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Mercier Lecture and Workshop: Lessons from one of Canada’s Leading Technology Entrepreneurs


Featuring John Baker, President and CEO of Desire2Learn.

John founded Desire2learn (D2L) in 1999 while attending the University of Waterloo as a Systems Design Engineering student. He saw that online digital tools could open the door to entirely new and more effective approaches to education, and create more personal, engaging and inspiring learning experiences. D2L now offers Brightspace to address this opportunity – a cloud-based digital learning platform that helps deliver personalized online and mobile learning experiences, that includes rich multimedia content, and experiential learning opportunities. Brightspace embeds intuitive analytical tools that help students and faculty track progress and identify and performance issues.

D2L is viewed as one of Canada’s most promising technology companies, raising $80 million in 2012, and a further $85 million in 2014. Many analysts tip the company to go public in the coming months. The company is part of a crop of Canadian start-ups, that include Hootsuite Media Inc. and Shopify Inc. that are reinvigorating Canada’s technology scene.