Jim Balsillie criticizes Canada’s ‘incubator-accelerator industrial complex’

Jim Balsillie, Council of Canadian Innovators, arrives to appear as a witness at a Commons privacy and ethics committee in Ottawa on Thursday, May 10, 2018, hearing witnesses on the breach of personal information involving Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Jim Balsillie called on the federal government to place domestic entrepreneurs at the head of innovation policy development and to stop listening to the “incubator-accelerator industrial complex” during a keynote speech at the 2019 Cantech Investment Conference on Tuesday.

“Retired bankers, retired civil servants, retired journalists, current and retired university administrators, alongside the incubator administrators … have together proliferated opinions that are outdated, misguided and often just made up,” he said, according to a prepared copy of his remarks.

The former co-CEO of Research In Motion (now BlackBerry) also offered pointed criticism of several prominent figures in Canada’s innovation scene, whom he described as “non-experts.”

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