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Competition in Federally-funded infrastructure projects

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 10/15/2016 1476501186
Tags: accelerators  growth 
The Federal government  in collaboration with the Provinces should allow all companies. not guilty of fraud and other embezzlements, from everywhere .... Read more

The Federal government  in collaboration with the Provinces should allow all companies. not guilty of fraud and other embezzlements, from everywhere in Canada and abroad ,to compete in federally-funded infrastructure projects. More competition=more innovation and better prices.

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Treat self employed in the same way as small businesses.

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 10/15/2016 1476493334
Tags: accelerators  growth 
Canada can become the best country in attracting and developing talent by treating the self employed in the same way as small businesses, as per the t .... Read more

Canada can become the best country in attracting and developing talent by treating the self employed in the same way as small businesses, as per the tax system and federal programs except the employment insurance program.By proceeding that way, risk taking is encouraged and people will work to the best of their capacity. All crown corporations and BDC  should implement that policy. Treating the self employed as small businesses will help stabilize the labour market and spur innovation.

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Innovation through Co-operative Education

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 10/12/2016 1476309077
Introduction CAFCE (Canadian Association for Co-operative Education) is the voice for post-secondary co-operative education in Canada. Co-operative e .... Read more

Introduction

CAFCE (Canadian Association for Co-operative Education) is the voice for post-secondary co-operative education in Canada. Co-operative education (co-op) programs alternate periods of academic study and work experience in fields that are relevant to students’ programs of study. Students are given opportunities to test their theoretical knowledge in real-world contexts, explore a variety of careers before fully entering the workforce, and earn both valuable experience and compensation.

Co-operative education is a foundational part of Canada’s reputation as a nation full of innovative, skilled entrepreneurs. When students participate in co-op programs, they develop the professional skills — communication, teamwork, problem solving — that employees and creators need to thrive in the future economy. They’re also given the chance to watch and learn from existing innovators in their communities.

CAFCE recommends Industry Canada consider the following options as a means of furthering its Innovation Agenda:

Canada Innovation Co-op Grants

Startups and innovation businesses should be encouraged to hire Canadian co-op students through the establishment of a grant program.

How would this work?

The grant program would involve the development of partnerships between post-secondary institutions and businesses meeting a set of eligibility requirements. A portion of the grant funds would be put towards a percentage of students’ salaries, making it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to pursue innovation and plan for additional hiring.

The grants would be distributed across Canada’s provinces and territories based on a prorated distribution, i.e. more grants for provinces with a greater number of enrolled co-op students. The grants would also be spread equitably across the country’s various innovation sectors. A cap on eligible business size would be implemented to ensure the grants benefit startups and small businesses. The number of grant-eligible hires per fiscal year would also be restricted to ensure the grants’ reach across as many businesses as possible. Finally, an additional incentive could be implemented to encourage innovative businesses to hire students looking for their first co-op position.

What are the potential outcomes?

  • The creation of ground-level partnerships between startups and small businesses and post-secondary institutions (e.g. RIM’s relationship with the University of Waterloo)
  • Immediate incentives for innovation companies and startups who can support the hiring of co-op students.
  • Increased opportunity for students interested in pursuing careers in Canada’s various innovation sectors.

Co-op Entrepreneurship Program

A scholarship for co-op student innovators should be established, encouraging students to spend a term developing their own ideas and/or companies with fewer financial restrictions.

How would this work?

Scholarships valued at $10,000 per work term (four months) would be offered to student innovators intent on spending their terms developing their own ideas or enterprises. The scholarships would be distributed across Canada’s provinces and territories based on a prorated distribution and would be awarded based on applications. The collection of applications and delivery of funds would be coordinated with students’ post-secondary institutions and advertised on campuses and through institutions’ co-op programs.

What are the potential outcomes?

  • Canada’s innovative capacity would increase through the support and development of aspiring entrepreneurs in a co-op context.
  • The program would encourage the development of students’ entrepreneurial mindsets and innovation skills while still allowing them to experience formalized co-op programs. Students who haven’t actively considered entrepreneurship could be encouraged to give it a try by the provision of a considerable scholarship.

Mitacs Undergraduate & Graduate Co-op Program

Mitacs should expand its operations by introducing a series of co-op-specific awards at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Co-op student recipients would spend a work term in a Mitacs-endorsed research environment, developing their skills and contributing to their employers’ innovative efforts. These awards would augment Mitacs’ existing efforts to expand and support research-based innovation in Canada.

