ventureLAB President & CEO Jeremy Laurin talks to PROFITguide about culture in an organization.
At conferences and events, we often get asked "what is ventureLAB?" The answer is: it's hard to summarize in a few short sentences. ventureLAB is more than just a place where entrepreneurs and innovators build and scale their businesses. It's a community of creative, passionate, innovative individuals working together to help build a vibrant place to do business. It is a well-connected ecosystem throughout Central Ontario, more specifically, York Region, Simcoe County and Muskoka District. It's a place where art meets technology and exceptional entrepreneurs flourish.
Sprouter and BetaKit founder Sarah Prevette is all about innovation and entrepreneurship. She launched Future Design School to teach students to innovate. She was recently one of the judges in the Canadian Global Impact Competition hosted by ventureLAB and won by fourth year mechanical engineering student Andrea Palmer-Boroski from UBC. The winning idea to revolutionize ‘quantified-self health’ with a wearable device initially, but not just for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). A very inspiring story about an innovative, motivated young entrepreneur.
John Abele was recently on the convocation stage to receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from York University in recognition of his role as a health care innovator and long-time friend of YorkU.
By Dan Wasserman, ventureLAB Executive in Residence
In the highly competitive world of innovative health technologies there are some excellent reasons to be hopeful that Ontario will continue in its leading role.
According to the Ministry of Finance’s 2014 Budget, the Province of Ontario is a premier centre for life sciences in North America-internationally recognized for its leadership in developing world-class research. Arguably, that’s because this Province has itself invested close to $49 million into the life sciences industries since 2003. Leading to that fact that Ontario is now home to many innovative life sciences companies. And that many top-ranked biomedical researchers are working here. Clearly, Ontario’s support programs have helped accelerate the development of innovative therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices, health information technology platforms, research tools, and enabling technologies.
I don’t recall exactly what was going through my mind that morning, 30 years ago this summer, when a group of us in Tysons Corner, Va., launched a start-up called Quantum Computer Services, later renamed America Online.
I do recall what was going through my parents’ minds, though: bewilderment.
Their 26-year-old son, who had recently left jobs at two Fortune 500 companies inside of three years, was now co-founding a start-up with the audacious aim of making an obscure platform called “online services” — the word “Internet” wasn’t common then — part of everyday life.
“Craig Leonard - Engage Biomechanics
The guidance on customer development we have received from our ventureLAB advisor, has been crucial in aligning the business around the real needs of our customers. From our product, to our support and pricing models, we've shaped the company to fit the unique needs of the customers we serve. Our advisor was also key in assembling and aligning the executive team who lead the company.”