News Releases

Ontario Centres of Excellence and Futurpreneur Canada team up to support 10 tech startups

July 31, 2014

TORONTO, July 31, 2014 – Building on an existing relationship, Ontario Centres of Excellence and Futurpreneur Canada (formerly Canadian Youth Business Foundation) are making it easier than ever for young entrepreneurs to apply for and access startup funding.

Under a new agreement, successful applicants of OCE’s SmartStart Seed Fund program can also apply for a Futurpreneur Canada loan of $15,000.

“I’m pleased we are able to make the process of accessing vital seed funds easier for qualified applicants,” says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of OCE. “With the simple check of a box, SmartStart applicants will be directed into the Futurpreneur application system. This is another example of how OCE is working with our many partners to reduce gridlock and paperwork for Ontario’s many promising entrepreneurs.”

Futurpreneur Canada will approve loans for up to 10 tech startups led by post-secondary students or recent graduates. Additional applications beyond those 10 may be considered on a case-by-case basis as well.

“Time and again, we see how much young people can do for their communities and the economy when they are equipped to launch and grow their businesses,” said Julia Deans, CEO of Futurpreneur Canada. “We are thrilled to partner with Ontario Centres of Excellence on the SmartStart Seed Fund so that more innovative, passionate young entrepreneurs will have access to the seed funding they need to start successful businesses.”

Part of the Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy, the SmartStart Seed fund is an exciting new opportunity for Ontario's next generation of entrepreneurs to access much-needed funding to take their companies to the next level. Open to young entrepreneurs from the ages of 18 to 29, the program provides both seed financing and financing for entrepreneurship skills training to help recipients grow their companies and make them investment and customer ready.

“It is encouraging to see organizations working together to keep Ontario’s young entrepreneurs competitive, not only within Canada, but around the world,” said Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. “By working together, OCE and Futurpreneur Canada are ensuring our province’s business leaders of tomorrow are getting the support they need to succeed today.”

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 fuelling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise for nearly two decades. 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 hand 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 The Prince’s Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week. www.futurpreneur.ca. Facebook: Futurpreneur  Twitter: @Futurpreneur.

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Media contacts:

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

Futurpreneur Canada
Lesley Wilmot
Director, Communications
416.408.2923, ext. 2203
lwilmot@futurpreneur.ca