How would this work?

Many post-secondary institutions already have a relationship with Mitacs because of its research funding, training, and support for international research collaborations. The new program would build on these pre-existing relationships and the associated infrastructure. The resulting co-op opportunities with researchers across the country would yield benefits for post-secondary institution, Mitacs, and its partners.

What are the potential outcomes?

  • Co-op students interested in research and innovation would have a new way to pursue appropriate employment within their chosen field.
  • Increased partnership between Mitacs and post-secondary institutions will reduce competition for talented students, and it can create opportunities for the sharing of knowledge and resources.
Credit: Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE)

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Failure as a training

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 10/11/2016 1476155765
Even the best businessmen will face setbacks. The BDC and federal government should  help all entrepreneurs even those who have failed in the past.Th .... Read more

Even the best businessmen will face setbacks. The BDC and federal government should  help all entrepreneurs even those who have failed in the past.The BDC should evaluate the projects by their merits and these projects would show the comeback-entrepreneurs have learned from the failures.The tax policy could help as well.

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Tap in the collective intelligence

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 10/09/2016 1476053422
Tags: accelerators 
The federal government could use more collective intelligence. First, there should be more consultations like this one as often as possible,one of th .... Read more

The federal government could use more collective intelligence.

First, there should be more consultations like this one as often as possible,one of the advantages will be better decision making.

Second,the federal government should use  prediction markets.Prediction markets can be used for infectious disease surveillance and prediction markets provide low cost useful information  in well-timed manner.

Third , the federal government  should use ideas markets as well. Ideas markets can be used to evaluate investments in R&D and other intangible assets, along other tools.

References:

The journal of prediction markets:http://ubplj.org/index.php/jpm/article/view/1162

Harvard Business School Working knowledge:http://ubplj.org/index.php/jpm/article/view/1162

Credit: The journal of prediction markets;Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

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Support the young entrepreneurs under 18

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 10/09/2016 1476049200
Often, successful entrepreneurs start  businesses  before 18 years old. There should be programs to support young entrepreneurs under 18 years old p .... Read more

Often, successful entrepreneurs start  businesses  before 18 years old. There should be programs to support young entrepreneurs under 18 years old provided that they have good grades at school and they are getting their high school diploma.Then, We are working in order to have better entrepreneurship spirit and to have better results at the education level concurrently. BDC is well equipped  to implement such a program.

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Exploration Centers - for all ages

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 10/06/2016 1475784277
Tags: accelerators  growth 
Centers with the Latest Technologies, open anytime of day, with Work-spaces for people to Create, Explore and Innovate. A sorts of Rec Center, for Te .... Read more

Centers with the Latest Technologies, open anytime of day, with Work-spaces for people to Create, Explore and Innovate.

A sorts of Rec Center, for Technologies, sponsored by the Canadian Government, which helps anyone to be able to Hone their Skills and Work on their Ideas, with Help from Advisers, Professionals, etc. that assist in Creation of Products, to help the Canadian Economy. So we can all get ahead in life, without leaving others behind.

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Talent and knowledge mobilization / Talent et mobilisation du savoir

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 09/16/2016 1474055228
In Canada’s sesquicentennial year, over one million undergraduates are entering university halls across the country. These students are the foun .... Read more

In Canada’s sesquicentennial year, over one million undergraduates are entering university halls across the country. These students are the foundation of Canada’s innovative future. Canada’s universities are committed to equipping these students with the skills and knowledge they need to flourish in work and life, empowering them to contribute to Canada’s economic and social success.

We need to do better as a country to meet the aspirations and unlock the potential of Indigenous youth – their community’s future leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. Currently, only 11 per cent of Indigenous peoples aged 25 to 34 in Canada have a university degree, compared to 33 per cent of non-Indigenous Canadians in the same age group.

  • Universities Canada aspires to significantly reduce the gap between the university participation rate of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians within the next ten years, by increasing federal financial assistance to Indigenous students and institutional efforts.
  • Universities Canada also recommends supporting more Indigenous students to pursue graduate and post-doctoral studies, growing the cohort of Indigenous university faculty and researchers and boosting their engagement in Canada’s innovative future.

