RBC joins as financial anchor partner for new Kanata tech hub

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has signed on to become the anchor financial sponsor for Hub350, a new technology park the Kanata North Business Association (KNBA) plans to launch this fall.

With the move, RBC joins a list of partners that have invested in the creation of the new KNBA-powered tech park, which aims to support the growth of KNBA’s member companies by connecting them to capital, talent, and other forms of industry support.

McGlone told BetaKit RBC will help KNBA build out Hub350’s strategic venture capital community.

As the new Kanata, Ottawa-based tech hub’s financial partner, RBC plans to offer KNBA entrepreneurs credit and specialized banking products through its innovation banking group, RBCx. The bank also intends to provide KNBA companies with sector expertise in specific verticals like cleantech and life sciences, and curated events and content.

“As our unique ecosystem develops strategically to support entrepreneurs in a world-class way, we want to disrupt how our technology companies access capital, and work with partners like RBC to provide out of the box solutions to foster growth and create Canadian success stories,” said Victoria McGlone, KNBA’s COO.

The new tech park will be located at 350 Legget Drive, the former Mitel headquarters, in Kanata. KNBA announced Hub350 in January. Hub350 was initially expected to open this summer, but its launch is now set for October.

According to KNBA, Hub350 will serve as “a brand new ecosystem” for its industry, academic and finance partners “to co-exist and collaborate.” Through Hub350, KNBA aims to connect its over 540 member companies to corporate innovation partners, academia, investors, and talent from across Canada.

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“The aim truly is to co-locate the strategic group of corporate partners, post-secondary institutions, and the finance community,” McGlone told BetaKit. “[Hub350] will offer [KNBA entrepreneurs] a place to collaborate, to raise funding, to meet with potential partners, and immerse themselves deeper into the tech community here.”

The new tech park has been entirely funded by the private sector. Hub350 has also received investment from two other anchor sponsors: Salesforce, its corporate partner, and Telus, its 5G partner. KNBA declined to reveal how much investment Hub350 has received to date.

“We are committed to supporting entrepreneurs – from startup to scale up – who are disrupting business models, industries and sectors,” said Raymond Rashed, director of RBCx. “We feel we can do this best at Canada’s largest technology park and look forward to helping companies grow their ideas and products so Canadian-led innovation can be front and centre on the world stage.”

The agreement gives RBC naming rights to Hub350’s 4,000 square foot Finance Quarter at Hub350. KNBA said RBC will not only support KNBA member companies but help attract new organizations to the tech park.

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McGlone told BetaKit, RBC will help KNBA build out Hub350’s strategic venture capital community to support its member companies at their various stages of growth.

“We have companies at seed rounds and looking at incubators and accelerator programs here in the park, real infant-stage companies who need growth support right away, to some of the bigger guys who are between Series B and Series C,” said McGlone.

Ottawa’s Carleton University also recently signed on as a Hub350 academic partner, joining a group that already includes the University of Ottawa and Queen’s University. According to McGlone, these university partners will play a key role in helping KNBA’s member companies access the talent they need to grow, adding that they currently have over 1,000 open roles.

McGlone told BetaKit Hub350 still has “several more” high-profile partners that are going to be announced in the near future.

Feature image from RBC via Glassdoor

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.