altus Assessments, Toronto
  2. Applied Brain Research, Toronto
  3. Blue J Legal, Toronto
  4. Flosonics Medical, Sudbury
  5. Jane App, Vancouver
  6. Needls, Toronto
  7. Sofdesk, Montreal
  8. TinyEYE, Saskatoon
  9. VanHack, Vancouver
  10. Vive Crop Protection, Mississauga

“It’s an honour to be accepted into the Lazaridis Scale-Up Program. We are thrilled to be able to learn from the amazing mentors, guest speakers and, most of all, our peers in the program,” said Ilya Bortzky, CEO, Vanhack. “Canada is great place to scale a tech company and we will work hard to be the next Canadian success story. Our goals are to double revenue, greatly improve our product and become thought leaders in the HR, immigration and diversity space, in Canada and beyond.”

The cohort companies took part in a competitive selection process beginning with an online application powered by open database company Hockeystick. A panel of North American venture capitalists and industry experts then gathered for video interviews to select the 10 companies who showed the most promise for rapid growth and the best fit with the program.   The Lazaridis Scale-Up Program is tailored each year to the specific challenges faced by the companies in the cohort as they scale their businesses. Over the course of six months, the cohort will travel to six different cities across North America for intensive weekend workshops with experienced executives.

Workshop topics have included leadership for growth, next-level product development

Past workshop topics have included leadership for growth, next-level product development, scaling customer acquisition, finance and operations, and expanding in global markets. The companies will also meet and begin to work with the sector and functional-area specialists, sourced from across North America, who will be supporting them for the next year.

“At the Institute, we are honoured to have met so many exciting companies. Canadian tech and Canadian talent are drawing international attention,” said Kim Morouney, managing director of the Lazaridis Institute and Lazaridis professor of Executive Development in the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics at Laurier. “We’re here to help ensure that our entrepreneurs find the resources they need to scale globally—while creating jobs and creating value right here at home.”

Since its commencement in 2016, the Lazaridis Scale-Up Program has worked with 20 companies from Victoria, BC to Halifax, NS. Surveys demonstrated that, after only one year, 100 per cent of the companies in the first cohort had increased revenues and 90 per cent had launched a new product or service, increased exports and received external financing.

“Most programs out there focus on the really early stage of a company’s development. This program not only focuses on the natural next step, but contrasts what’s needed for growth with the advice you’ve been given at that earlier stage,” said Kyle Boulay, CEO, bus.com, from cohort two. “The quality of the content of the scale-up program is extremely high. And the fact that there are only 10 companies in the room really allows them to cater the content to specific challenges we’re going through right now.”

The 2018/2019 Lazaridis Scale-Up Program will begin on October 25, 2018 in Toronto. Participants will travel to Toronto, Vancouver, New York and Palo Alto, among other cities, for this year’s weekend modules.


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