Through work-integrated learning, hands-on research training, and global experiences, Canadian university graduates are educated in a culture of innovation and prepared with 21st century skills including flexibility, adaptability, and an openness to risk-taking.

We support the call by the Canadian Business/Higher Education Roundtable for access to work-integrated learning for 100 per cent of Canadian postsecondary students.

  • To support this goal, Universities Canada, along with national business and student groups, recommends investment in new federal measures, such as vouchers and tax credits, to incentivize employers – particularly in small- and medium-sized enterprises and not-for-profit organizations – to create more paid co-op and internship placements across disciplines and address the barriers employers face in offering such placements.

Canada’s universities are dynamic and supportive partners in helping businesses and not-for-profit organizations solve their problems. One of the greatest contributions universities make to innovation is equipping their graduates with the skills, knowledge and mindset to contribute to our contemporary and future economy. Through a range of knowledge mobilization activities – hands-on learning experiences of co-op students and graduates, community service and outreach, public policy engagement, inter-sectoral partnerships, and the commercialization of research – universities contribute to innovation, prosperity and the quality of life in Canada. Such a flexible approach is needed as no one-size-fits-all approach will suit the diverse needs and capabilities across Canada’s regions. Commercialization contributions are made by universities as valued research partners and through knowledge spill-overs in the form of spin-off companies.

  • Canada’s universities have proven themselves to be prolific generators of new ideas and designs, but R&D assistance is needed in the start-up phase to bridge the capital and financing gap between the initial idea and venture capital stages of the commercialization wave.
  • Targeted support should also be provided to encourage incubation and acceleration on university campuses, and to facilitate access to risk capital. Our graduates abound with ideas, but help is needed to develop strong and nimble start-ups that can grow into globally competitive companies.

Universities can also provide support to young companies by helping educate business talent in areas where we know Canada needs improvement – training executive talent with the ability to scale-up small start-ups, and building know ledge of sales into the business curriculum to assist small companies to grow.

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À l’approche du 150e anniversaire de la Confédération, plus de un million d’étudiants au premier cycle font leur entrée à l’université d’un bout à l’autre du pays. Ces étudiants sont le fondement de l’innovation future au Canada. Les universités s’engagent à inculquer à ces étudiants les compétences et le savoir dont ils ont besoin pour s’épanouir sur les plans personnel et professionnel, et ainsi contribuer à la réussite économique et sociale du Canada.

Le Canada doit faire plus pour concrétiser les aspirations et réaliser le potentiel des jeunes Autochtones, qui seront les dirigeants, les innovateurs et les entrepreneurs de demain dans leurs collectivités. À l’heure actuelle, seulement 11 pour cent des Autochtones de 25 à 34 ans possèdent un diplôme universitaire, comparativement à 33 pour cent des Canadiens non autochtones du même groupe d’âge.

  • Universités Canada aspire à réduire considérablement l’écart entre Canadiens autochtones et non autochtones en matière de taux de fréquentation de l’université au cours des 10 prochaines années par la hausse de l’aide financière fédérale aux étudiants autochtones et des initiatives des établissements d’enseignement.
  • Universités Canada recommande également d’appuyer un plus grand nombre d’étudiants autochtones pour qu’ils entreprennent des études aux cycles supérieurs et au niveau postdoctoral, d’augmenter le nombre de professeurs et de chercheurs autochtones, et d’accroître leur participation à l’innovation future du Canada.

Par l’apprentissage intégré au travail, la recherche sur le terrain et les expériences à l’étranger, les diplômés universitaires canadiens sont formés au sein d’une culture d’innovation et acquièrent des compétences du XXIe siècle, dont la souplesse, la capacité d’adaptation et une ouverture au risque.

 

Universités Canada appuie les revendications de la Table ronde de l’enseignement supérieur et les entreprises, qui réclame l’accès à des expériences d’apprentissage intégré au travail pour tous les étudiants canadiens de niveau postsecondaire.

  • À cette fin, Universités Canada et d’autres groupes nationaux étudiant et des milieux des affaires et recommandent au gouvernement fédéral d’investir dans de nouvelles mesures, comme des bons et des crédits d’impôt, pour inciter les employeurs – surtout les PME et les organisations à but non lucratif – à créer plus de stages rémunérés dans toutes les disciplines et à résoudre les difficultés qui les empêchent d’offrir ce type d’expériences aux étudiants.

