By Susan Hickman
Photos by Luther Caverly
Carleton is poised to become Canada’s most entrepreneurial university. The first institution in the
country to launch a master’s program in technology innovation management (TIM) in 1994, Carleton has since established a reputation for its focus on entrepreneurship.
“Now we want to take that reputation to the global level,” says Tony Bailetti, the director of the TIM program who has led the way in taking Carleton’s innovative entrepreneurship and technology programs to viable business options.
Students who have graduated from Carleton with master’s degrees in applied science or engineering in TIM have produced some 200 theses and projects focusing on solving real problems facing technology companies. Since 2002, TIM and Sprott School of Business faculty (Bailetti, Steven Muegge, Michael Weiss and Mika Westerlund) have led the support for more than 200 technology startups under the award-winning Lead to Win initiative.
Lead to Win brings together more than 100 individuals, including TIM and Sprott faculty, successful entrepreneurs, investors, economic development personnel, service providers and innovation intermediaries. The program uses a business ecosystem approach to convert early-stage innovation into knowledge jobs and investment, and it benefits the close relationship with key economic development organizations in the region such as the Industrial Research Assistance Program, the Ontario Centres of Excellence, Invest Ottawa, and the City of Ottawa.
Carleton has established a reputation for its focus on entrepreneurship
Newer on campus is Global Start, a program that really differentiates Carleton, according to Kim Matheson, vice-president (research and international). Launched last December to help entrepreneurs coming out of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs “globalize” their companies quickly, Global Start participants are working to solve problems for customers around the world. The program helps entrepreneurs create distinctive revenue streams, attract foreign clientele and connect with international expertise. Its first cohort of 31 born global companies (28 in Ottawa, 14 of those launched by Carleton students or Carleton graduates) emerged in August.
Matheson says about the program, “We are trying to push the integration of thinking about new products with value that goes beyond the community. The whole concept of going global makes you think about how to build your product and your organization differently.”
She adds, “We are working in a global world now. You can’t think small if you want to have an impact.”
The newest innovation and collaboration facility on campus, 1125@Carleton, recognizes the exceptional and wide-ranging research occurring at the university. Officially launched on November 20, 1125@Carleton, a member of the European Network of Living Laboratories (ENoLL), will bring researchers together with community, private and public partners, not only physically — in the new facility located on the fourth and fifth floors of the Human-Computer Interaction Building – but also virtually, to implement solutions to real-world challenges across many fields.
Louis Lamontagne, executive-in-residence at 1125, will guide and support entrepreneurs and students as they pursue the process of commercializing innovation.
We are working in a global world now. You can’t think small if you want to have an impact.
Louis Lamontagne, executive-in-residence at 1125, will guide and support entrepreneurs and students as they pursue the process of commercializing innovation
“It’s part of a growing global trend of living labs,” says Lamontagne, “where students and faculty, government, industry and community can co-create and bring ideas to the surface at a very early stage.”
Executive director of 1125@Carleton Tessa Hebb adds, “One of the essential components to innovation and entrepreneurship is collaboration. Collaboration allows us to bring together a range of ideas and spark some new products, processes and designs, and that’s exactly what 1125@Carleton is designed to do.”
Hebb, internationally recognized for her research expertise in responsible investment and impact investing, is also head of the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation (3CI), one of Carleton’s standout research centres, and a source of expertise in social finance.
Meanwhile, academics, entrepreneurs, the public sector, the community and companies of all sizes are sharing their views in the leading technology entrepreneurship journal, the Technology Innovation Management Review. The focus is on issues and emerging trends relevant to launching and growing technology and global businesses. Some 14,000 people from 43 countries read the journal every month. Earlier this year, a series of e-books, “Best of TIM Review,” was launched to celebrate the technology companies that shaped this region.
“Carleton has been carrying the torch of entrepreneurship for 18 years,” notes Bailetti. “As the focus has moved from management to creating new companies, the entrepreneurship component of business is more important than it has ever been.”
Carleton has been carrying the torch of entrepreneurship for 18 years
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