Lazaridis Institute In Search Of 10 Great Canadian Tech Startups

Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis Institute helps 10 Canadian tech startups grow into globally competitive enterprises

Application deadline for Canadian Scale-Up Program on September 23

The Canadian Scale-Up Program has two offerings that aren’t widely available in Canada right now:

  1. Access to practical knowledge about how to scale a company, delivered by people who have successfully scaled a company (or several companies) themselves
  2. Connections to a deep network of tech executives, VCs and influencers in Silicon Valley who will provide a bridge for our participants and make it easier for them to access capital and make connections to expand in the US and internationally

The program has been designed so that founders/CEOs of promising tech companies work directly with people who have actually had the experience of scaling a global company successfully.  One weekend a month for 5 months, founders/CEOs will gather in a different city (Waterloo, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Vancouver).  Four to six experts will be brought in each weekend to work with founders on topics ranging from talent management and growth metrics to global markets, global supply chains, and transfer pricing.  The exact mix of topics will depend upon the needs and interests of the companies in the cohort.

Eligible applicants are headquartered in Canada, about three-years-old, have found a problem/solution fit, have received some market validation in the form of customer traction, and may have graduated from an accelerator or incubator program.

In addition to the experts acting as “instructors” on the weekends, there will be 10 mentors who will work with the 10 companies in the cohort.

The program will begin in Waterloo in November and conclude with a week in Silicon Valley in April 2017, with each module focusing on a theme:

Kick-off weekend

Waterloo – November 3 – 5

This brings together all of our participants to meet, set expectations and get started on their plans to scale. Special guests will share their insights.



Toronto – December 1 – 3

Scaling begins at the top – with the leaders of your company. Topics include leadership for scaling a business, building a corporate culture, organization design for growth, talent management and growth metrics.



Montreal – January 5 – 7

Topics design thinking, product management, the customer experience and cross-cultural communications.


Customer acquisition

Vancouver – February 3 – 4

Sales at a global scale – it’s a whole new game.
Topics include building a global brand, selling at scale, marketing and market analytics, and global market access.


Finance and operations

Ottawa – March 3 – 4

Topics include financing scale-ups, transfer pricing, global operations, IP and risk/crisis management.



Silicon Valley – April 3 – 7

Six months into the program, participants will meet with executives and prominent VCs in Silicon Valley. Topics include funding growth, boards and governance, dealing with big companies, and mergers and acquisitions.

For more on the Canadian Scale-Up Program and the Lazaridis Institute, please visit


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