SFU names inaugural Tom Foord Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Renowned Vancouver entrepreneur Andrew Harries has been appointed as the inaugural Tom Foord Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business.

Through his role in the newly created professorship, Harries will focus on teaching and curriculum development to continue to enhance the Beedie School’s ability to deliver world-class, experiential entrepreneurship education.

The position will also help connect Vancouver’s dynamic entrepreneurial community with SFU’s burgeoning entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem.

Harries, a graduate of the MBA program at the Beedie School of Business, has forged a successful career as a prolific entrepreneur and business advisor.

He is founder of several ventures, including Sierra Wireless, a TSX and NASDAQ-listed wireless Internet of Things (IoT) solutions vendor, where he previously served in a variety of leadership roles. He is currently chair of the board of IoT software solutions provider Bsquare.

“The Beedie School of Business’ focus on entrepreneurship and innovation is a reflection of the growing importance of these skills in domestic and global business,” says Harries.

“Through my role as Tom Foord Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship and Innovation I aim to use my industry experience to deliver real-world, experiential learning to prepare the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs.”

The new professorship underscores the Beedie School of Business’ commitment to Entrepreneurship and Innovation and its support of the new SFU Innovates Strategy.

In 2015, the School launched the Graduate Certificate in Science and Technology Commercialization, teaching scientists and engineers the skills necessary to make their inventions a commercial success.

It also spearheads a groundbreaking new interdisciplinary Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, allowing undergraduate students from faculties across SFU to add entrepreneurship training to their education.

“At the Beedie School of Business we recognize the increasing importance of empowering students with the entrepreneurial skills necessary to create their own opportunities in their careers,” says Ali Dastmalchian, dean of the Beedie School of Business.

“As a Professor of Practice, Andrew Harries brings incredible real-world knowledge and experience to the classroom. As founder of multiple successful businesses, his innovative thinking will offer our students an invaluable perspective on issues and topics that are ubiquitous in business today.”

The Tom Foord Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship and Innovation is funded by a generous donation from SFU alumnus Robert Foord, president of BC-based Kal Tire. It is named after his late father, Tom, who founded the company in 1953.

“Even though my father only attended school until grade 10, he was a strong advocate of post-secondary education,” says Foord. “He always believed that the combination of education with hands-on experience provided the best opportunities for success in business. It’s exciting to know that participants in this program will benefit from the practical and exceptional experience of Andrew Harries.”

Foord’s donation is matched by funds from the Beedie family endowment, a $22 million gift that named the Beedie School of Business.

“I would like to acknowledge the Beedie family for their contributions to education. Their matching funds played a vital role in establishing this new Professor of Practice, and I thank them for their commitment,” adds Foord.

About Andrew Harries

Andrew Harries is the Tom Foord Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at SFU’s Beedie School of Business and is a business advisor and corporate director. He chairs the board of directors at Bsquare Corporation (NASDAQ: BSQR), which delivers enterprise Internet of Things software solutions, and chaired the board at Contractually through its acquisition by Coupa Software in December 2015. He also serves on the boards and is the past-chair of the Beedie School of Business Dean’s Advisory Board and of Science World British Columbia, where he chaired the organization through the successful completion of a $38m renovation and expansion and a major capital campaign.

Mr. Harries was a founder of Sierra Wireless Inc. where he served in a variety of leadership roles. During his 11 years at Sierra Wireless the company grew from inception through IPO to over $200m in annual revenues. Subsequently he co-founded Zeugma Systems Inc. where he served for six years as the President and CEO from its initial funding to the revenue stage. Tellabs acquired substantially all of Zeugma Systems in November 2010. Mr. Harries also held a variety of positions at Motorola Inc. He holds three US patents and a Master of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University.