Les universités canadiennes sont des partenaires dynamiques qui aident les entreprises et les organisations à but non lucratif à trouver des solutions à leurs problèmes. Une des plus grandes contributions des universités en matière d’innovation est de donner à leurs diplômés les compétences, les connaissances et la mentalité nécessaires pour participer à l’économie du XXIe siècle. Les universités contribuent à l’innovation, à la prospérité et à la qualité de vie des Canadiens grâce à diverses activités de mobilisation du savoir. Il suffit de penser aux programmes d’enseignement coopératif qui offrent aux étudiants des expériences d’apprentissage sur le terrain, aux activités de service à la collectivité, à la participation à l’établissement des politiques publiques, aux partenariats intersectoriels et aux activités de commercialisation de la recherche. La souplesse est de mise, car il n’existe pas de démarche unique en mesure de répondre aux besoins des différentes régions du Canada.

Les universités contribuent à la commercialisation de la recherche en agissant comme précieux partenaires de recherche et en favorisant la transmission du savoir par le démarrage d’entreprises.

  • Les universités sont une source intarissable de nouvelles idées, mais elles requièrent du soutien en recherche-développement (R-D) pendant la phase de démarrage pour faire le lien entre l’idée initiale et les capitaux de risque nécessaires à sa concrétisation pendant le processus de commercialisation.
  • Il faut également offrir un soutien ciblé pour favoriser l’incubation et l’accélération sur les campus et faciliter l’accès au capital de risque. Nos diplômés ne manquent pas d’idées, mais ils ont besoin d’appuis pour mettre sur pied de jeunes entreprises solides et souples en mesure de devenir concurrentielles à l’échelle mondiale.

Les universités peuvent également soutenir les jeunes entreprises en offrant une formation en administration des affaires dans les domaines où le Canada peut faire mieux, soit en formant des dirigeants à faire croître des entreprises en démarrage et en intégrant des connaissances sur les ventes aux cours des programmes de commerce pour aider les petites entreprises à grandir.

Credit: Universities Canada / Universités Canada

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UNLEASH THE FULL POTENTIAL OF WOMEN INNOVATORS ALONG WITH OTHER MARGINALIZED GROUPS

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 08/17/2016 1471476711
Canada's innovation policy has marginalized women and other groups.  The evidence and statistics which point to this are much publicized. From the am .... Read more

Canada's innovation policy has marginalized women and other groups.  The evidence and statistics which point to this are much publicized. From the amount of VC capital going to women led ventures, to the number of female partners in VC funds, the issue is clearly documented. 

If we still need convincing, let's look at the participation rates of women in Ontario's government funded incubators and accelerators (4-20%). Award winning incubator programs like Ryerson's DMZ notes 15-20% at best. 

The new Communitech Fierce Founder program, which originally was designed for women founders, later changed from a female founder only stance to a "must have female in C-suite). This is a significant change and unfortunate one. As someone who works in the start up space, I see a tremendous difference in progress, resilience and motivation when one is in an environment where you can be your authentic self. Co-ed environments are important too. But we should not under-value the role of women led/women only--or other culturally specific spaces --in the advancement of innovation in Canada.

At a Conference in March, 2016, Dr. Ilse Tueurnicht said (Quote).

 

"The biggest lift we can get in this {innovation} business is by involving women more. And it doesn't matter where you sit on the continuum of innovation, whether you are up in our building (MaRS) or in start ups, or in tech corporations, or in venture capital, across the continuum, women remain hugely under-represented.  And at this stage in my career, I am sad to say that I am more worried about this topic over the past two years than I have been for a long, long time. So there is a lot of work to do ,for all of us to do".

 

Dr. Treurnicht is right. And as we have watched this new innovation agenda consultation process and road show unfold, we have heard nary a word about the importance of increasing women's participation, despite the fact that the Minister's mandate expressly states that the pursuit of gender parity in this space is a priority.

 

What we would like to see is:

 

1) A serious effort to change the culture of the innovation space. Culture at the moment has a male and dominant culture bias that shuts out  talented female/other marginalized would be innovators .  Culture changers could include offering day care /elder care services to women (and yes, all) entrepreneurs and innovators, arranging meetings and presentations before 3:30 and after 9am (as many parents have to leave to drop off and pick up their kids), prayer space, inclusive social activities and the like.   When it comes to women in particular, the reality is, the bulk of care work still falls to women, and by making it difficult for the to participate given their other responsibilities, we are leaving money and talent on the table.

