Thrive, Don’t Just Survive: CATA Says ‘Lead To Win’ Program, Test-Beds Are Vital for High-Tech Start-Ups: Combine CEO power-boost with incubator that delivers reference accounts!
July 27, 2009

Ottawa, July 27, 2009 -- Technology community leaders say a double-barreled bang is needed to get Canada’s next generation of innovative technology leaders out of the starting gates.


“We need to combine real-world mentorship for executives with the provision of ‘reference accounts’ for their businesses,” said John Reid, President of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA).   “If we combine CATA’s “Technology Test-Bed” idea for reference accounts, with the “Lead To Win”  program, we will be delivering the two fundamentals of business growth:  the critical ‘first reference account’ product validator, and a savvy leader with business smarts.”   The objective of Lead to Win is to create jobs and retain talent.  It is led by the Technology Innovation program at Carleton University and supported by 48 organizations.


CATAAlliance issued a call last month for Governments at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to create Technology Test Beds, as a vehicle and incubator to conceive, develop and sustain new solutions for government productivity and to help create reference accounts for Canadian technology companies pursing international markets.  It has been endorsed by business leaders such as Don Smith, CEO of Mitel, who noted:  “In sales situations, the big challenge is breaking the barriers of indifference and resistance that separate you from decision-makers at the beginning of the closing cycle. A customer referral catapults you over those barriers, enabling your firm to sell more quickly and more effectively."

“We absolutely concur with CATA’s Technology Test Bed idea,” noted Carleton University’s Dr. Tony Bailetti, head of the Lead To Win program.  “We can accelerate export successes, through Public Sector Technology Test Beds, that allow Ministries to innovate, test and trial technologies and serve as reference accounts for thousands of emerging enterprises. Having government as a client is an endorsement for a company breaking into foreign markets."

“The Lead to Win program has been achieving remarkable success and community support,” confirmed Mr. Reid.  “We have supported it from the beginning.  The program is focused on driving massive entrepreneurial activity to deliver economic growth.  These are desperate economic days, and knowing the technology is not enough.  Business Plans have to work immediately, because bank-rolls are at critically low levels.   Lead to Win helps entrepreneurs to harden and strengthen their business opportunities and build the right foundation to sell to first customers, raise funds, and attract and retain talent.   We believe the initiative will have very positive and long-lasting impacts on local tech businesses and entrepreneurship.” 


Mr. Reid concluded that, "This combination will help us achieve CATA's Innovation Nation Program objective of creating 10 domestic companies in the ICT sector with annual revenues exceeding $5B/ by the year 2020. Similarly, we are striving to provide Public Sector reference accounts to 10 thousand SMEs in the same time frame. Let's start today to create the mindset and necessary conditions to achieve this bold objective."


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