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Lazaridis Institute and RBC partner to help Canadian tech companies scale

Oct. 25, 2018
For Immediate Release

Waterloo – The tech startup scene is thriving in Canada. Various levels of government have funded more than 240 incubators and hubs nationwide. Canadian investors are increasingly active, and foreign investors are increasingly interested. It would seem there’s no shortage of funding for Canadian ideas and Canadian talent. Why then are there so few globally competitive Canadian tech firms? To help address this question Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has signed on as the exclusive financial sponsor of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology enterprises.

RBC’s support of the Institute comes just as the Institute has doubled the number of tech companies participating in the Lazaridis ScaleUp Program each year. The Bank’s investment will be dedicated to providing tech entrepreneurs access to an international network and entrée to a peer group of successful Canadian CEOs.

“Our support of the Lazaridis Institute underscores our commitment to empowering Canadian startups and scaleups while at the same time allowing RBC to stay plugged into some of the most promising technology companies in Canada,” said Alexander Peh, vice-president, innovation at RBC. “We’re committed to working with leading universities to support the tech ecosystem and to helping tech startups catalyze ideas and scale operations. We see the Lazaridis Institute as particularly successful in providing tech companies with the resources and talent to push through any challenges and scale globally.”

The investment has been announced just as the Institute is gearing up for its first ScaleUp Program for Women Founders, starting in early 2019. The program retains its emphasis on customization and execution, bringing seasoned executives to the cohort for intensive weekend workshops around functional challenges. This cohort will also focus on the constraints confronting growth-stage tech companies founded or cofounded by a female entrepreneur.

“We aim to provide women founders and co-founders with the knowledge and support they need to scale their companies, achieve their potential and, ultimately, change the gender balance in the Canadian tech ecosystem,” announced Kim Morouney, managing director of the Lazaridis Institute and Lazaridis professor of Executive Development in the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics. “We are excited to have the support of a purpose-driven organization like RBC, one that shares our commitment to diversity.”

“RBC is a strong and vocal advocate for the advancement of women and we’re proud to be supporting the Institute’s entrepreneurs including the latest cohort of women founders,” added Peh.

RBC has a long-standing focus on growing and collaborating with the technology sector in Canada. Their commitment to the Lazaridis Institute demonstrates their dedication to supporting growth-stage tech companies. “It’s all about giving these companies access: access to talent, access to markets, access to capital,” concludes Peh. Morouney agrees, “Partnerships like this are what we need to bring Canadian tech and Canadian talent to the world stage.”

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About the Lazaridis Institute

As part of the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University, the Lazaridis Institute is creating direct links between international research, best practices in global scaling, and curriculum to prepare the next generation of business leaders to face tomorrow’s challenges in the tech industry. For more information, visit the Lazaridis ScaleUp Program.

About RBC

Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 84,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 16 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries.

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities.

Media Contacts

Richia McCutcheon, Marketing and Communications, Lazaridis Institute 

Cheryl Brean, Corporate Communications, RBC

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