The University of Toronto and RBC officially launched ONRamp, a 15,000 square foot space dedicated to supporting student entrepreneurs.
Located in the university’s Banting Institute, ONRamp promises to connect entrepreneurs across the university’s several entrepreneurship hubs, and provide access to boardrooms and makerspaces. The RBC Innovation Hub is also housed within ONRamp.
ONRamp’s free coworking space is accessible to University of Toronto and Ontario-based university students.
“ONRamp provides a place where the entire community of U of T entrepreneurs, including our many talented student entrepreneurs, can get resources and access to wider networks that they need to grow their businesses,” said U of T president Meric Gertler.
Because of its proximity to MaRS and the financial district, Gertler said that the new hub is “ideally positioned” to foster talent and collaboration. Another hope is to fill a desire for experiential learning from students.
“Entrepreneurship offers amazing opportunities to meet this demand by stretching student knowledge to connect theoretical concepts and real-world challenges,” Gertler said. “We also help them produce new ideas and new applications. In this light, we’re proud of one statistic: fully 3 quarters of U of T inventions are co-developed by our U of T students or postdoctoral fellows.”
The development of ONRamp was announced last year, when RBC made a $3 million commitment to the university. At the time, the two partners said that RBC’s funding will also be used to create fellowships, prizes, and a speaker series intended to enhance the university’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.
“If you look around, this facility is certainly fit for the future and fit for the purpose of taking advantage of a world that’s under fundamental change,” said RBC CEO Dave MacKay. “Every sector I deal with…is under fundamental change from powerful trends around data, and using data to build new business models.”
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