Kitchener-Waterloo

Mike Lazaridis gives $20M to Wilfrid Laurier University for management institute

BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis has pledged $20 million to Wilfrid Laurier University to create a management institute for business programs. The Ontario government says it will also provide $15 million to support the initiative.

Ontario government will support new management institute with $15 million

BlackBerry co-founder and former CEO Mike Lazaridis has pledged $20 million to Wilfrid Laurier University to create a management institute for business programs and to support the local tech industry. The Ontario government says it will support the initiative by pitching in $15 million. 

In a release, the university said the $35 million investment will "strengthen Ontario's high-tech industry" by working to improve managerial leadership among students. 

"This will be a world-class institute designed to ensure that Canadian technology companies have the management talent and knowledge to compete in global markets," said Micheál Kelly, dean of the Laurier School of Business & Economics. 

Laurier president and vice-chancellor Max Blouw called the investment "transformational."

The new institute will be housed in the Global Innovation Exchange, where the school's business, economics nad math programs will soon be located.

The building, on University Avenue in Waterloo, is in the final stages of construction and was funded in part by a previous provincial investment of $72.6 million. 

Lazaridis stepped down from BlackBerry's board in 2013. He has also founded the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo and the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo.

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