The University of Toronto and the Royal Bank of Canada have announced a major new initiative that will help support Canada’s entrepreneurs.
Located over three floors in U of T’s Banting and Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on College Street, ONRamp will provide new collaborative workspaces for students and startup companies to support them in developing commercial ideas. It will be open to students and graduates of U of T and other Ontario universities and colleges.
“U of T is a global leader in transforming innovative ideas into products, services, companies and jobs,” says Meric Gertler, president of the University of Toronto. “With RBC’s support, this new initiative will further expand the university’s entrepreneurial efforts and help ensure our nation remains competitive by keeping talented innovators in Canada.”
ONRamp will enable entrepreneurs to network with each other, develop their ideas, attract potential investors and grow their businesses. A $3-million contribution from RBC, Canada’s largest bank, will also be used to create fellowships, prizes and a speaker series intended to enhance the university’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.
“We have some of the brightest and best ideas emerging from our universities, but too frequently our young entrepreneurs have to look abroad to get their businesses off the ground. ONRamp should help change that,” says Bruce Ross, group head of technology and operations at RBC.
Under the umbrella of the Banting and Best Centre, U of T’s vast innovation ecosystem already consists of more than 60 entrepreneurial program and course offerings, and is supported by a network of nine campus-linked accelerators. Students wishing to find out what entrepreneurship courses are available at U of T can use the Banting and Best Centre as a one-stop shop. The same goes for students wanting to start their own company; the centre can direct them to the campus accelerator best suited to develop their idea.
U of T has also created a number of post-doctoral and graduate scholarships to support innovative students across a broad range of research areas. With its fellowships, ONRamp will build on this central program of support.