(Kaz Ehara/Toronto Star/Getty)
#5: Mike Lazaridis
Founder, Quantum Valley Investments
Why he matters: Building the next Silicon Valley in Waterloo, Ont.
While other investors are busy chasing unicorns, Mike Lazaridis is funding the real next big thing. Quantum technology, he believes, will lead to a revolution akin to the commercialization of silicon-based products so many decades ago. Lazaridis, along with BlackBerry co-founder Doug Fregin, launched Quantum Valley Investments to fund startups in the field. They’ve started deploying capital on a few spinoffs from the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo, Ont.—which also happens to be founded by Lazaridis. Earlier this year, he gave $20 million to Wilfrid Laurier University to create a management institute for technology leaders. The foresight of Lazaridis (not to mention his willingness to invest in the Waterloo region) could ensure Canada—not Silicon Valley—owns the future of tech.