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Grand Opening

The Lazaridis Institute Opens the Doors to a New Space and a New Era of Executive Development

The Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprise recently held the grand opening for its newest space, located at 72 Victoria St. South in the Kitchener Innovation District. Attendees, including government officials, faculty, ScaleUp companies and community members, were the first to hear about the Lazaridis Institute Executive Development programming – an all-new offering for Canadian business leaders.

Housed in one of downtown Kitchener's first brick-and-beam factory conversions, the Institute’s program space is purpose-built to bring the lessons of rapid growth, innovation, and global competition to executives in both high-tech and traditional sectors of the Canadian economy.

The flagship of the Lazaridis Institute is its ScaleUp Program. The knowledge gained from working with Canada’s most innovative companies form the basis for the Executive Development programming. The Institute goes directly to the leaders and subject matter experts of the world’s most successful tech firms to capture first-hand the lessons of rapid, data-driven growth. Program content is directed at executive teams of companies with proven traction in the marketplace. Program delivery focuses on application and execution. Mentorship is highly customized.

The ScaleUp Program approach has been thoroughly tested. Since January of this year, for example, nine cohort companies have raised more than $188 million. In less than three years, the total number of capital raised by cohort companies is $387 million. These results demonstrate that businesses can compete globally from their Canadian headquarters, creating value for the domestic economy.

That last point is vital because technology will be the economic driver of the future. But what about today’s economy?

In 2018 the information and communications technology sector accounted for just 4.5 per cent of Canada’s GDP.

Clearly, the Canadian economy today relies far more heavily on other, more traditional sectors, including real estate, manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, health care, construction, public administration, finance and insurance, professional and technical services, and education.

During the grand opening, the Lazaridis Institute announced new programming for leaders of these and other traditional industries. Lazaridis Executive Development programming leverages the learnings from the ScaleUp Program, focusing on data-driven growth, execution, and global competitiveness and delivers to the leaders of Canada’s traditional industries, exposing them to the concepts and strategies that they need to thrive as the world around us changes.

The Institute will pilot two executive development formats in Spring 2020. The first will be two-day intensive boot camps based on the successful model of the ScaleUp Program’s weekend workshops. These will cover how rapid, data-driven growth impacts sales and marketing, product, finance, metrics, people, leadership, and global expansion. Boot camps will be offered at the Kitchener location and, in partnership with various ecosystem leaders, repeated in locations across the country.

The second pilot combines a weekend workshop at the Kitchener location with a highly curated trip to Silicon Valley. In Kitchener, executives will be introduced to the approaches and techniques that have put the Toronto-Waterloo Tech Corridor on the map. In the Bay Area, Canadian business leaders will work intensively with the Lazaridis Expert Network, men and women who are among the world’s most successful in terms of global growth.

The Institute intends to continue its mandate to increase domestic prosperity by supporting tech entrepreneurs. The Lazaridis Executive Development extends this commitment with the idea that the best way to prepare for the new economy is to up Canada’s game in today’s economy.

With its executive development programming, the Lazaridis Institute aims to help Canadian business leaders in traditional sectors adapt, build new capacities, engage with new technologies, develop and benefit from new data flows, and invest in the talent that they need—and that we as a nation need—to thrive in the years ahead.

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