Canadian Underwriter

Federal government invests $2.5 million to examine Canadian start-ups

April 28, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter

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The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) has announced a “non-repayable contribution” of up to $2.5 million to Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. to support a national “scale-up data platform.”

The platform will “capture and track metrics of Canadian companies and provide invaluable insights into why early-stage companies fail or succeed,” FedDev Ontario said in a statement on Thursday.

Bardish Chagger, the federal Minister of Small Business and Tourism, and MP for Waterloo, announced the contribution, saying that the investment will “provide skills and growth opportunities for up to 225 high-potential technology businesses and create over 150 jobs.”

The Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises, part of the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University, will deliver this platform with Toronto-based private market data network Hockeystick, through support from FedDev Ontario. The Lazaridis Insitute said in a press release that the platform, powered by Hockeystick, will be “available for every innovation organization – incubator, accelerator, scale-up and start-up, across Canada.”

“For the first time, it will be possible to obtain a comprehensive picture of the evolution of Canadian companies from early to late stages, giving Canada a world-leading competitive advantage in innovation, and invaluable insights into why companies fail or succeed,” said Kim Morouney, executive director of the Lazaridis Institute and associate dean in the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics. “By standardizing the collection and tracking of data across every incubator and accelerator, the platform will provide normalized data over the long term.”

Business accelerators and incubators across Canada will also be able to use this resource to help identify high-potential companies for their programs, FedDev Ontario reported. The Lazaridis Institute release added that the platform will provide an “effective tool for resource-strapped startups and scale-ups to find programs and apply for funding opportunities in less time than it takes now.”

The platform will capture comprehensive, standardized data, facilitating application, selection and reporting processes for a wide variety of programs, and will provide a direct feedback loop to its users over a secure network. Users will have the option to share private data in order to gain visibility with potential sources of support and investment with no added cost in time or effort.

L-SPARK, NEXT Canada, Volta, Propel ICT, Highline Beta and OneEleven have already signed on to use the national scale-up data platform, the Lazaridis Institute reported.

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