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Sept. 14, 2018

With thousands of startups across Canada striving to become the next Shopify or Hootsuite, industry rankings take on great importance as markers of success. For the team at the Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises based at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, it came as no surprise when three of the institute’s previous Scale-Up Program companies were recognized in prestigious rankings.

LinkedIn released a list of "The 25 most sought-after startups in Canada" on Sept. 6, ranking Scale-Up Program alumni StackAdapt at number 12 and Tulip Retail at number 18. Both companies participated in the Lazaridis Scale-Up Program’s first cohort in 2016/2017.  

The Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) named the top 20 innovative companies for 2018 in early September, which included Lazaridis Scale-Up Program Vendasta from the program’s second cohort.  Vendasta competed against startups from across Canada for the opportunity to present at CIX 2018 and pitch to a crowd of over 700 investors and tech peers.

The Lazaridis Scale-Up Program supports the growth of Canada’s most promising tech companies by providing resources to help them address scaling challenges in real time. When they were part of the program, executive team members from StackAdapt, Tulip Retail and Vendasta attended intensive program weekends focused on topics that included leadership for growth, next-level product development, scaling customer acquisition and expanding in global markets.

“We are thrilled to see the hard work and the success of these companies recognized on a national level,” said Kim Morouney, director of the Lazaridis Institute. “We select companies for the Scale-Up Program based on their potential to dominate in their markets. These three companies are based on exciting innovations and they’re growing rapidly.  We’re sure you’ll be hearing more about them as they continue to create jobs and create value in Canada.”

While cohort two is still completing the year-long program, surveys with cohort one revealed that 100% of the companies increased revenues, 90% increased productivity, 90% received external financing and 90% launched a new product or service. The Lazaridis Institute measures its success by the success of its cohort companies and, while these results are impressive, believes that it can do more. The Institute will continue to support their cohort companies as they grow.

Hear what each company had to say about participating in the program:

“It’s been great. It’s been a phenomenal experience. We didn’t know exactly what to expect, but we very quickly found that everything that’s being taught – everything that’s being discussed – it’s all real, it’s meaningful. There are actionable insights that you can take away from a weekend class, and then put into effect at your organization the following Monday, which is amazing."
– Mark Steele, EVP sales and marketing (2016), Tulip Retail

“It’s so rare to be part of something so pivotal in the knowledge that’s being taught. It definitely exceeded every possible expectation that I ever had. It’s really working on the fundamentals. I think it’s so easy to get caught up with your day-to-day routine of, maybe, polishing sales decks or writing emails, but taking a step back and having this bird’s-eye view of your business means you’re really digging deep into why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place.”
– Vitaly Pecherskiy, co-founder and COO, StackAdapt

“I’m always excited to learn from other companies no matter where you are in this journey of scaling up, and we are further along than some people we’re sitting around the table with. There are two elements for me. One is affirmation, from listening to experts that have been there and done that before, that we’re on the right path and we’re doing the right things. The other is that learning what the struggles are for other businesses helps us identify opportunities for us to fix things that we aren’t necessarily doing perfectly now.”
– Jeff Tomlin, CMO, Vendasta

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