Aug 24, 2019

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Ryerson University announces new partnership to promote research, technological innovation and entrepreneurship to advance economic development of Eastern Ontario

Ryerson University announces new partnership to promote research, technological innovation and entrepreneurship to advance economic development of Eastern Ontario

November 25, 2015 – Ryerson University today announced that it has formed a new
collaboration with Prince Edward/Lennox & Addington Community Futures Development
Corporation (PELA CFDC), First Stone Venture Partners (FSVP), and the Eastern Ontario Regional
Network (EORN) to promote research, technological innovation, attract and accelerate start ups
and advance economic development in Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington Counties and
the Eastern Ontario Region broadly.

The collaboration brings together the expertise of Ryerson in entrepreneurship and its support
of company creation, as well as leading research into bridging the gap between innovation and
adoption with Eastern Ontario’s top public and private organizations who are already driving
economic growth and entrepreneurship through investments, training, incubation of start-ups
and the promotion of diversification of the region through growth of tech-focused companies.

“PELA CFDC and the new Upper Canada Equity Fund is proud to partner with Ryerson
University, EORN and First Stone Venture Partners in this exciting new collaboration that will
advance innovation, research and investment in our community, said Debra Marshall, Chair of
the Upper Canada Equity Fund. “Ryerson University is a world leader in entrepreneurial
innovation and support and we look forward to growing our relationship in the years to come.”

Immediately following the announcement, a matchmaking and pitch session is being hosted by
Ryerson at its DMZ for a dozen tech-based start-ups and PELA CFDC and First Stone Venture
Partners. The types of start-ups are diverse, ranging from online services and platforms to
mobile technologies, security and automation and knowledge management with the goal of
identifying possible investment, incubation and mentorship of some of these start ups in Prince
Edward/Lennox & Addington.

Mauro Lollo, President of Canada’s first rural venture fund was at Ryerson for the
announcement. “First Stone Venture Partners was founded by serial entrepreneurs who
understand the challenges of creating success, often with only ideas and effort, said Lollo,
President, First Stone Venture Partners. “Our vision is to create sustainable ecosystems for
innovative start-up's in non-urban communities by investing in entrepreneurial talent and
innovative ideas. Our unique investment and support strategy nurtures and accelerates earlystage companies while helping to diversify local economies for the long-term benefit of our
communities and country. We're exceptionally pleased to partner with Ryerson, PELA CFDC
and EORN in driving future opportunities and success.”

“Strengthening regional or rural technological innovation and their connection to other national
or international markets is an important step in narrowing Canada’s innovation gap and
promoting economic development, said Wendy Cukier,” Vice President Research and
Innovation, Ryerson University. “Understanding the demand and application side of innovation
and its impacts is also vital if we are to realize the transformational potential of emerging
technologies. Ryerson is pleased to partner with PELA CFDC, First Stone Venture Partners and
EORN and this collaboration will strengthen the innovation ecosystem of region.”

“EORN is excited about the potential of this new collaboration agreement with PELA CFDC, the
Upper Canada Equity Fund; Ryerson University, and First Stone Venture Partners,” said David
Fell, CEO of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network. “This project will leverage the
entrepreneurial and research expertise of Ryerson University to help us increase the scale and
scope of the start-up and innovation ecosystem in Eastern Ontario.”

While this collaboration is new, all partners have expertise in advancing economic development
and contributing to innovation and have partnered together previously. Over the last two years,
FSVP and PELA CFDC have a successful track record of investment that productizes, and
commercializes and takes to market globally competitive products and services including one of
Ryerson’s DMZ companies Komodo Open Labs. Ryerson and EORN have also worked together
through Ryerson’s Magnet program, which helps in matching companies to the best skilled
talent. These partners and their programs have also been previously recognized and supported
by government partners such as FedDev Ontario and the Ministry of Training Colleges and

PELA CFDC is a community-based, not-for-profit corporation whose objective is to encourage
local entrepreneurship and economic development in Prince Edward/Lennox & Addington
counties through the provision of business loans, equity investments, grants, training and
incubation of start-ups.

FSVP is a venture partnership founded and funded by successful entrepreneurs whose goal is to
encourage the establishment of technology-based innovation in rural communities and who
have established a 28,000 sq. ft. incubator in Picton, ON to support the growth of tech-start ups
in the region.

EORN was established by the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus to increase the availability of
bandwidth to homes and businesses in Eastern Ontario, and to encourage the diversification of
the region through the growth of technology based companies.


Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on
the move. Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs and is home to more
than 38,000 students, including 2,300 master's and PhD students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and
more than 165,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth:
externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. Ryerson is Canada’s first Ashoka
Changemaker Campus and is committed to mainstreaming innovation across the curriculum. For more
information, visit

Media contact:
Kathleen Powderley, Responsible Communications, 416-803-5597,

“Dealing with the EODP was incredibly easy and the process required minimal time.  Staff was very helpful." - Howard Mahon, Wilton Tack
“Without PELA CFDC's support we would not have had the ability to take those much needed first big steps. You believed in us at a time when few did.” - Quincy Emmons, Fire X Protection
“We recommend the EODP funding to any business that believes in continuous improvement and development, and who is looking to fast forward business growth.” - Angela Lees, Calderwood Automation
"The connections I made and support system that was available during and after the program really helped. - Renia Tyminski, Hallowell Gardens Centre
"The in class portion of the Ontario Self Employment Benefit Program was the most beneficial for me... I was given the resources and one-on-one guidance I needed to map out a successful plan. - Rob Fenwick, Former SEB Client