UW to foster disruptive startups with GEDI program


The Office of the President recently announced its new initiative, Global Entrepreneurship and Disruptive Innovation, or GEDI for short.

GEDI, pronounced like Jedi, is intended to encourage growth of the Toronto-Waterloo innovation corridor. It will attempt to foster innovation by connecting startups, university talent, and established companies.

“GEDI will … unlock the full innovation capacity of our campus,” said Sandra Banks, vice-president, university relations. “This includes developing new and improved ways to engage current undergraduate and graduate students, recent alumni, and our growing pool of technology-enabled and social-driven startups.”

“Disruptive innovation” was a term coined in 1995 by Clayton Christensen to describe new innovations and technologies that disrupt and displace established markets. A recent, prominent example of disruptive innovation has been Uber’s effect on the taxi industry.

In addition to GEDI’s focus on the detrimental effects of disruption on established markets, their website states that they will also offer “innovative diagnostics to help industries determine whether they are disruption-ready or disruption-proof.” More details will be available on this, as well as their other projects, in the coming months.

It is currently unclear how this new initiative will intersect with Velocity, the university’s existing entrepreneurship program.



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