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The Lazaridis Institute Canadian Scale-Up Program

The Lazaridis Institute Canadian Scale-Up Program supports companies to scale globally. The initial challenge for most startups is identifying and building a product offering that solves a significant problem and can be monetized. But landing on the perfect product/market fit is never the endgame. The next challenge for most startups is one of scale, and this phase of a startup’s development is no less challenging than the first. The Canadian Scale-Up program is led by global experts, each of whom has taken a company – or several companies – from start-up to significant scale.

We will create a yearly cohort of the very best young Canadian tech companies and give them the opportunity to work closely with world-class business leaders. These leaders will share their expert knowledge, provide mentorship and embed these companies into networks that reach around the globe.

Over six months, the Lazaridis Institute will bring a small group of Canada’s most promising young tech firms together for monthly weekend modules. They will work with global experts on critical issues ranging from talent management and key company metrics, to sales, finance, and funding for companies that have the potential to scale exponentially.

Mentorship and Global Network

The Canadian Scale-Up Program is led by an exclusive group of proven experts who can provide Canadian technology executives with insight into building their enterprises to a global scale. Based on each company’s particular opportunities for development, the Lazaridis Institute will provide experts from around the world to mentor C-level executives in both peer-to-peer and one-on-one formats. The peer network among this group of Canada’s most promising companies will be exceptionally valuable.

Beginning in the second month, each firm will also be mentored by an expert who has scaled a tech company in the U.S. market and beyond. The added bonus? The mentoring process will continue beyond the initial six months of the program, giving each firm the support needed for successful scaling. After working together and with their mentors, our companies will have built broad and deep relationships across Canada, in Silicon Valley and beyond.

Peer and mentor network forums encourage interaction between members, mentors and global experts to accelerate action to scale.

Why get involved?

  • Resources for growth: Industry experts will connect you to the resources you need, and help you prepare your company for external investment.
  • Exclusive network: Our mentors and experts represent some of the most influential and innovative entrepreneurs in the world. You won’t just meet these people: you’ll work closely together, and doing so you’ll build broad and deep relationships across Canada, in Silicon Valley, and beyond.
  • Knowledge and experience: Develop your skills, and the expertise you need to bring your company, your people and your product to the next level. You’ll benefit from working closely with experts from a variety of backgrounds, all of whom have successfully taken companies to global scale.
  • Valuable publicity: Be one of Canada’s Top Ten scale-up companies. Companies selected to participate in the Lazaridis Institute Canadian Scale-Up Program receive media exposure in their market and across North America.

Fall 2016 Cohort

The Lazaridis Institute Canadian Scale-Up Program officially launched in fall 2016. Meet the Lazaridis 10 companies who make up our inaugural cohort.

The Canadian Scale-Up Program takes place over a six-month span. Each module lasts two to three days, one weekend per month.

During the course of the program, our global network of experts provide individualized mentorship, coaching and advice, as participant companies prepare for each step in their scaling journey. They engage with participants in developing a plan to address company-specific issues and chart their path forward.

Nov. 3-5 Toronto Kick-off The starting point for the Lazaridis Institute Canadian Scale-Up Program is the Kick-off Weekend. This brings together all of our participants to meet, set expectations and get started on their plans to scale. Topics include: facing the scaling challenge, discover what makes you scale fundable, articulating your vision and mission, and getting to wow.
Dec. 1-4 Toronto Leadership Scaling begins at the top – with the leaders of your company. Leadership Weekend topics include: leadership for scaling a business, building a corporate culture, organization design for growth, talent management and growth metrics.
Jan. 5-7 Montréal Product Success comes when you launch the right product at the right time. Topics on the Product Weekend include: design thinking, product management, pragmatic branding, roadmap and metrics, and the customer experience.
Feb. 2-4 Vancouver Customer Acquisition Sales at a global scale – it’s a whole new game. The Customer Acquisition Weekend topics include: building a global brand, selling at scale, marketing and market analytics, and global market access.
March 2-4 Ottawa Finance and Operations Understand the economics of your business and manage your performance at scale. Topics for the Finance and Operations Weekend include: financing your scale-up, transfer pricing, global operations, IP and risk/crisis management.
April 3-7 Silicon Valley Access to the U.S. Market Six months into the program, participants spend an intensive week in the Valley, meeting with and learning from successful companies, executives and influencers who will help with their scaling journey with specific focus on growth in the U.S. market.

Frequently Asked Questions

Presenting the Lazaridis 10

Our inaugural Canadian Scale-Up Program cohort features the most promising Canadian technology companies who are at a key turning point in their growth trajectory.

What kind of companies are you looking for?

Participants in the Lazaridis Institute Canadian Scale-Up Program are founders, CEOs or CEO-equivalents of technology companies that meet the following criteria:

  • Are headquartered in Canada.
  • Are usually about three years old.
  • Have found problem/solution fit.
  • Have received some market validation in the form of customer traction.
  • May have graduated from an accelerator or incubator program.
  • May have received series A funding.

How can I apply to participate in the Canadian Scale-Up Program?

Applications are no longer being accepted for our fall 2016 cohort. Stay tuned for when applications will open for the 2017 cohort.

How many participants will be selected?

Each year we will select 10 companies to participate in the Lazaridis Institute Canadian Scale-Up Program.

Who from the company is able to participate? Can we send different people for each session?

We’re focusing on the founder/CEO and asking that person to bring one other member of his or her executive team. The same two people should attend all sessions.

We have not yet received series A funding, are we still eligible?

It is not mandatory to have received series A funding, but we do expect a company at this level to have completed some sort of seed funding.

How much will this program cost?

  • Program Fees: For this first cohort only, the Lazaridis Institute Canadian Scale-up Program will cover all program fees.
  • Accommodation: The Lazaridis Institute will pay food and accommodation costs for the weekend sessions.
  • Travel: Participants will be expected to make their own travel arrangements and to cover travel costs. Some bursaries may be available to defray these costs.

Is this program accessible online?

The weekend program sessions cannot be completed online; all sessions must be completed in person.

Who is on the panel to choose the program participants?

The selection panel will include the CEO for the Lazaridis Institute and leading technology executives and investors from Canada and the U.S.

Is it mandatory to have completed a previous accelerator or incubator program to participate?

No, it’s not mandatory to have completed an accelerator program. However, if you have previously completed an accelerator program, that’s great! Let us know about your experience when you’re filling out the online application form. We may follow up with the accelerator program to learn more about you.


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