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History

The Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises was founded to help growth-oriented Canadian technology companies scale—and stay—in Canada.

The institute owes its conception to Micheál Kelly, dean of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. With an extensive background in strategy, policy and global affairs, Micheál identified a gap between the profusion of tech startups in Canada and the comparatively low number of world-class Canadian tech companies.

He brought this observation to the business leader best positioned to comment on what it takes to create a globally competitive tech sector in Canada: Mike Lazaridis.

Mike Lazaridis

Mike Lazaridis is internationally known for creating the ground-breaking BlackBerry smartphone, building BlackBerry into an $18 billion global business and reshaping the global mobile communications industry.

Mike is a founding partner in Quantum Valley Investments (QVI), a Waterloo-based fund that focuses on the commercialization of breakthrough technologies in quantum information science. QVI seeks to support Waterloo Region's growing reputation as the "Quantum Valley".

Mike and Micheál held a series of conversations about the role of management in building tech companies to global scale. The culmination of their discussion was the announcement in 2015 of a $20-million donation by Mike Lazaridis, with a matching contribution of $15 million from the Ontario government. These investments named the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, supported the Leeds-certified Lazaridis Hall, and established the Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises.

Micheal Kelly

"This will be a world-class institute designed to ensure that Canadian technology companies have the management, talent and knowledge to compete in global markets."

-Micheál Kelly
Dean of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics 

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"This institute will play a fundamental role in developing business managers with the tools necessary to build globally competitive high-technology businesses."

-Mike Lazaridis
Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

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