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News Releases

Ontario Centres of Excellence and Futurpreneur Canada join forces to support young entrepreneurs

May 4, 2016

TORONTO, May 4, 2016 – Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), one of Ontario’s top start-up support organizations, and Futurpreneur Canada, a leading national non-profit organization supporting entrepreneurs, are making it easier for aspiring business owners to find essential early stage funding.

Under a new agreement, applicants to OCE’s SmartStart Seed Fund program who are accepted for a full review after initial screening have the option to be fast-tracked into Futurpreneur’s program application stream. OCE and Futurpreneur have previously partnered to help recent graduates access low interest loans and through a fellowship program.

“OCE and Futurpreneur are pleased to be able to support Ontario’s ambitious young entrepreneurs through this enhancement to our existing partnership,” says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE’s President and CEO. “We see some truly inspiring and dedicated young Ontarians come through our SmartStart program and while we can’t support them all, being able to help them find alternate funding sources is important to helping them succeed and contribute to the province’s economic prosperity.”

OCE’s SmartStart fund supports entrepreneurs with awards of up to $60,000. Applicants to Futurpreneur’s program are assessed for low-interest loans of up to $45,000 and mentoring.

”We know that access to financing is one of the top challenges facing Canadians as they consider starting or buying a business, so we’re happy to partner with OCE to make our financing available to even more entrepreneurial Ontarians.” says Scott Bowman, Senior Director, Ontario, Futurpreneur Canada.

For more information, visit OCE’s SmartStart page.

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. (www.oce-ontario.org)

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario’s global competitiveness. OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario’s industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, domestic and foreign investors, and government ministries. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices, innovation, entrepreneurship and research, OCE invests in such areas as advanced health, information and communications technology, digital media, advanced materials and manufacturing, agri-food, aerospace, transportation, energy, and the environment including water and mining. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario’s Innovation Agenda as a member of the province’s Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), which helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs and industry rapidly grow their company and create jobs. Learn more at www.onebusiness.ca

About Futurpreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada (formerly the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, or CYBF) has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise since 1996. We are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,800 volunteer mentors. Futurpreneur Canada is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Learn more at www.futurpreneur.ca

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Media contacts:

Stuart Green
Manager, Media Relations
Ontario Centres of Excellence
416-861-1092 x 1022
stuart.green@oce-ontario.org

Meghan Paton
Manager, Public Relations
Futurpreneur Canada
416-408-2923 x 2207
mpaton@futurpreneur.ca