In 2012 I took a course at Harvard University called Innovation and Economic Development. A professor from Babson College named Daniel Isenberg came in and did a talk on what he was calling “scale-ups”. He ended up found a bit of a movement around the world focused on what kinds of policies, infrastructure and support are needed to result in startups blowing up into full blown unicorns.
The dogged Dhirendra Shukla head of UNB’s TME program, who has been elevating TME to new heights, chased him down and he is involved with the TME and speaking next week at the Future of Innovation conference in Fredericton (Saturday, October 19th). Anyone interested in the scale up conversation, it will be worth the price of admission just to hear Isenberg. I’m out of the province or I would be there with bells on.
The scale up issue is particularly acute in New Brunswick. We have witnessed a few firms over the past decade break out – but not that many. As I have detailed on these pages in the, we have one of the worst ‘scale up’ records in Canada among the 10 provinces measured by the number of ICT firm that grow from under 10 employees to 50 or more (as one proxy for scaling).
Check it out. If you get the chance shake hands with Dr. Shukla. One of a handful of real change makers in this province.