Thursday I attended the Demo Camp at the Creative Destructive Lab at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. The Lab is focused on converting innovation to entrepreneurship selecting concepts with merit and guiding the founders through the process of getting to market. In the process the goal is to encourage the brightest and best to stay in Canada. The first program was completed in June. It is a competitive environment as it should be. Last September when the Lab was in it`s gestation period there were 76 project submitted. Of these the G7 founding partners selected the 18 that they felt had the most merit. The groups were assigned specific targets to carry out over a six week period at which time they met with the partners again. The one with the weakest performance was dropped. By June on completion of the program there were ten projects left. In less than a year the survivors have created over $ 65 million in equity with more to come. Great performance for a program in its infancy. Great things are destined to come out of this program. It`s already started.
I am very proud to have been invited to become a partner of the CD Lab. Not as one of the G7 partners who will continue to run the program in conjunction with the founders Professor Ajay Agrawal and Jesse Rogers but as one who is passionate about entrepreneurship and willing to help these people with phenomenal potential in whatever way I can. There are many levels and forms of entrepreneurship. The common bonds are the personal issues and fundamental business issues that every entrepreneur has to address from team building to funding. The transition from innovator to entrepreneur is difficult at the best of times but the pace at the Lab as for any accelerator is fast and furious. Understanding what to expect on these basic challenges can facilitate the transition and keep things in perspective.
Which brings me back to the title of this post. The adrenalin of the Demo Camp was contagious. Ajay and Jesse along with the G7 partners are building a culture of success. The combination of seeing the progress that was made last year as reported by the charter participants along with over twenty new pitches to show what is on the horizon was compelling and just plain exciting. There is a developing worldwide race to attract talent. Keeping our own is critical. Attracting sources from other countries nearly as important. Canada has introduced a new visa program to attract innovators who can confirm capital to support their programs BUT the key to attracting others is to keep our own, build a world class ecosystem and foster the culture of success. The Creative Destruction Lab will be an important factor in the process. Very exciting !!!!