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Please, no more 'Bill Gateses'. One is more than enough. And in case you didn't know, he comes from a very wealthy family, who supported him at the beginning of his career.
He was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and ruthless enough to profit from it.

From my experience, entrepreneurs are born, not made. But that doesn't mean that our Canadian culture can't promote the more entrepreneurs to come out of the woodwork.

I think of our biggest barriers to entrepreneurship is the negativity surrounding failure. I've talked to Sean Wise and others who have indicated that in general Canadian financiers see failure as a bad thing, whereas in US it's more a badge of honour. Finding ways to help people get over failure and take what they've learned so their next venture is a success is one of the biggest challenges we face as a nation.

Hi Mark,
I agree with you. Nothing in UoT MBA euiped me with something that will help me make Canada better then other countries. Organizational Behaviour, Marketing 101 and Accounting 101 will not creat an advantage. It make sure that management think the same, which is an averaging factor rather then creating an advantage.
On a seperate note - it is nice to see that you continue with passion to support Start-ups.
I have a Start-up and would like to talk with you as we are planning 1st round. You may (or may not) remmber me from a visit to Delrina over 15 years ago. Regards

The world would be a better place if we had more lawyers. The last thing we need is more tech geeks.

Great post Mark. I couldn't agree more. I'm constantly surprised at how few of our graduating students have entrepreneurship as their goal beyond education.

On US campuses I recruit from I see 20-30% of the graduating class actively looking to start or join a startup.

Here I'm lucky to get a tenth of that.

Something needs to change.

What you said in this article really spoke to me. I think that you have some profound ideas and that you are exactly what this industry needs. I think we should discuss some possible business ventures for the future

Sincerely yours,
Michael Brown

More Gatses and more scientists & engineers should not be mutually exclusive goals! (Oh, and how about fewer lawyers while we're at it?)

Yes, Bill Gates dropped out of university but first, it was a very good university and second, the traits he learned (by osmosis?) from his successful parents probably didn't hurt either. I guess what I'm saying is that while you are undeniably right, there is no effective way to grow 'Gatses' on demand - they just happen. It's how they are treated by business and society that determine whether they fail or succeed. Which I guess is your point. (Food for thought: I think it IS possible to grow good engineers and scientists by design. I'm pretty sure JFK inspired a generation of American's to become scientists and engineers when he decided to send men to the moon.)

More relevant I think is your point about doing whatever is necessary to help entrepreneurism thrive in Canada! It is an uphill battle as Austin Hill and 'Investoid' point out.

Personally, as the founder of what is now an 'early to mid' stage BPO and software start-up, I can tell you that from my point of view it starts, at least in part, with what you do Mark: Financing.

U.S. lenders seem more likely to encourage growth activity. When our corporate credit card program was with a big-five Canadian bank it needed to be secured by a GIC, when they sold their commercial card program to a U.S. bank guess what the Americans' first contact with us consisted of? They dropped the security AND doubled our credit limit. Why? I think it's because they have to run faster in the U.S. than we do here. Their competitors are chasing them! Although I'm not proud of this, I am certain that if we had scarier competitors we would most likely run faster. (More food for thought: Would JFK had decided to go to the moon if the USSR hadn't been chasing them hard in the space race?)

OK, I've 'gotta run now, I think I hear footsteps...

Oh Lordy* The last thing we need is more Monopolistic Greedy people like Microsoft/Poop's Bill Gates. I remember U from WinFax too + I also remember how many Innovative pieces of Software + Companies got Bullied out of the Marketplace by MS/P! As soon as they caught wind of a great EZ to use s/w App ie WinFax or Netscape or ACT! or Lotus 123 or Valdocs WordProcessor they would come out with their own Crap version + sadly the Corporate World bought into it. No doubt cuz it had the IBM Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on it. Hence 20 Years later MS/Poop is selling $15 Billion Dollars a year in MS Office! Beyond all belief. Thank Heavens for Google + Firefox + all the innovative, small Web2.0 co.'s who have Freed us all from the Shackles of Microsoft/Poop!!


Remember that there was a very positive side of Microsoft's hold on the market. The O/S was guaranteed on ALL Windows machines. So,when we wrote for Windows we knew that our software would run on all windows machines. Not so for the new computers (also known as smart cell phones) - NO Microsoft there so no standardization and almost NO software. Lets see how Google tries to impose their standards with gphone....

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