University of Waterloo Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre

University of Waterloo Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre
Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre
CONRAD logo Black.png
Established: 2003
Type: Public
Founder and Executive Director: Dr. Howard Armitage
Faculty: 9
Advisory Council 24
Staff 4
Nickname: Conrad Centre

The Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre is part of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Located in the city of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, the Centre was developed to support and expand Waterloo's culture of entrepreneurship through four key initiatives: The Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) program; professional development programs; research; and undergraduate-level activities.



The Conrad Centre is located in the University of Waterloo's Research and Technology (R&T) Park - north of the main campus.


In 2002, the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre was established in response to a widely shared belief[citation needed] that the University of Waterloo was well positioned to advance the state of entrepreneurship education, research and executive development in Canada.

Despite the existence of many established business programs in Canada, the country's record remained weak for managing and mobilizing entrepreneurial and technological opportunities into commercially viable products and businesses. MBA programs dominated formal business education, yet many firms, business press and business educators, questioned the effectiveness of this traditional programming and its ability to act as catalysts of innovation.

In response to this, Waterloo established the flagship Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program (MBET) and admitted the first class of students in September 2003. As a graduate program, MBET was carefully designed to (1) respond to Canada's pressing need for innovation, (2) build on the University of Waterloo's distinctive energies in technology and entrepreneurship and (3) attract entrepreneurially-oriented individuals interested in changing Canada's business landscape.[citation needed]

In 2010, a major gift from the Conrad family (local philanthropists and founders of the Cora Group), was received in the amount of $5 Million, and resulted in the renaming of the Centre to reflect the Conrad family name.[citation needed]

Institute for Innovation Leadership


Student Development


The publication 'Catalyst ' regularly features profiles on student entrepreneurs, research partnerships, new ventures and provides news of funding and job opportunities for young entrepreneurs.[citation needed]

Enterprise Co-op

Enterprise Co-op (E Co-op) is a signature Waterloo program for entrepreneurially-focused students in the co-operative education program. Unique to the University of Waterloo[citation needed], E Co-op offers students the opportunity to earn co-op credits by building their own business.

Arguably[weasel words] the most distinct undergraduate opportunity in entrepreneurship education, the program allows students from a variety of disciplines to pursue their business objectives in a managed, supportive environment. Students are required to provide regular updates and reports, maintain an activity log and establish a relationship with a chosen mentor in the business community. Since its inception in 2002, more than 100 students have pursued the program, and approximately 50% have continued to build their own business following graduation.

Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET)

Practical and focused, the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program (MBET) is a specialized degree focusing on the commercialization of entrepreneurial and innovative ideas.

Rankings and Reputation

International Ranking

According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2009, the University of Waterloo was ranked 113th overall, 27th in the world for technology, 56th in the world for the natural sciences, and 114th in the world of life sciences and bio medicine.

According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities conducted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the University of Waterloo was ranked 201-302, 100-136 in North America, and 76-107 in Engineering Technology/Computer Science.[1]

Maclean's Rankings

Waterloo has a long history of high performance in Maclean's magazine's Canadian university rankings. The University routinely places in the top three in the numerical Comprehensive ranking,[2] and in the reputation survey it placed first as best overall 13 out of 15 times that the ranking was published.[3] Maclean's describes the university as "strong in math, engineering and computer science," as well as being "internationally recognized for the unparalleled success of its more than 100 undergraduate and graduate co-op programs.".[4]

Ties with Industry

Through its large co-op program and many spin-off companies, the University of Waterloo maintains close ties with the high-tech industry.

Waterloo has a long-standing intellectual property policy that leaves ownership rights with the inventor, rather than the university.[5] The university has a strong connection with Research in Motion (RIM), the makers of the Blackberry. Co-founder and Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis is a Waterloo alumnus, and once held the role of chancellor at the university. RIM hires hundreds of Waterloo co-op students each term and a large proportion of its employees are Waterloo alumni.

During his visit to Waterloo in October 2005, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates stated, "Most years, we hire more students out of Waterloo than any university in the world, typically 50 or even more".[6]


  1. ^ "Academic Rankings of World Universities by Broad Subject Fields - 2007". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2007-01-31. Retrieved 2007-11-20.
  2. ^ "2005 Overall Rankings Chart: Comprehensive ranking". Maclean's Magazine. 2005. Retrieved 2006-04-10.
  3. ^ "UW's historical rankings in Maclean's magazine". University of Waterloo Communications and Public Affairs. 2004. Retrieved 2006-04-10.
  4. ^ Danylo Hawaleshka (2005). "Comprehensive winner: University of Waterloo". Maclean's Magazine. Retrieved 2006-04-10
  5. ^ "Policy 73 – Intellectual Property Rights". University of Waterloo Secretariat. 1997. Retrieved 2006-04-10.
  6. ^ "Bill Gates draws a crowd at Waterloo university". 2005. Retrieved 2006-04-10

External links

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