New Innovation Leadership Accelerator will Prepare CPAs to Grow Canada’s Innovation Economy

Toronto, ON – Nov 16, 2023 – CPA Ontario has launched a new accelerator program designed to bridge a talent gap in the Canadian innovation economy. Developed in partnership with leading Canadian innovators Jim Balsillie, FCPA, FCA and John Ruffolo, FCPA, FCA, the program will arm CPAs with the knowledge, exposure and experience they need to become senior leaders in startups and scaleups in the innovation economy.

“Having played a role in the evolution of the innovation sector, it’s clear to me we need to cultivate leaders who understand both where the economy is going, and what Canada needs to get there,” said Jim Balsillie, FCPA, FCA. “With the emergence of generative AI alongside longstanding intellectual property, data governance and cyber security issues, CPAs can play an essential role in positioning Canada’s innovation sector to grow and succeed on the world stage.”

According to CPA Ontario’s 2022 report, The Scale and Potential of Ontario’s Intangible Economy, Ontario had a smaller share of companies expand to more than 50 employees in under 10 years than all 50 US states. In addition, as many as 55 per cent of entrepreneurs in Ontario report difficulties in hiring employees. This limited access to expertise in managing exponential growth was considered a key factor in preventing innovators from making the leap to become global players.

“After engaging in discussions with entrepreneurs who have encountered challenges finding CFOs with the requisite skills to support their international ambitions, it’s evident that CPAs can play a central role in building tomorrow’s innovation giants,” said John Ruffolo, FCPA, FCA. “Amid today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, robust leadership is vital not just for personal success, but for fostering growth and bolstering resilience in the innovation economy.”

Over 15-weeks the CPA Ontario Innovation Leadership Accelerator will address some of these concerns. Business leaders from the innovation sector will teach this curriculum to aspiring financial leaders through business case studies, simulations and ongoing mentorship in an intimate group setting, so that learners will take away practical tools to enable the industry to thrive.

“CPAs are uniquely positioned to take the lead in the innovation economy with the technical expertise, strategic insights and ethical mindset needed to help this essential sector grow,” said Carol Wilding, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D, president and CEO, CPA Ontario. “The Innovation Leadership Accelerator will ready CPAs to help Canadian startups and scaleups become the next generation of global success stories.”

The CPA Ontario Innovation Leadership Accelerator begins in January 2024. To learn more visit our website.

About the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario

We protect the public. We advance the profession. We enable CPAs to lead business and society forward. We ensure that our more than 100,000 members and 20,000 students meet the highest standards of integrity and expertise. We help them stay ahead of global market trends and abreast of regulatory change. CPAs represent a globally recognized, premium designation. Our Chartered Professional Accountants are valued by organizations in all industries for their financial expertise, strategic thinking, management skills and leadership. We believe that success happens when both business and society benefit.

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