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Learn. Try. Do!

The Guard-Ex team

Laurier donors support the entrepreneurs of tomorrow – and today

The strategy is simple – provide opportunities for students to LEARN about entrepreneurship by extending their learning outside the classroom, allow students to TRY out their new skills through extra-curricular programming, and support students to DO it for real by helping them launch their own startups!

That’s how Laurier builds the successful entrepreneurs not only of tomorrow – but today. Student- and alumni-founded companies are already making an impact. They’re helping prevent impaired-driving incidents (GuardEx); creating environmentally friendly personal products (EarthSuds); taking digitized cooking up a level (Nise Teach) and improving the video call experience (Correly). These are just a few of the ways Laurier entrepreneurs are applying what they have learned in the classroom to benefit the wider community.

It takes an incredible amount of dedication, passion, skill and focus to launch a successful startup. It also, as they say, “takes a village.” Laurier students are fortunate to have access to our entrepreneurship programming on both the Brantford and Waterloo campuses. Supported through essential and enriching partnerships with donors, entrepreneurship programming connects student founders that are ready to “do” with a dynamic community of specialized volunteer alumni and community mentors who work closely with founders and provide expert advice and guidance. Through this programming, founders also have access to a strong base of business fundamentals programming such as workshops with subject experts, and exclusive speaker sessions with successful entrepreneurs. Mentors provide over 100 hours of guidance every year.

2000+ graduates have built startups, many while at Laurier

Dastiger Khan, Founder and CEO at Guard-Ex, is grateful to Laurier supporters for helping him and his team create an innovative new piece of technology to keep people safer on the road. The device is used at road-stops to check driving impairment levels. This portable, user-friendly technology uses machine learning to measure changes in an individual’s physiological signs that are correlated to impairment. It can measure a range of impairments including from alcohol, drugs, fatigue, or cognitive dysfunction, tailored very specifically to the individual’s physiology.

“We are grateful to the mentors who have provided valuable guidance and opened our eyes to new opportunities,” he says. “Thank you to Laurier for the tremendous support over the years to help us grow. We have had many ups and downs but the experience at Laurier made it worthwhile.”

“Laurier’s entrepreneurship programming provides an essential platform for our students and alumni to effectively bring their relevant and creative ideas to fruition,” said Micheál J. Kelly, dean of the Lazaridis School. “Even during these unprecedented times, our experienced mentors continue to guide the students towards innovating and building valuable industry connections in order to confront pressing global problems.”

TD Bank Group has been a strong supporter of our entrepreneurship program, along with many other donors including National Bank of Canada, The John Dobson Foundation, Millards Chartered Professional Accountants, Peter and Cheri Ansley, Williamson Group in memory of Bill Brown, CIBC, and the Donner Canadian Foundation. $1,462,900 has been donated since 2012. These funds have provided significant experiential support, nurturing the next generation of Canadian start-up ventures through entrepreneurship programs. We are grateful for the support from TD Bank Group and all the other donors who have made this possible with their support.

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