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Government of Canada Celebrates Entrepreneurship in Greater Toronto Area

November 15, 2013

For immediate release
November 14, 2013

Mississauga, Ontario — Mississauga and Toronto graduates of the Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre’s VentureStart program were honoured today at a special ceremony at the Mississauga Convention Centre to celebrate their achievements in entrepreneurship and business development. Stella Ambler, Member of Parliament for Mississauga South, on behalf of Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), was on hand to congratulate the graduates and to encourage continued business development in the region.

“I am pleased to recognize the success of the VentureStart program and the achievement of these graduates,” said MP Ambler. “Today, we see the tangible results of investing in graduates and developing in them the skills necessary to become innovators and successful entrepreneurs. These investments are helping our communities put into place business opportunities for long-term prosperity and economic diversity—elements that are key to a prosperous southern Ontario.”

The RIC Centre received funding up to $7.5 million through FedDev Ontario‘s Scientist and Engineers in Business initiative and has developed a unique approach to business skills development and entrepreneurship training. VentureStart was launched in April 2012, and has more than 200 entrepreneurs registered for its training program. Successful program participants complete a suite of online training modules designed to give them the business skills needed to complement their technical expertise. In addition, participants are paired with an “entrepreneur-in-residence” at their local regional innovation centre, who offers real-life coaching and business advice. The VentureStart program provides some emerging entrepreneurs with matching seed financing of up to $30,000.

“The FedDev Ontario Scientists and Engineers in Business is a great initiative to support the development of tech innovations,” said Pam Banks, Executive Director of the RIC Centre. “VentureStart has been embraced as a valuable program through the Regional Innovation Centre network in southern Ontario. This has been a great program to target entrepreneurs and help them take their ideas to reality and create jobs and economic prosperity along the way. RIC Centre is pleased to be a partner and a champion for this program—congratulations to the graduates who through their success, continue to inspire those still in the program.”

The RIC Centre was launched in 2008 as a not-for-profit organization supporting the development of innovation and entrepreneurship in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon. It is now part of a network of 13 regional innovation centres across Ontario, providing commercialization support to help new entrepreneurs and seasoned business people take technical innovations to market, with experienced advisors and Entrepreneurs in Residence who guide clients every step of the way.

Scientists and Engineers in Business, as part of the Southern Ontario Advantage initiatives, improves the success rate of start-up businesses in southern Ontario by developing business skills of young entrepreneurs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and providing targeted support to help them bring innovative ideas and products to market.

To date, $450 million in funding has been committed to over 250 projects under the Southern Ontario Advantage initiatives, resulting in partnerships with more than 5,300 organizations, and over $1.2 billion in additional leveraged investments from almost exclusively non-government sources.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region’s strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. In Budget 2013, the Government of Canada demonstrated its continued commitment to workers, families and communities in southern Ontario with the renewal of FedDev Ontario. Economic Action Plan 2013 provides $920 million over five years for the Agency, starting on April 1, 2014. As part of the renewal, FedDev Ontario will be allocating $200 million over five years for a new Advanced Manufacturing Fund in Ontario. To learn more, please visit www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

As outlined by the Prime Minister, the Government of Canada remains focused on what Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and their personal financial security.

Follow us on Twitter @FedDevOntario

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Article source: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?nid=791609

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