York University partners with OneEleven to launch joint venture studio for new tech MBA degree

York’s Schulich School of Business is set to launch the program this fall semester.

York University’s Schulich School of Business is partnering with Toronto-based tech hub OneEleven to establish a joint venture studio.

The venture studio is part of Schulich’s new master of business administration (MBA) program focused on tech leadership, which is set to launch in the 2023 fall semester. The studio will open its doors by the third term of the program, in summer of 2024.

“Employers today want graduates who can see problems and solutions from a different perspective.”

Co-led by Schulich adjunct professor Chris Carder, the venture studio will match students with member companies from both OneEleven and Schulich’s startup communities, who will complete pro bono product and fundraising analysis for select startups.

“Employers today, especially in the tech sector, want graduates who can see problems and solutions from a different perspective, seeing the future and bringing it to life,” said Carder.

Carder added that the studio is now actively recruiting for additional course instructors, guest lecturers, and mentors.

The venture studio will also feature guest lectures by founders and venture capitalists, project mentorship, joint events with OneEleven community members, as well as networking opportunities.

OneEleven provides office space, community, and programming for tech startups in downtown Toronto. Since it reopened its doors after shutting down in the COVID-19 pandemic, OneEleven has adopted a new focus on upskilling, launching its talent upskilling program in 2021.

York University’s tech MBA students will take their classes and attend project meetings at OneEleven. OneEleven’s leadership team and alumni founders will also have opportunities to guest lecture and mentor in the venture studio.

This partnership with Schulich, according to OneEleven’s interim managing director Angelo Casanas, is the tech hub’s continued contribution to talent and upskilling in the tech ecosystem. Casanas took over the leadership duties of OneEleven’s former head Matthew Lombardi, who left in May and has joined Telus’ Pollinator Fund as director of platform services.

Schulich introduced its Tech MBA program last month with the aim to develop the “next generation of leaders” in business as it undergoes major technological transformations, including the rapid application of artificial intelligence (AI).

York University previously launched a part-time certificate program for machine learning in 2018, through its school for continuing studies.

According to Schulich, the 16-month tech MBA will offer leadership development with a focus on strategic thinking, systems design, digital transformation, value creation, as well as technology management and integration

The program will include a guaranteed workplace internship that lasts one full term, exposure to industry leaders as part of a small class, and career support through its series of two professional development courses that focus on “employability skills and career readiness.”

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Schulich appointed Murat Kristal as the program’s inaugural director. Kristal brings over ten years of experience in technology teaching and research, currently an associate professor of operations management as well as a special advisor in AI and analytics for the university.

For Carder’s part, he previously co-founded email service provider ThinData in 1995. He led the company till 2010, growing the firm from a two-person operation to a staff of over 120 people across Toronto and Montreal. Commercial printer Transcontinental Inc. acquired ThinData in 2008.

Carder has also supported several tech companies as an advisor, including Portl Media, Blade Filters, ALT TEX, and eQuo.

Featured image courtesy OneEleven.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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