7Shifts CEO Jordan Boesch in the company’s downtown Saskatoon office.

Liam Richards / Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Two Saskatoon-based technology companies have been chosen to participate in a new scale-up program at Wilfred Laurier University’s Lazaridis Institute, which aims to make Canadian tech firms more competitive on a global scale.

7Shifts Inc. and Vendasta Technologies Inc. are among 10 companies chosen for the second round of the program, which is designed to help them attract experienced senior talent, access capital and move into markets around the world, according to a news release.

“We are so impressed with the depth of talent, the passion and the ambition of these 10 Canadian companies,” Lazaridis Institute managing director Kim Morouney said in a statement.

“They all have the potential to be global leaders in their industries. We’re looking forward to working with them over the next year and beyond to help them overcome their barriers to scale.”

7Shifts, which was founded in 2013 and builds a scheduling application used by 4,000 restaurants worldwide, recently attracted $4.5 million in U.S. venture capital funding. It aims to triple its 40-odd employees over the next 12 months. 

Vendasta — which sells turnkey marketing tools across North America — is on track to reach $30 million in revenue and 300 employees by the end of 2017, according to its CEO. 

Saskatoon’s tech sector is small compared to other Canadian cities, but it has attracted a lot of attention recently — there have been several high-profile acquisitions as well as the formation of a new group aimed at securing more talented employees.

According to the Lazaridis Institute, companies that took part in the first round of its scale-up program experienced significant revenue growth, improved efficiency and increased sales, marketing, operations and management capacity.