Lorne Trottier’s Ever-Expanding Universe
If there’s anyone who knows how to use the study of science for the benefit of humans, it’s Lorne Trottier
Trottier has taken a passion in electro-magnetic technology he discovered at 11 years old and turned it into a multi-national company, a building on the McGill campus, two research chairs, two institutes, an observatory, and a family foundation known for its philanthropy to science and health. The Montreal native holds unfailing love for his city. He was appointed a member of the Order of the Canada in 2006 and nominated to become an officer last November.
Yet, if you meet him, he speaks honestly about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, the brilliant researchers he supports and the issues on which he’s changed his mind.
When we started, there was no venture capital,” he says about Matrox, the 600-employee company he cofounded with partner Branko Matic in 1976. “What helped us is that we picked a product to develop that we were able to sell within six months. We kind of bootstrapped and grew slowly in the beginning, not necessarily by choice.”
Matrox peaked in the late 1990’s and 2000s with its graphic cards, but couldn’t sustain that level of leadership over time and “kind of flamed out,” says Trottier. Still, he’s proud that the company has not only stayed in business through forty years of high technological change, but has remained flexible enough to continually develop new products that put the latest research into practical use.
Read the rest of the story in the Montrealer’s March 2017 issue.
About the Author
Tracey Arial helps Canadians grow with notable nonfiction and urban agriculture.