About DRIVE.

“Scaling” companies, especially tech companies, has become the focus of governments, investors and academics around the world. The benefits of having a critical mass of high-growth firms in a region are obvious — they have a disproportionately high impact on job growth, economy and quality of life.

Less obvious is how to create a scaleup ecosystem.

Lazaridis Hall (71).jpg

In Canada, we’ve invested millions in support for entrepreneurial ventures, but job creation and economic benefits have not materialized at the hoped-for rates. The vast majority of startups fail. Many worry — though the data are difficult to come by — that the beneficiaries of this government investment are selling their talents to higher bidders in bigger markets.

This is by no means a Canadian problem. Of the valuable innovations that flourish in a hundred tech hubs around the planet, an inordinate number succumb to the gravitational pull of Silicon Valley. Clearly, tech companies in smaller markets need to be global from day one.

Which brings us to an increasingly critical economic question: How do you create domestic value in a global tech economy?

DRIVE is collecting answers to exactly this question.

Lazaridis Hall (12).jpg
Lazaridis Hall (59).jpg

In the last few years, across all geographies, theories, schemes and designs for scaling have proliferated — some more successful than others.

DRIVE is bringing together policy-makers, researchers, accelerators and successful tech CEOs from around the globe, to compare best practices and highlight bold ideas.

DRIVE is not just a collection of talking heads. DRIVE is data-driven: you can decide for yourself which strategies, tactics and approaches really work, because we’re asking speakers to bring with them the data that demonstrates the impact of their practices. DRIVE will deliver provocative keynotes, new opportunities for global partnerships and proven ways to create value.

Hosted by Hockeystick and the Lazaridis Institute, DRIVE will take place over two days in Kitchener-Waterloo, one of Canada’s fastest-growing tech ecosystems.

Lazaridis Hall (19).jpg

At DRIVE, we will ask:

Plan de travail 3 copie.png

What is a “scaleup ecosystem” and what is not? How important are the institutions within an ecosystem? Are successful ecosystems driven primarily by government investment? Accelerators? Access to talent? Access to capital?


Where are scaleup ecosystems? Where should they be? Where are the boundaries of regional ecosystems? How do they interact with, or compete with, global ecosystems?


Who is succeeding in building scaleup ecosystems? Which models are working, which aren’t? What positive and negative effects do regional efforts have on scaleup success?


How are data and technology being used to power scaleup ecosystems? How can we share these data as a global community of practitioners?


The conference will also make a permanent contribution to the study of scaleup ecosystems by releasing research data, and tools that will live beyond the conference.

The conversation is starting.  


Join the dialogue. DRIVE the solution.



BCF Ventures.png
FLOW Ventures.png
Founder Institute.png
NEXT Canada.png
Good News Ventures.png

Founding partners.

Lazaridis Hall (75).jpg

We can’t wait to see you there.


Interested in becoming a sponsor?