VP Joel Liederman’s Financial Post article on mitigating innovation risk

Joel Liederman, vice-president (physical sciences)

Joel Liederman, MI’s vice-president of business development and physical sciences

MaRS Innovation’s Vice-President of Business Development and Physical Sciences Joel Liederman, has published an article in the Financial Post about strategies to mitigate risk within the innovation space.

The article, titled “Innovation Success Means Mitigating Risk,” is featured in the newspaper’s Productive Conversations section.

Here’s an excerpt:

Canadian investors are typically cautious and conservative. Whether they’re venture capitalists, angel investors or institutions, their due diligence processes are critical exercises to identify businesses that will succeed in the short and long term. Startups must meet an investor’s discerning eye by working through a business-risk and risk-mitigation strategy.

This process applies both to startups and more established companies whether they seek organic growth or the short time-to-market trajectory typical of venture-funded companies.

Think about risk as a three-legged stool. Each leg represents one of technology risk, market risk and execution risk. If any of these legs is weak or is significantly out of balance, the resulting instability puts an enterprise’s survival in jeopardy.

Technology risk is best understood in response to the following questions: Will it work? Am I setting out to defy the laws of physics? Is this just an idea or concept or has it been reduced to practice?

Most of MaRS Innovation’s startups push the technology envelope to deliver products or services that are dramatically better or different. Incrementally better just doesn’t cut it — offerings need to be disruptive.

As Canadians, our collective goal should be delivering substantially better productivity to target customers — and not just those customers in our backyards, which means competing with the world.

Liederman’s full article on mitigating risk is available on the Financial Post website. Note that depending on when you access it, you may find the content is behind a pay wall.

This article was also reprinted in the Vancouver Sun.

Posted by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, marketing and communications officer.