Learn from our community entrepreneurs! In this interview, Claudia Krywiak shares the story of building and growing Ontario Centre of innovation, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) is an ecosystem connector that brings together industry, academic, and government partners to invest in collaborative R&D, technology development, and commercialization opportunities that generate the highest return on innovation for Ontarians. We drive economic growth and job creation through investments in the development, commercialization, and adoption of advanced technologies.
Since joining OCI in 2011, I have championed innovation as a key driver of competitiveness, productivity, and economic growth. I've led the development and deployment of large-scale strategic initiatives that brought together multiple levels of government, post-secondary institutions, anchor firms, and startups to fuel growth in emerging technology areas, including artificial intelligence, autonomous and electric vehicles, 5G and next generation networks, cybersecurity, and clean technologies.
Prior to joining OCI, I was the Vice President, Business Development at Mitacs, a national research organization that funds research and training programs. I started my career at Bruker Corporation, a world-leading manufacturer of scientific instruments for molecular research and industrial analysis.
I’m inspired by the entrepreneurs and innovators that we work with every day and the incredible technologies that they are developing to address some of the toughest challenges of our time
Driving impact that not only benefits the individual companies and entrepreneurs that OCI supports, but also drives transformation at the system/sector level
One of the biggest challenges is keeping pace with technological advancements and staying at the leading edge of innovation, because things move quickly. I overcome this by operating with a feet on the ground mindset. I ensure OCI has a team of business development and innovation experts that are deployed across Ontario to bring potential collaborators together to develop and commercialize new technologies.
- Define clear job roles
- Prioritize company culture
- Provide growth and development opportunities
- Identify a problem to solve/find a real problem or pain point that customers are facing in the market
- Build a strong team
- Focus on the customer/user experience
If you are a solopreneur, startup, or small-medium business owner, and would like to share your story, expertise and thought leadership, then please answer an online interview questionnaire. Your feedback on building successful teams can also help fellow entrepreneurs learn to scale. We’d love to feature your journey in our community.
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