Media Releases

University of Toronto and RBC create startup accelerator for young innovators

April 5, 2016

Toron­to, ON — 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.

 About the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
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.

About the Bound­less Cam­paign
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.

About RBC
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 more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:
RBC: Cather­ine Hudon, Exter­nal Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, 416–974-5506

U of T Media Rela­tions:, 416–978-0100