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This is the 17th article in a continuing series that examines the state of the ecosystem necessary to successfully bring technology to market. Based on dozens of interviews with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, business leaders, academics, tech-transfer experts and policy makers, this series looks at what is working and what can be improved in the go-to-market ecosystem in the United States, Canada and Britain. We invite your feedback.

By Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette

Over the past couple of weeks, we have explored where and how government can facilitate the process of commercialization to help technology entrepreneurs get their products to market. Throughout this series, we have talked about the entrepreneurial right stuff and the value of those soft skills collectively referred to as emotional intelligence.

But where does good old-fashioned formal education fit into all of this? What role does, and should, a person’s alma mater play in the formation of the next generation of entrepreneurs?

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Government: The road to hell is paved with …

This is the 16th article in a continuing series that examines the state of the ecosystem necessary to successfully bring technology to market. Based on dozens of interviews with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, business leaders, academics, tech-transfer experts and policy makers, this series looks at what is working and what can be improved in the go-to-market ecosystem in the United States, Canada and Britain. We invite your feedback.

By Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette

As we stated in last week’s post, government’s role in the commercialization eco-system should be to create that “supportive and normative framework.” The common sentiment among the various VCs, angel investors, accelerator and incubator executives, entrepreneurs and others we have interviewed is that government should stay out of the way as much as possible.

But before the big G steps back, what should it do to enable startups that are trying to get to market, or more established enterprises looking to break into foreign markets or migrate their product lines?

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Government: Too hot, too cold, just right

This is the 15th article in a continuing series that examines the state of the ecosystem necessary to successfully bring technology to market. Based on dozens of interviews with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, business leaders, academics, tech-transfer experts and policy makers, this series looks at what is working and what can be improved in the go-to-market ecosystem in the United States, Canada and Britain. We invite your feedback.

By Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette

How much should government intervene in the process of innovation and commercialization? In a truly entrepreneurial culture that has healthy risk tolerance, one could argue that the government doesn’t need to play any substantial role at all. Entrepreneurs worthy of that title just get out there and do what they must to succeed.

In his book, The Way Ahead: Meeting Canada’s Productivity Challenge, Tom Brzustowski, RBC professor for the commercialization of innovation at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management, wrote, “I believe that it is only the private sector that creates wealth.” The public sector, on the other hand, is a consumer of wealth in order to bankroll the two fundamental roles it plays.

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Culture of risk: Oh, those Israelis

This is the 14th article in a continuing series that examines the state of the ecosystem necessary to successfully bring technology to market. Based on dozens of interviews with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, business leaders, academics, tech-transfer experts and policy makers, this series looks at what is working and what can be improved in the go-to-market ecosystem in the United States, Canada and Britain. We invite your feedback.

By Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette

“If Canadians were as good at innovating as we are at explaining why we’re bad at it, Canada wouldn’t rank 14th among industrialized nations in the Conference Board of Canada’s report card on innovation. And because innovation is the key to improving productivity, we wouldn’t be earning $7,000 less a person each year than Americans.”

That blunt comment came courtesy of none other than Conference Board president and CEO Anne Golden in an editorial published last August in the Globe and Mail titled “Canada’s innovation malaise: The cure’s in our culture.”

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Culture of risk: Are you willing to bet the farm?

This is the 13th article in a continuing series that examines the state of the ecosystem necessary to successfully bring technology to market. Based on dozens of interviews with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, business leaders, academics, tech-transfer experts and policy makers, this series looks at what is working and what can be improved in the go-to-market ecosystem in the United States, Canada and Britain. We invite your feedback.

By Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette

In our various interviews for this series, one of the most elusive topics of discussion has been culture of risk. Elusive in that it strays into the realm of stereotype and generalization.

Can it be defined by borders, or is that a naive misconception? Is it somehow encoded in the DNA of one nation’s culture more than another, shaped and influenced by how much public policy favours free-market capitalism versus socialism, or all of the above?

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