Ryerson University, Ryerson Futures Inc. (RFI) and Bombay Stock Exchange Institute Ltd. (BSEI) have announced the winners of ‘The Next Big Idea’ competition.
Supported by the Ontario government, the competition is a joint venture that seeks to discover India’s most innovative companies who looking to use a presence in Toronto as a vehicle to expand to North America.
“Hosting these young entrepreneurs from India in our Digital Media Zone is another step forward in creating a permanent entrepreneurial bridge between Canada and India,” said Sheldon Levy, president and vice-chancellor of Ryerson University. “This first activity as part of our partnership, supported by the Ontario government, provides innovative Indian companies the opportunity to explore opportunities in Toronto to grow their companies globally. We are pleased to work with BSEI on an initiative that will support innovation and prosperity in both countries.”
Citrus Payment Solutions and Ingenuity Ventures were selected as winners of the competition. Citrus Payment Solutions offers online payment services that are simple and convenient to use for both merchants and consumers while Ingenuity Ventures is an augmented video indexing technology and web platform providing a unique method of marketing and advertising products or services via interactive media and social networking.
In July 2013 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between BSEI, Ryerson University and RFI, outlining a partnership to create the BSEI-Ryerson Digital Media Zone, a new India-based incubator for entrepreneurs to fast-track their startups and connect with mentors, customers and investors. The collaboration initially laid the groundwork to help young entrepreneurs expand into both the Indian and Canadian markets.
The first activity as part of the partnership between BSEI, Ryerson University and RFI was the launch of ‘The Next Big Idea’ contest.
The BSEI’s Ambarish Datta said that “the Indian startup story continues to grow.”
“With quite a lot of emerging startups in the country, there is hope for many product innovators to make opportunities for themselves and many others by creating great products and services not only within the Indian market but also globally,” he said. “The winners of ‘The Next Big Idea’ competition have come up with some very innovative ideas which I am sure will develop into products of immense value globally.”
The initiative is certainly positive for both Canada and India, the nation of almost 1.25 billion. The country is pushing out so many bright minds in tech but who don’t always have either the capital, the connections or even just the push. It would be interesting to see how these contest winners immerse themselves in the Toronto community- they could even become potential future recipients of the Startup Visa as a result of this program.
The Digital Media Zone (DMZ) at Ryerson University is one of Canada’s largest incubators and multidisciplinary co-working spaces for young entrepreneurs. Since opening in April 2010, the DMZ has “stimulated Canada’s digital economy by incubating and accelerating 112 startups and creating nearly 900 jobs.