New Global Entrepreneurship Course Focuses on Toronto Tech Landscape
Schulich MBA students, plus exchange students from partner schools, have successfully completed the first-ever ENTR 6905 (Intelligent Innovation Ecosystem Design) course. This course represented a partnership between Schulich’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Schulich’s International Relations office.
This year, ENTR 6905 hosted exchange students from Israel, the UK, and Thailand.
Cherry Rose Tan, Entrepreneur in Residence at the Schulich School of Business, designed and taught this course. Tan is a renowned ecosystem builder and previously founded #REALTALK, North America’s largest mental health platform for Founder Mental Health. Alongside her colleague Chris Carder, Executive Director of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, she co-created a course that taught the intricacies of creating, building, and sustaining a tech ecosystem like Toronto.
“It was our dream to launch a course like this because MBA students regularly tell us that they want to break into the tech industry and they want to understand the landscape,” said Tan. “Unless you are an experienced founder or investor, this landscape can feel overwhelming. Given that Toronto has become a global destination for tech talent, it was time for a course like this.”
This intensive, hands-on modular course featured a variety of engaging guest lecturers, leading innovators, and site visits, focusing on strategies to spark, scale, and sustain Tech and Innovation throughout the startup journey. Designed to showcase the strong tech scene in Toronto and expose students from Schulich’s partner schools to the city and the school’s strengths, this course placed incoming exchange students and domestic and international Schulich students into one immersive experience.
Schulich thanks its guest lecturers, who are influential tech leaders in their own right:
- Ben Stacey, Regional Manager at Founder Institute
- Brice Scheschuk, Managing Partner at Globalive Capital
- David Kwok, Associate Director of Entrepreneurship at YSpace
- Hussam W. Ayyad, Chief Accelerator Officer at Highline Beta
- Jo Ann Dizy, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of #GrowTogether
- Rebecca Shields, Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Mental Health Association, York Region & South Simcoe
- Reshika Dhir, Partner at Bereskin & Parr LLP
Over the two-week course, students also participated in cultural highlights spearheaded by Raysa Marcondes, the International Relations Summer Program Coordinator.
“The places we chose to visit were meant to provide our exchange students with a variety of Canadian experiences. Inspired by past summer intensives, students experienced a tour of Toronto Island, a welcome social at Amsterdam Brewhouse, a Blue Jays game, and a visit to Niagara Falls. This experience ended with a farewell dinner at the CN Tower, where many of them made lasting friendships over the program.”
Zeinab Khan, a part-time MBA student who works at the City of Toronto, took time off work to participate in the course and says it is one of the best experiences she has had.
“What this course offered was different and Raysa did such a great job organizing the two weeks; she not only planned the social events to perfection, she also ensured everyone felt included, especially the international students,” said Khan. “Cherry Rose planned this course very well, where we learned about Toronto’s tech ecosystem and how its intentional design can support startups into scaleups. The international students provided such diverse perspectives from their experience.”