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Laurier announces $1 million gift for start-up fund managed by students
Oct 9/13| For Immediate Release
Rob Donelson, Vice-President, Development & Alumni Relations
Kate Tippin, Director of Marketing & Communications
WATERLOO – Wilfrid Laurier University announced a $1-million gift from Michael and Hennie Stork in support of a new Laurier Start-up Fund. The announcement took place at an event showcasing the ideas and projects of Laurier’s undergraduate Innovation + Entrepreneurship program.
“This extraordinary generosity will help us build a $5-million start-up fund that will be managed by our business students,” said Max Blouw, president and vice-chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University. “The Laurier Start-up Fund will provide a superb educational experience for our students as they learn to assess early-stage entrepreneurial opportunities.”
Supported by a professional advisory board, the student-run fund will invest in entrepreneurial activity within Canada’s technology triangle. The fund will operate through a practicum course, under the supervision of Laurier professor Brian Smith, who holds the newly announced BMO Professorship in Entrepreneurial Finance.
“The Laurier Start-up Fund will have an important impact on our ability to create a new generation of business leaders with a track record of successful investments in early start-ups, even before they graduate,” said Micheál Kelly, dean of Laurier’s School of Business & Economics.
Michael Stork said the decision to invest in the Laurier Start-up Fund was based on the belief that the surge in innovative technology breakthroughs within Waterloo Region must be partnered with highly skilled business management.
“The purpose of this investment is to provide a living-lab environment at Laurier where qualified business students will learn to make investment recommendations on real, early-stage companies in Waterloo Region,” said Stork. “The students will learn to perform due diligence and other related business analysis as they make their recommendations.
“We are excited to be partnering in the education of these leading-edge business students,” he added. “We believe in Laurier’s ability to train outstanding business leaders, capable of managing new companies and the new entrepreneurial economy.”