Lazaridis Institute to help 10 Canadian tech startups scale up

Ten of Canada’s most promising tech startups are getting a leg up as they seek to become the next Shopify Inc., thanks to Wilfred Laurier University’s Lazaridis Institute, the school announced Thursday.

The inaugural Canadian Scale-Up Program will connect participants with what the Waterloo-based university called “an elite group of experts, all of whom have experience in scaling globally competitive enterprises” in an Oct. 26 press release.

In a statement, Lazaridis Institute CEO Carlo Chiarello said the organization’s expert panel of venture capitalists and Canadian and American technology executives chose the 10 companies from what he called a “compelling” pool of more than 100 applicants because they were at a “critical inflection point in their evolution.”

“We’re confident that members of this cohort will take their places among the next generation of globally recognized Canadian companies,” he said.

Participants in the program will begin their education on Nov. 3 in Toronto, with sessions to follow during subsequent months in Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Silicon Valley.

At each session CEOs and founders behind the participating companies will have the opportunity to meet with experts on topics including talent management, design thinking, global markets, managing risk, and funding growth, in addition to receiving customized support from a mentor tailored to their company’s individual growth strategy.

The Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises was founded last year by Wilfred Laurier University to help emerging technology firms scale into globally competitive enterprises.

The university also renamed its business school to honour BlackBerry Ltd. co-founder Mike Lazaridis after he pledged $20 million to help fund the institute’s creation.

The 10 participants in the Canadian Scale-Up Program’s first cohort are:

  • ARC4DIA (Montreal): A cybersecurity firm founded in 2010 by 11-year Communication Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) veteran Pierre Roberge, ARC4DIA protects more than $40 billion in global assets for government agencies and medium- to large-scale enterprises across a variety of sectors.
  • Dozr (Waterloo): Founded in 2015, this online marketplace for heavy equipment sharing in the construction and agriculture industries allows business owners to earn revenue from their idle equipment, and contractors to rent it at lower rates than from traditional equipment rental companies.
  • Intellitix (Chatham): Since 2011 Intellix’s RFID-based wristbands have been worn by more than 15 million event goers worldwide, including at such high-profile festivals as Coachella and Bonnaroo. In addition to replacing paper tickets and wallets, the company’s wristbands provide event planners with access control, links to social profiles, and real-time user data.
  • Noviflow (Montreal): Founded in 2012, NoviFlow develops Software Defined Networking (SDN) ethernet switches, routers and applications for carriers, data centre operators and large enterprises, its key advantage being an ability to develop and release new versions of its switches within three months, versus the traditional development cycle of two years.
  • Oculys (Waterloo): Founded in 2011, Oculys aims to deliver a singular, user-friendly tool that combines essential hospital data across multiple systems into one real-time viewing platform.
  • PostBeyond (Toronto): An employee communication solution founded in 2013 aimed at millennial workers, PostBeyond allows employees to share curated corporate content on social media with clients, helping them cultivate both their employer’s brand value and customer engagement.
  • QRA Corp. (Halifax): Founded in 2012, QRA builds software tools designed to help engineers catch vulnerabilities in early-stage systems before they lead to project delays, unexpected costs, or company-jeopardizing mistakes.
  • StackAdapt (Toronto): Founded in 2013, this branded content distribution platform currently has 46 full-time employees, partnerships with more than 45,000 publisher sites, and runs hundreds of advertising campaigns every day.
  • The Better Software Company (Ottawa): Founded in 2014, the Better Software Company offers small businesses a cloud-based management solution incorporating such features as CRM, scheduling, billing and invoicing, reporting and analytics, and inventory management.
  • Tulip Retail (Toronto): Since 2013, this cloud-based platform developer has helped some of the world’s largest retailers build in-store mobile apps that store associates can use to provide a more helpful and engaging customer experience.

While the startups participating in the program all happen to be based in eastern Canada, a Lazaridis Institute representative told ITBusiness.ca that companies from across the country were considered.

More information on the program can be found here.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of ITBusiness.ca turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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