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Building an Ecosystem of Entrepreneurship & Social Good

Steve Farlow, Interim Executive Director of the Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises, joins AQ to discuss Wilfrid Laurier University's LaunchPad, the Lazaridis Institute and entrepreneurship. 

Thanks to a generous gift of $20MIL by Mike Lazaridis, Laurier (WLU) was able to transform its business school to address a serious economic problem. In Canada, there’s a shortage of men and women who can grow and scale globally competitive technology companies. The new Lazaridis School of Business and Economics is developing thoughtful academic programs to address this issue and attract more talent into the Waterloo Region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The new programs will be grounded in a solid body of academic knowledge and delivered by leading practitioners – men and women who have recent, successful experience. 


Steve also discusses the magic behind Laurier’s LaunchPad program stating that the brightest young minds across the country now consider the process of enterprise creation a very viable career option. The LaunchPad program embodies this by giving people the opportunity to experience personal and professional breakthroughs within the university curriculum.  

Steve and Alan talk about their favourite success stories coming out of LaunchPad and similar programs, highlighting Cole Jones’ Local Line and Jim and Jennifer Moss’ Plasticity. A common thread with these companies and within WLU is their commitment to social good. Steve and Alan remark that the social good component of business is becoming a trending characteristic in entrepreneurship. They also address a comment made by Governor General David Johnston about there being “something in the water” regarding Waterloo Region. 


About Our Guest

Steve Farlow is the Interim Executive Director of the Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises. He was also the founding Executive Director of the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship at WLU. Steve has a long track record of entrepreneurship and enjoys using his background to support students’ education in that area. In his spare time, he is an active angel investor in early-stage companies.