Scale Up Ventures receives $25 million investment from Ontario government to establish unique venture capital fund

First of its kind in Canada, the Scale Up Ventures Fund will connect high growth potential start-ups with corporate Canada to accelerate the adoption of new technology and innovation

TORONTO, April 27, 2015 /CNW/ - As announced today by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Scale Up Ventures Fund has received an investment of up to $25 million from the Government of Ontario, which will be matched with $25 million from private investors.  This new venture capital fund will provide Ontario's most promising start-ups with a unique combination of capital, mentorship and market access.  

Led by the Chair Nadir Mohamed, former CEO of Rogers Communications, Scale Up Ventures has assembled a Leadership Council of more than 30 of Canada's most prominent executives who have agreed to contribute their time and expertise to foster the growth of the next generation of Canadian start-ups. In addition to mentorship, they will provide access to their networks, opening up markets to which new companies would otherwise not have access.

"We will be offering more than capital, and more than simply advice," said Mr. Mohamed. "Leadership Council mentors will open up our organizations to the companies we support, and will look for ways to use their technologies to help run our businesses. This will not only help create the next generation of Canadian successes, but also help Canada remain competitive through innovation and access to emerging technologies."

The fund is expected to begin operations in the summer of 2015.

Other members of the Leadership Council applauded today's announcement:

"We must continue to develop new approaches to foster entrepreneurship and innovation to ensure our economy continues to be globally competitive," said David McKay, President and CEO, Royal Bank of Canada.  "I commend the Ontario government for its investment in the Scale Up Ventures Fund, which will help drive our economy forward."

"In bringing leaders from corporate Canada to the table with start-ups, the Scale Up Ventures Fund is doing something unprecedented in the Canadian business funding landscape," said George Cope, President and CEO, Bell. "I am very proud to serve on the Leadership Council to help emerging homegrown companies become our next Canadian success stories."

"As a global leader in the automotive parts business, Magna is always developing and searching for the best product and manufacturing process innovations," said Don Walker, CEO, Magna International. "We are pleased to participate in this very interesting initiative which we expect to help our company grow as well as assist start-up companies in Ontario become a more innovative, global competitive location in which to do business."

"From our experience at Ryerson's Digital Media Zone, there is no substitute for senior-level mentorship in helping young entrepreneurs to successfully bring their ideas to market and raise capital," said Sheldon Levy, President, Ryerson University.  "The Scale Up Ventures Fund is building on that proven formula to create an exciting new venture capital model."

Leadership Council Membership:

Name

Title

Nadir Mohamed (Chair)

Former CEO, Rogers Communications

Annette Verschuren

Former CEO, Home Depot Canada; Chair and CEO, NRStor

Ashishkumar Chauhan

CEO, Bombay Stock Exchange

Bharat Masrani

CEO, TD Bank Group

Brian J. Porter

CEO, Scotiabank

Christine Magee

Co-Founder and Chair, Sleep Country

Craig Muhlhauser

President and CEO, Celestica

Dan Debow

Founder, Rypple

Dave McKay

CEO, Royal Bank

Don Walker

CEO, Magna

Elyse Allan

President, GE Canada

Francis Shen

Founder, Aastra Technologies

George Cope

CEO, Bell Canada Enterprises

Guy Laurence

CEO, Rogers Communications Inc

Iain Klugman

President and CEO, Communitech

Jack Cockwell

Brookfield Asset Management

Jane Marshall

Former EVP at Loblaw Properties and Former COO Choice REIT

Joe Mimran

Founder, Joe Fresh, Club Monaco

Joe Natale

President and CEO, Telus

John Cassaday

Former CEO, Corus

John Davison

CFO, Four Seasons

John Ruffolo

CEO, OMERS Ventures

Jon Love

Managing Partner, KingSett Capital

Kilian Berz

Managing Partner, BCG Canada

Lawrence Bloomberg

Former CEO, National Bank

Mark Cohon

Former Commissioner, CFL

Michael Nobrega

Former CEO, OMERS

Mike McDerment

Founder, Fresh Books

Pavi Binning

President, George Weston Limited

Razor Suleman

Founder, Acheivers

Reza Satchu

Managing Partner, Alignvest

Sabi Marwah

Former COO, Scotiabank

Sam Duboc

CEO, EdgeStone Capital; Chair, BDC

Scott Bonham

Founding Partner, GGV Capital

Sheldon Levy

President, Ryerson University

Tim Hodgson

Managing Partner, Alignvest; Former Head, Goldman Sachs Canada

About Scale Up Ventures

Scale Up Ventures is a venture capital fund designed to assist Ontario's most promising new start-ups by providing a unique combination of venture capital funding and a strong linkage to corporate Canada via seasoned executives, entrepreneurs, and investors.  The fund will target pre-series A sized investments in high growth technology companies in a large, growing market that have begun to show traction.  For more information please visit www.suv.vc.

SOURCE Scale Up Ventures

For further information: Rick Harari, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Tel.: 416-413-4766, Email: Rick.harari@hkstrategies.ca

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Scale Up Ventures

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