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Wise, Sean


Associate Professor






416-979-5000, ext. 2254



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Sean Wise

Dr. Sean Wise is an expert on startups & venture capital. He uses this expertise in his various roles as: university professor, bestselling author, international business speaker, and partner at Ryerson Futures, a seed stage venture capital fund and technology accelerator.

Dr. Wise has mentored hundreds of technology focused startups, collectively these companies have raised more than $2.1 Billion in capital. Dr. Wise studied economics and engineering at Carleton University. He earned his MBA and Law degrees from the University of Ottawa and received his PhD in Business from the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow. Dr. Wise has published five books and more than two dozen peer-reviewed research papers and case studies of high-growth startups.

Dr. Wise has been an entrepreneur himself since the age of 13. He has founded five startups to date, with his most recent selling for millions in July, 2018.

Dr. Wise spent five seasons as a consultant for CBC on the mega hit venture reality show Dragons' Den before moving in front of the camera as the host of the Naked Entrepreneur, which airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

In 2018, Dr. Wise became a featured weekly columnist for Since that time he has written more than 100 articles that have been read by more than 500,000 people. Dr. Wise is the Executive Director (and founder) of Ryerson’s Startup School, which over 5 years has delivered more than 60 free seminars, keynotes and working sessions for entrepreneurs in Toronto.

Dr. Wise has been called the Dr. Phil of Entrepreneurship and in 2014, he was named Entrepreneurial Mentor of the Year by Startup Canada.

Google Scholar


Entrepreneurship & Strategy

Research Interests

Entrepreneurship, Startups, and Venture Finance.

Select Research and Professional Contributions


Startup Opportunities: Know when to Quit your Day Job, Second Edition, S. Wise, B. Feld, Wiley, New York 2018
The Antecedents of Entrepreneurial Success: A Mixed Methods Approach, J Overall, S Wise, Journal of Enterprising Culture 24 (03), 209-241 3 2016
Dan Martell: Opportunity evaluation by a serial entrepreneur, S. Wise, P. Raffi, SAGE Publications: SAGE Business Cases Originals 2016
Entrepreneurship: John W. Sleeman – a Canadian icon, S. Wise, P. Raffi, SAGE Publications: SAGE Business Cases Originals 2016
An s-curve model of the start-up life cycle through the lens of customer development, J. Overall, S. Wise, The Journal of Private Equity, 23-34  5 2015
Startup Opportunities: Know when to Quit your Day Job, S. Wise, B. Feld, F.G. Press, oulder, CO 2015
The impact on management experience on the performance of start-ups within accelerators, S. Wise, D. Valliere, The Journal of Private Equity,  2014
Entrepreneurship, Canadian Edition, W.D. Bygrave, A. Zacharakis, S. Wise, Wiley, 2014
Management Experience and the Performance of Accelerators, S. Wise, D. Valliere
Can a team have too much cohesion? The dark side to network density, S. Wise, European Management Journal 32 (5), 703-711 62 2014
Debbie Travis, Reigning Queen Of Renovations: An Entrepreneurial Case Study On Finding Your Hedgehog, S. Wise, M. Crothers, Journal of Business Case Studies 10 (4), 363-370 2014
Teaching the Business Plan Within the Entrepreneurship Program, K.A. Grant, S.A. Gedeon, S. Wise, P. Kim, 10th Knowledge Globalization Conference 2014
A Comprehensive Framework for Entrepreneurship Education, D. Valliere, S.A. Gedeon, S. Wise, The Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship 26 (1), 89-120  21  2014
Derek Szeto: A Case Study On When To Exit Your Successful Startup, S. Wise, M. Crothers, Journal of Business Case Studies 10 (2), 131-136, 2014
What Young Entrepreneurs Get from their Mentors, S. Wise, D. Valliere, International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching 11 (2), 2013
The Impact of Financial Literacy on New Venture Survival, S. Wise, International Journal of Business and Management 8 (23)    55 2013
The impact of intragroup social network topology on group performance: understanding intra-organizational knowledge transfer through a social capital framework, S. Wise, University of Glasgow 1 2013
Value co-creation through collective intelligence in the public sector: A review of US and European initiatives, S. Wise, R.A. Paton, T. Gegenhuber, Vine 42 (2), 251-276, 2012
Teaching Awards & Honours
Year Awards & Honours
2019 Visiting Scholar, Sydney School of Entrepreneurship
2016 National Ambassador for Startup Communities, Startup Canada
2015 Coller Visiting Scholar for Venture, Tel Aviv University
2014 Senior Award, Coller Institute of Venture, Tel Aviv University
2014 Entrepreneurial Mentor of the Year, Startup Canada
2010 Canada’s Top 40 under 40, Finalist

Other Faculty Members