Carleton University’s new Innovation Hub is partnering with Canadian startup accelerator L-SPARK to provide hands-on opportunities to students that give them access to resources and expertise to help them meet the challenges of tomorrow.

“L-SPARK is home to some of the fastest-growing technology companies in Canada,” says Innovation Hub Director Harry Sharma.

“This partnership allows our students and their ventures to participate in the L-SPARK ecosystem and benefit from its network of seasoned executives, coaches, mentors and investors.”

The experiential learning opportunity will see students networking with industry experts. Carleton’s aspiring leaders and change makers will get critical hands-on experience with entrepreneurship and business scale-up, as well as find meaningful employment opportunities in rapidly growing industry sectors.

From left to right: Dana Brown, Dean, Carleton’s Sprott School of Business; Leo Lax, Managing Director, L-SPARK; Jerry Tomberlin, Provost, Carleton University; Josh Campbell, Program Officer, Carleton Innovation Hub; Harry Sharma, Director, Carleton Innovation Hub.

Establishing a pathway to engage students has benefits for the pioneering startup accelerator as well.

“For L-SPARK, it provides access to talent and entrepreneurially-minded graduates who can apply their leadership and communication skills, in addition to their technical skills, to address global opportunities,” says Sharma.

“We are honoured to partner with incredible institutions like Carleton University and the Innovation Hub, who are helping to shape the next generation of leaders in our community and beyond”, says Leo Lax, Executive Managing Director of L-SPARK.

“We look forward to exploring the new and innovative ideas emerging from our partnership and supporting the creation of a new wave of groundbreaking Canadian companies.”

The partnership is well placed to leverage Carleton’s competitive location in the nexus of national public policy expertise and cutting-edge technology research. The Innovation Hub will launch “policy sandboxes” to look at the innovation aspects of some of the most pertinent issues of the day—such as 5G networks, data and privacy laws, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

“These sandboxes will bring together public and private sectors to collaborate with Carleton faculty and students,” says Sharma. “These cross-sector teams will help develop scenarios and recommendations to make Canada a global leader in the knowledge economy.”