In an age where technology is advancing in major leaps and bounds, strong innovators are needed to take the lead on the business side to ensure these developments meet their potential for growth and profit, and that they reach the right people. Business trailblazers working on technologies are able to spearhead their emerging product or idea, making it a strong competitor in an ever-changing and adapting industry.
To foster creative ideas, however, there needs to be a fertile, imaginative environment. Where technologies are concerned, there is hardly a better place in Canada than in the city of Waterloo. Not only is the city home to many startups, but there are also a variety of hubs, spaces, and programs designed to help get ideas off the ground and into the market.
First, there is the LaunchPad program, in nearby Kitchener, providing unparalleled support, mentorship, and resources in areas such as finance, marketing, accounting, and technology. There are key branches to the program: the LaunchPad Start focuses on achieving desired goals through iteration and customer interviews. By the end of this part of the program, students leave with the confidence of knowing whether their venture is viable. The LaunchPad Scale is the second branch, designed to guide startups that believe they’re ready for rapid growth (receiving help of mentors and resources).
Furthermore, the Communitech hub that houses the LaunchPad program is a space for minds to meet. It is over 80,000 square feet and offers affordable working areas for students, startups, small businesses, and is itself a not-for-profit company dedicated to fuelling job creation and the growth of ideas through collaboration.
There is also the University of Waterloo’s Velocity Garage, a leading entrepreneurship program and the largest free startup incubator in the world. They see an idea through from seed to full development and commercialization, providing participants with the knowledge, tools, space and the networking opportunities they need to be successful. The program also includes room and board, workspaces in the Waterloo region, events, mentorship, and more.
Finally, there is value in pursuing an MBA in a city dedicated to innovation, business improvement, and development. The Lazaridis School of Business & Economics located at the University of Waterloo pushes their students’ abilities to tackle challenges present in day-to-day business by using an integrated core methodology. Students solve problems through scenario-based learning, which reflects what they might encounter in the workplace. The MBA program also offers access to many of the aforementioned hubs and incubators of the region, giving students a chance to put their ideas into practice while remaining in a safe setting.
Studying in the city of Waterloo is an opportunity for the budding entrepreneur or promising startup virtuoso to be guided in the best direction as they’re provided with invaluable training and testing ground. By pursuing a full-time MBA in Waterloo students can take bigger, more valuable steps toward their final business and innovation goals. Through core study concepts backed by incubation and support, students can further their experience and knowledge through trial, error, and repair. That is, after all, the quickest and best way to learn.