 

  1. Make sure VC funds that receive government matching dollars for investment can demonstrate gender parity in their partner ranks and management teams before being eligible for public money.

 

  1. Consider funding demographic incubators (there are over 25 women founder incubators in the US and it is a growing segment. There are also more and more by/for black, hispanic and other demographically focused support for innovation and entrepreneurship.). Yet in Ontario, there is no women led/women focused incubator or accelerator program. There are also no indigenous focused programs or spaces where one can feel culturally at home. This means women (and other members of marginalized groups) who are talented choose to set their ideas aside because they do not thrive in melting pot mainstream environments.  We also need consider the concept of laddering.  Sometimes we hear people saying this is anti-diversity, but we know this is an ignorant response--not dissimilar to responding to BLM with #allivesmatter. 

 

4)  The focus on youth to the exclusion of much else is misguided.  Evidence shows that innovators over 40 are highly skilled and much more productive due to their higher and broader business skill levels.  Yet support for entrepreneurs in that age bracket is limited. While one might argue the tent is open to anyone, we know that the youth culture propagated at many of our innovation support programs means those over 40 feel unwelcome. The programming incubators is also heavily geared to those who need entry level business skills. Older innovators need different supports.  We are squandering one of our best resources---the 40-70 age group, ignoring their potential, and by not supporting them in a relevant way they need to be supported when they get there.

 

Please consider broadening the innovation program to be more authentically inclusive. If innovation is a numbers game, we are not going to win as a nation by narrowing our effort to a policy and program with fits just the few.

 Back to the question--Imagine if Canada became know as THE Best country for women innovators and entrepreneurs, plus the BEST country for newcomer innovators because we have a mosaic approach to innovation, and not a melting pot.

Credit: Valerie Fox, Vicki Saunders, Barbara Orser, Catherine Elliot and many others.

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Winning in the New Economy: Seven Steps Toward a Canadian Digital Innovation Strategy

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 06/25/2016 1466860257
Summary of Discussion Paper:   Canada has done a good job investing and nurturing the social and cultural conditions (the Canadian multicultural .... Read more

Summary of Discussion Paper:

 

Canada has done a good job investing and

nurturing the social and cultural conditions

(the Canadian multicultural brand) that make

it an attractive “place” to live and work. We

need to further leverage this advantage to retain

and attract talent - key to our ability to drive

and grow our digital economy, especially in

Information Communication and Technology

and other creative-class sectors.

 

We have the talent and multicultural base to

develop global content for billions of people and,

as such, create a multitude of revenue streams

from technology, platforms and content. We

need government and industry to align behind

a unified, national digital innovation strategy to

support Canada’s digital transformation. Such a

strategy must recognize the need to do much

more to support entrepreneurs, innovators, creators

and risk takers.

Achieving this ambitious but necessary goal will require

wide-scope collaboration among government, the

private sector and academia.

This discussion paper is intended to continue the

broad conversation as we move toward a national,

digital innovation strategy. My comments and perspective

are constrained to areas of interest and knowledge

as a professional who has been immersed in the

digital world from a strategic planning, marketing,

technology and content perspective for more than

20 years. In short, I propose seven achievable steps

that the federal government, in collaboration with

others, can take now to realize our collective digital

innovation goals.

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Bubble-up Fermentation, Not Cream-Skimming

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 06/23/2016 1466706094
Too often supporting entrepreneurs is done through an incubation process that involves a committee that selects 'promising' projects from a field of c .... Read more

Too often supporting entrepreneurs is done through an incubation process that involves a committee that selects 'promising' projects from a field of contenders. The statistics on such incubation approaches is clear - the results are poor, with very few succeeding beyond the support period, and fewer still still functioning after two years. 

This 'cream-skimming' approach is inferior to a bubble-up approach. This would entail a low-bar of acceptance into a 'co-working + resources' environment, where all have access to support, coaching and basic infrastructure. From this environment, the 'experts' can be as out of the way or as helping as needed. Strong entities will survive on their own merits, rather than weak entities with good schmooze-skills being propped up in a traditional incubator.

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