W.J. VanDusen Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Beedie School of Business
At Simon Fraser University’s progressive and innovative Beedie School of Business, it’s all about empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Consistently ranked as one of the world’s top 100 business schools for academic research, the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University (SFU) is a shining example of what happens when business innovation and entrepreneurship meet real-world challenges head on.
“SFU is an incredibly interdisciplinary university,” says Elicia Maine, W.J. VanDusen Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at SFU Beedie; Special Advisor on Innovation to SFU’s Vice President, Research; and Founder and Academic Director of the Invention to Innovation (i2I) program. “It’s very oriented on problem-solving. Our motto is ‘engaging the world,’ and our students, staff, and faculty really live that.”
Blending research with real-life practice
As part of this interdisciplinarity, SFU Beedie’s core research pillars include innovation, entrepreneurship, business in society, and sustainability. “These areas intersect to make this a business school that’s unusually engaged with other faculties and with pressing social issues,” says Maine.
Maine’s focus is on helping breakthrough inventions that have come from university laboratories into the world to make real impact — and developing entrepreneurial capabilities in students facilitates this process.
The ground-breaking i2I program founded by Maine supports new ventures tackling the world’s most critical challenges. “The program seeks to unlock the latent innovation potential in Canadian universities through developing entrepreneurial mindsets in graduate scientists and engineers, enabling them to make early-stage decisions that enhance chances for successful commercialization,” says Maine.
A graduate certificate program in science and technology commercialization, i2I is designed for various pathways, from scientist entrepreneurs to champions of innovation to academics heading to tenure track. Everyone gains new perspectives and skills.
A commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion
SFU Beedie offers a number of unique programs for both undergraduate and graduate students, including graduate business education programs for Canada-wide prospective students. These accessible programs help research scientists develop innovation mindsets.
“We’re enabling a community of researchers who have highly-specialized skills and who disproportionately include immigrants to Canada and women researchers to be better-employed and more impactful in the innovation ecosystem,” says Maine.
SFU Beedie’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion is strong. “It’s a pillar in the university,” says Maine. “It’s part culture, part role modelling, and part how we do our recruiting.”
SFU Beedie is currently searching for corporate partners seeking to create bespoke executive education initiatives.