Working at ventureLAB as part of the IP Osgoode clinical intensive has taught me what it really means to be productive. Having had a previous career as an engineer and being obsessed with optimization, productivity is not a foreign concept to me. However, I never expected productivity to be to the highlight of my experience with a non-profit. VentureLAB changed this preconception by not only being a well-oiled machine with the vision and innovative spirit to be able to pivot during a pandemic but also demonstrated a culture of relentless pursuit of results for their clients.
It was apparent from day one of my internship that this drive for results stems from the backgrounds of ventureLAB team. As predominately successful entrepreneurs from the hardware, health and enterprise software industries, the team’s mission is for clients to realize the same successes they did and to keep that success benefiting all Canadians. With an eye on inclusivity, this is accomplished by providing clients access to resources that their experience has taught were necessary for these successes as well as guiding clients away from “opportunities” that may not provide positive results. VentureLAB offers physical space, access to government and private investment where they have positioned themselves as trusted program administrators, guidance from experienced industry leaders, and connections to a wide range of business and legal needs through partners and contacts. Their success has given them the ear of government and many industry leaders and allows them to select clients that they will be the most successful in helping.
One of the most interesting aspects of ventureLAB is that they are well positioned to further Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Bains’ focus on ensuring that Canadian generated intellectual property continues to benefit Canadians. This is most evident in their role as administrator of the Canadian IP Retention Initiative (CIRI). The purpose of this program is to retain IP in Canada by connecting IP rich Canadian companies at risk of being acquired out of country with Canadian companies as a viable alternative. This program specifically targets the important issue of IP retention in Canada. However, the goal of IP retention in Canada permeates everything ventureLAB does.
I was glad to be a part of this posture by serving as a resource providing initial IP assistance in the form of IP audits and initial IP strategy guidance. Because I was able to plug into this key need for them, the experience was mutually rewarding. Starting in my first week, I was introduced to clients who by the end of my interaction with them had either initiated or shifted their IP strategy based on the information I provided. Many were also connected with resources that both from ventureLAB and my network to further their IP needs. In the two and a half months that I was there I even got to see some clients generate success from these endeavors. This is a testament to ventureLAB’s ability to not only provide resources, but to provide the right resources that generate productivity.
The feeling of being productive is a prime motivator for innovators, employees, and facilitators alike. That is why what and more importantly how ventureLAB is contributing to the productivity of Canada is so important. I have been fortunate to be a part of that productivity and hope that I can capitalize on the motivation it has provided me. Thank you ventureLAB!
Written by Jared Sues, JD Candidate 2021, enrolled in Professors D’Agostino and Vaver 2020/2021 IP & Technology Law Intensive Program at Osgoode Hall Law School. As part of the course requirements, students were asked to write a reflective blog on their internship experience.