Millions in funding to go to business school entrepreneurs

New Delhi: The John Dobson Foundation, which supports entrepreneurial activities in Canada, is donating $2 million to the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship at the Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University.

The school will use this money to help fund the McGill X-1 Accelerator program, an intensive summer program which accelerates the growth of later-stage McGill start-ups toward investment and launch. This year’s program includes eight McGill science or technology businesses.

Ari Kiriazidis, President of the John Dobson Foundation, says, “The Foundation is delighted to continue Dobson’s long-standing relationship with McGill with what represents one of the largest gifts ever granted by the Foundation’s Board. The Board is extremely proud to be associated with one of the most prestigious universities in Canada through the Dobson Centre and its various programs.”

Randy Kelly, John Dobson’s long-time partner and Chief Executive Officer of Formula Growth, as well as Chairman of the Dobson Foundation, noted, “McGill was always close to John’s heart and he would be very pleased with the continued commitment.”

The donation signals a time of crucial development for the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Dean Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou of Desautels remarks, “Through the vision and generosity of the John Dobson Foundation, the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship is affirmed as the leading hub for entrepreneurship on campus. In classrooms, research labs, and across the University, McGill is full of ideas and talented individuals driven to innovate. Thanks to this donation, the McGill X-1 Accelerator will catalyze our community of innovators and entrepreneurs.”

Professor Gregory Vit, Director of the McGill Dobson Centre, notes, “The McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship has played a central role in creating young McGill entrepreneurs. Many recent McGill startups have had an important impact on the economies of Montreal and Quebec. This significant gift made by the John Dobson Foundation will ensure that we continue to serve the vibrant entrepreneurship culture at McGill University. I’m highly confident that our entrepreneurs, in the not too distant future, will have a major positive impact on the planet.”

The McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship has grown considerably since its founding in 1988 under the late John Dobson (BCom’64), a known advocate for free enterprise and entrepreneurship. Since then, the McGill Dobson Centre has played a central role in advancing entrepreneurial innovation and discovery at McGill. Through its flagship annual startup competition, the McGill Dobson Cup, and other initiatives that have followed, including the McGill X-1 Accelerator, the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship has offered mentorship to more than 2,200 McGill entrepreneurs, and launched more than 125 successful startups that today employ over 1,200 people and have raised over $100 million in venture funding.