Lazaridis ScaleUp program opens applications for seventh cohort


Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis Institute is looking for 10 Canadian companies for the seventh cohort of its ScaleUp program.

The ScaleUp program provides promising Canadian firms with one-on-one mentorship, guidance, and support from industry experts, investors, and founders, at no cost to program participants. Applications are open as of today and close on August 2.

The program will run virtually until January 2022, after which the program organizers hope to return to in-person gatherings.

“We match founders and their teams with experts who bring real value: men and women who have architected and led the success of companies like Shopify, LinkedIn, Apple, Nest, the Fogarty Institute, the Gap, PointClickCare, and many more,” said Kim Morouney, managing director of the Lazaridis Institute. “The right mentors help companies target opportunities and avoid costly mistakes.”

In addition to receiving mentorship, program participants receive guidance from members of the Lazaridis Expert Network through intensive workshops aimed to help cohort companies go from startups to scalable businesses.

Lazaridis ScaleUp works with startups spanning a number of verticals, including FinTech, AgTech, healthtech, SaaS, and hardware. Companies selected to participate are not required to give up equity in order to access the program’s benefits. All program costs are covered by the Lazaridis Institute. The program’s sponsors include Borden Ladner Gervais, Boast.AI, and Deloitte.

The next Lazaridis ScaleUp cohort runs from November 2021 to October 2022. The program’s sessions will run virtually until January 2022, after which the program organizers hope to return to in-person gatherings.

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Alumni companies, which Lazaridis claims have collectively raised nearly $900 million since 2017, include Terramera, Sheertex, Validere, Vendasta, and 7shifts. Last year’s ScaleUp cohort saw 13 companies participate, representing its largest cohort to date. Many of these cohort companies also saw marked growth in 2020.

SkyHive, a Vancouver-based SaaS and artificial intelligence startup, claims the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the market need for its reskilling platform. The startup also raised $8 million in Series A financing in November.

Ottawa-based Tehama, which offers a remote work solution, found new opportunities at the beginning of the pandemic amid the global shift to remote work. Similar to SkyHive, Tehama closed $14 million in Series A financing in May 2020, led by OMERS Ventures.

BlueDot, another 2020 ScaleUp participant, signed a deal with the federal government, which allowed the government to use the company’s disease analytics platform to track the spread of COVID-19. Also among the 2020 cohort of ScaleUP companies were Nanoleaf, ProteinQure, HiMama, and Flashflood.

Image source Wilfrid Laurier University.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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