While the University of Toronto already enjoys several entrepreneurship hubs within its borders, including the Creative Destruction Lab and The Hatchery, the university has announced that it’s adding a new accelerator to that list in the Banting and Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
The accelerator, called ONRamp, provides a collaborative workspace for students, entrepreneurs, and startups developing commercial ideas; in comparison, the Creative Destruction Lab offers limited space. As ONRamp was supported with $3 million from RBC, ONRamp will also house the RBC Innovation Hub within this new space for incubating startups, all housed within the BBCIE, and will take up three floors.
The purpose of the centre is to allow entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas and secure financial assistance, and is open to both University of Toronto and Ontario-based university students. Post-doctoral and graduate scholarships and fellowships have also been created that will recognize, reward, and support innovative students across a broad range of research areas.
“U of T is a global leader in transforming innovative ideas into products, services, companies and jobs,” said 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.”
Companies within these spaces will be able to network and share opportunities to pitch to potential investors. RBC’s funding will also be used to create fellowships, prizes, and a speaker series intended to enhance the university’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.