About Dan

I'm an entrepreneur and policy wonk. I like addressing big, complex strategic challenges and designing solutions that effectively solve them. I've held executive roles in both the public and private sector. I'm currently building a software startup and developing a documentary on global innovators and entrepreneurs. I'm also an Advisor for Startup Genome and a Board member for Engineers without Borders Canada.

I've spent the past 15 years at the intersection of policy and strategy with respect to Canada's economy. My previous roles have included an appointment as the Executive Director of Innovation Policy for the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development for the Government of Canada. As part of this role, I was the strategy lead for the development of the Government’s Innovation Agenda. I also designed and architected the creation of Innovation Canada, a new 200 person organization designed to simplify and coordinate how the Government of Canada provides support to innovative firms. I was also a member of the Government of Ontario's Expert Panel on Intellectual Property.

I left Ottawa to join an early-stage consumer hardware/medical device startup and drank from the firehose on real-life challenges to growth and scaling. While there I built formal partnerships with post-secondary institutions and developed a pipeline of strategic partners.

Previously, as the co-founder of the moderately successful DEEP Centre, my work on Canada’s innovation ecosystem influenced the creation of the Government of Canada’s Global Skills Strategy, the Federal Government’s 2016 Budget focus on performance measurement for business incubators and accelerators, and the general policy focus on scaling or high-growth potential firms that is now present in both Provincial and Federal innovation policy. Along the way, I led the strategy development for the creation of Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises at Wilfrid Laurier University. I started my career in consulting related to technology and strategy, with a focus on healthcare, government and competitiveness.

I hold a degree in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, a Masters in Development Studies, focusing on trade and economic policy in the Faculty of Economics at the London School of Economics, and a PhD on the topic of North American innovation policy from the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

More important than all of this, I've traveled to 60+ countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and can get out of trouble in multiple languages. 

© 2020 Dan Herman.