Canadian start-ups propelled by cooperation with competitors

Toronto, ON — At Mitacs’s 2017 Entrepreneur Awards ceremony a panel discussion titled Coopetition: A global advantage for Canadian business united experts from entrepreneurship and academia to discuss how cooperation among competitors can strengthen Canadian start-ups and business.

The panel discussion preceded the presentation of the Mitacs Entrepreneur Awards, and was moderated by Dianne Buckner, television journalist and host of CBC’s Dragons’ Den.

Panellists discussed the need for Canadian start-ups to build strategic partnerships that can benefit all players involved. Other topics of discussion included the role of the university in supporting coopetition and start-ups, scaling to international markets, and more.

The panel featured the following speakers:

  • Richard Beal, Co-founder and CEO, Spectrafy
  • Valerie Fox, Chief Innovation Consultant and Founder, The Pivotal Point
  • Brenda Halloran, Chair, Board of Directors, Startup Canada
  • Stephen Liss, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Ryerson University

The 2017 Mitacs Entrepreneur Awards took place on June 8, 2017, in partnership with MaRS Discovery District, and with the sponsorship of CARIC.


Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“Canadian start-ups have developed a unique culture of cooperation that is helping them connect to new markets and customers. Mitacs is proud to support this culture of coopetition by connecting companies to top university talent through our research and training programs.”

Quick facts:

  • Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 17 years to support industrial and social innovation in Canada.
  • Mitacs’ research internship programs connect graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with industry and not-for-profit partners for collaborations supervised by faculty.
  • Mitacs acknowledges the Government of Canada, along with Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, the Government of New Brunswick, the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, and the Government of Saskatchewan for their support.