University of Toronto and RBC create startup accelerator for young innovators

TORONTO, April 5, 2016 /CNW/ - The University of Toronto and RBC today announced a major new initiative to support Canada's innovative entrepreneurs. Located in the Banting and Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (BBCIE), ONRamp will provide new collaborative workspaces for students, entrepreneurs and startup companies to support them in developing commercial ideas.

Universities and colleges play a key role in driving innovation and fostering entrepreneurship, and the University of Toronto has emerged as a leading institution in creating startup companies based on research ideas.

Supported by a $3 million commitment from RBC, in support of the university's $2 billion Boundless campaign, ONRamp will include the RBC Innovation Hub within this new space for incubating startups, all housed within the BBCIE, in downtown Toronto. The space will enable these new companies to network with each other, showcase to potential investors and grow their businesses. The RBC contribution will also be used to create fellowships, prizes and a speaker series intended to enhance the university's entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Under the umbrella of the BBCIE, the university continues to create opportunities for early-stage companies by offering more than 60 entrepreneurial courses and programs. It also supports a network of nine campus-linked accelerators established to fill demand from the university's diverse faculties and three campuses. The ONRamp initiative will further support the startups' growth in Canada, where they will create wealth, provide jobs and contribute to the nation's prosperity.

"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."

Bruce Ross, Group Head, Technology and Operations, RBC said: "We are delighted to be collaborating with the University of Toronto on this exciting program. We have some of the brightest and best ideas emerging from our universities, but too frequently our young entrepreneurs have to look abroad to get their businesses off the ground. ONRamp should help change that. This initiative will provide the perfect environment to help these innovative startups develop and, importantly, to stay in Canada."

ONRamp will provide a central program of support for the university's most innovative students across all three campuses This support will include giving University of Toronto entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their business ideas, be recognized, and secure financial assistance as they undertake their entrepreneurship journey. A number of 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.

Set over three floors in the Banting and Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, ONRamp will provide a collaborative space for University of Toronto students and graduates, and to new young companies from other Ontario universities and colleges.

The University of Toronto has assembled one of the strongest research and teaching faculties in North America, presenting more than 85,000 top students with an intellectual environment unmatched in breadth and depth at any other Canadian school. U of T is a global research leader, second in the world only to Harvard in its volume of published research and sixth among all universities in the world for highly cited papers. It is number one in Canada and among the top universities in North America in the number of new research-based start-ups. The University of Toronto has campuses in downtown Toronto, Mississauga and Scarborough and is fully affiliated with nine renowned research and teaching hospitals.

Boundless: The Campaign for the University of Toronto is the largest fundraising campaign in Canadian university history. With a historic $2-billion goal, the campaign is expanding U of T's global leadership capacity across critical areas of knowledge and helping develop the talent, ideas and solutions for the defining challenges of our time. Thousands of alumni and friends are supporting the campaign's critical priorities. The impact of this giving is lifting every aspect of the University.

Royal Bank of Canada is Canada's largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have over 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 37 other countries. For more information, please visit‎

RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2015, we contributed more than $100 million to causes around the world.


For further information: RBC: Catherine Hudon, External Communications, 416-974-5506,; U of T Media Relations: 416-978-0100,

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