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fresh founders hosts lazaridis institute scale-up tour

Fresh Founders is a monthly Saskatoon event hosted by Innovation Place and Co.Labs that brings together entrepreneurs, students, developers and professionals who have an idea or are in the early stages of starting a tech company. This event provides opportunities for mentorship and networking to those who are considering becoming a tech startup founder.

June’s event was a special one, as it featured the Lazaridis Institute Scale-Up Program and their cross-Canada Scale-Up Tour. 

The Lazaridis Institute is part of the Wilfrid Laurier University Lazaridis School of Business & Economics in Waterloo. The school is named for Mike Lazaridis, founder of BlackBerry and founding partner in Quantum Valley Investments. The Lazaridis Institute focuses on commercializing breakthrough quantum technologies and was created to support growth-oriented Canadian technology companies.

One of the main offerings of the Lazaridis Institute is the Scale-Up Program, into which they accept only ten of the most promising scale-up ready technology companies in Canada. Of the 10 companies in the current cohort, two of them are from Saskatoon (Vendasta and 7shifts).

With less than 3% of Canada’s population, Saskatchewan has produced 20% of Canada’s most promising scale-ready tech startups. So, it’s no mystery why the Lazaridis tour wanted to visit this bustling, prairie tech hub to see what else is brewing!

Kim Morouney, Managing Director of the Lazaridis Institute, attended the event hosted in the Co.Labs space to share more about the Scale-Up program with local tech startups. She also brought along (through the magic of live-streaming technology) the prominent Silicon Valley investor, writer, mentor and entrepreneur Chris Yeh. Chris shared his expertise on the concept of “blitzscaling,” a method of igniting and managing incredibly accelerated growth.

After sharing some exclusive tips straight from their Stanford course and forthcoming book on blitzscaling, Chris took two local tech startups—Innovation Place tenant BitStrata, and Co.Labs company Curbie—through a blitzscaling assessment and shared his thoughts and advice for growing their companies.

Chris Yeh, among other things, is co-author of The Alliance, and now Blitzscaling, with Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder and partner at Greylock Partners.  Hoffman serves on the boards of some of the world’s largest tech companies, including Microsoft and Airbnb.
Fresh Founders is one of many tenant programs offered by Innovation Place. Plan to attend an upcoming event and learn more about Saskatchewan’s vibrant tech sector!

For more information, visit the scene or contact Mike Wolsfeld, Collaboration Specialist. 

- June 15, 2018

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