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Ontario Centres of Excellence and HIGHLINE team up to assist promising Ontario tech companies

September 11, 2014

TORONTO, Sept. 11, 2014 – Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and HIGHLINE, the new pan-Canadian Accelerator Platform, have joined forces to provide promising Ontario tech startups with critically important seed funding and entrepreneurship skills training.

Building on a partnership formed in 2012 between OCE and Extreme Startups (which merged with Vancouver’s GrowLab Ventures in August to launch HIGHLINE), the two organizations will contribute up to $30,000 each to successful applicants as well as provide them with entrepreneurship skills training. From 2012-2014, OCE and Extreme Startups assisted 23 Ontario-based startups grow their businesses.

“This is a partnership built on a track record of success and shared objectives,” says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE’s President and CEO. “I am confident that working together with HIGHLINE we are going to help some of the brightest and most promising tech-focused young entrepreneurs take their company to the next level.”

Applications for this program will be made through HIGHLINE, and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis for participation in HIGHLINE’s Accelerator programs. Shortlist applicants will be reviewed by a panel that includes both HIGHLINE and OCE, to select top applicants for the joint funding and entrepreneurship skills training.

“We’re thrilled to be an OCE SmartStart Seed Fund partner based on our past 23 co-investments, says Marcus Daniels, Co-Founder & CEO at HIGHLINE. “SmartStart has made a huge impact on both our portfolio companies and the Ontario startup ecosystem where our co-investments secured more than $10 million dollars in follow-on capital within the last two years”.

OCE’s share of the funding to successful applicants will be drawn from Ontario’s $9 million SmartStart Seed Fund program. Part of the Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy, SmartStart 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.

HIGHLINE is now accepting applications. For more details visit


HIGHLINE is a global VC-backed accelerator platform that helps digital startups supercharge growth and raise institutional capital. Derived from the Extreme Startups-GrowLab Ventures merger, HIGHLINE gives founders "Speed to Seed" through specialized accelerator products, timely staged investments (up to $200K) and growth connectivity in global markets starting in four cities (Toronto, Vancouver, New York City and San Francisco). HIGHLINE creates acceleration products and programs for founders close to product-market fit with global ambition to scale. It is powered by the financial backing of major Canadian VCs, including BDC Capital and Relay Ventures, whose funds under management collectively exceed $2 billion. HIGHLINE currently has an active portfolio of 40 companies, 90% of which have received institutional follow-on capital, raising over $27 million. It has so far had 3 highly profitable exits over a 30-month period.


About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. (

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


Media contacts:

Stuart Green, Manager, Media Relations
Ontario Centres of Excellence
416-861-1092 x 1022

Marcus Daniels, Co-Founder & CEO