New Tech Leadership Program Capitalizes on AI Developments, Business Applications

By: Lee Rickwood

August 11, 2023

A new tech leadership and management program to develop the next generation of business owners and operators is guaranteeing workplace internships and direct industry interaction as it prepares to launch in Toronto this fall.

Program graduates hope to apply new leadership perspectives and tech solutions across various business sectors, but it’s clear that the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) is a key motivator.

Canadian AI startups generated $1.5 billion in venture capital funding in 2021, and the country is ranked second in global AI hiring, according to Stanford University’s Global AI Vibrancy Tool.

seated audience members listen to tech speaker at front of meeting room

Toronto-based tech hub OneEleven is offering a new Tech MBA program. Provided image.

Now, building on that strong foundation, York University’s Schulich School of Business and Toronto-based tech hub OneEleven have partnered to launch the MBA in Technology Leadership (Tech MBA) program, called the first of its kind in Canada.

It’s part of a new Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Schulich, focused on tech leadership, also launching in the fall. Plans call for a newly-created Venture Studio to open its doors by the third term of the program, in summer of 2024.

Participants in the 16-month full-time program investigate current technology challenges through case studies, simulations, and integrated field studies. Systems design, digital transformation, value creation, as well as technology management and integration, are addressed in the comprehensive program. A Tech MBA Advisory Council has been struck to guide curriculum development, based on current and anticipated market challenges and opportunities.

York previously launched a part-time machine learning program, designed as a hybrid online and in-person program, at its school for continuing studies, and the new Tech MBA program follows up with its look at technological transformations in business settings, including the rapid application of artificial intelligence (AI) across multiple business sectors.

Co-led by Schulich Adjunct Professor Chris Carder, the Tech MBA Venture Studio will be where teams of top students are matched with member companies from both OneEleven and the Schulich Startups communities; pro bono strategic product and fundraising analysis for select startups will be conducted.

a lecturer stands alongside podium as he addresses large seated crowd in meeting space

Guest lectures by top founders and venture capitalists, as well as project mentorship from leading innovators and investors, are part of the new Tech MBA program.

It’s the new Studio concept in which students will learn leading product design, management strategies and frameworks for high-growth potential technology firms. Students will explore how those strategies and frameworks connect directly to the investments placed by Venture Investors seeking to scale tech firms.

The Venture Studio will also feature guest lectures by top founders and venture capitalists, project mentorship by leading innovators and investors, special joint events with OneEleven community members, and networking opportunities with OneEleven and the Schulich Startups community recruiting for new talent.

In the final term of the program, a mandatory work placement experience is presented, in which participants reflect on key learning and build relevant experience for their career post-graduation. A minimum of 12 weeks, full-time work is required to complete this Graduate Placement.

Recruitment for Course Instructors, Guest Lecturers and Mentors is well underway, Carder described, adding that “The Venture Studio will unlock a world of learning opportunities and relationships for our students. OneEleven is a dream partnership for us, with their impressive track record of supporting high-growth companies, which have raised more than $800 million in follow-on funding in the past 24 months.”

This partnership with Schulich allows the OneEleven tech talent incubator to continue its operation following its pandemic shutdown.

OneEleven operates in a 55,000 square foot facility in downtown Toronto, with collaborative workspaces and offices, meeting rooms, a community event space, podcast

woman holding microphone addresses seated audience while standing in front of blockchain signage and decoration.

Business and investor showcases, technology updates and Tech Summer Socials are hosted by One Eleven.

studios, as well as other personal, operational and business reception services and supports.

OneEleven is an active participant and supported of the local tech scene; not only does it host a well-attended Tech Summer Social (1,500 people last time) and quarterly investor showcases, it along with partner Communitech, offers online member company job board and employment listings.

OneEleven is led by the Ontario Centre of Innovation; OCI president and CEO Dr. Claudia Krywiak serves on its Board.










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