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New Program For Venture Cap Investors in Ontario to Benefit Ventures in University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab.

October 24, 2016

Toronto – For the first time in Canada, start-up ventures will be permitted to raise funding from venture cap investors through a two-year program authorized by the Ontario Securities Commission. The new program is part of the OSC LaunchPad initiative, the first innovation hub introduced by a Canadian securities regulator aimed at improving the integration of Fintech companies entering the regulatory framework.

Beginning tomorrow, eligible ventures in the Creative Destruction Lab at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management as well as ventures with NEXT Canada, will be able to raise money through AngelList, a platform for startup fundraising and hiring.

Eligible investors will be Ontario investors who meet both the Ontario accredited investor criteria and the AngelList sophistication screening. Eligible ventures must be headquartered in, or have significant operations in, Canada.

“The Creative Destruction Lab works with tech startups and innovative businesses and we are happy to see new opportunities for these businesses to raise funds in order to grow. It is good for Canadian inventors and entrepreneurs,” says Avi Goldfarb, a professor of marketing at the Rotman School and the Lab’s Chief Data Scientist.

Research on crowdfunding by Prof. Goldfarb with Rotman colleague Prof. Ajay Agrawal, the Lab’s founder, and Prof. Christian Catalini of the MIT Sloan School of Management, helped inform the OSC on the initiative.  

“This is great for Canadian innovation because it allows investors, through “syndicates” to leverage their knowledge of a new venture. In particular, it aligns the incentives of lead investors to conduct careful screening and monitor progress with those of issuers and follow-on investors, which our research demonstrates,” says Prof. Goldfarb.

Founded by Prof. Ajay Agrawal, the Creative Destruction Lab leverages the Rotman School's leading faculty and industry network as well as its location in the heart of Canada’s business capital to accelerate massively scalable, technology-based ventures that have the potential to transform our social, industrial, and economic landscape. Each year the Lab accepts ventures in two streams– one for technology ventures and a second exclusively for machine learning and artificial intelligence ventures. The program admitted fifty AI companies this year. To our knowledge, this represents the greatest concentration of AI companies in any program in the world.  The Lab has helped many nascent startups, including Deep Genomics, Greenlid, Atomwise, Bridgit, Minuum, Nymi, NVBots, OTI Lumionics, PUSH, Thalmic Labs, Vertical.ai, Neverfrost, Chargespot, and VoteCompass, among others. . Since its inception, companies who have graduated from the program have gone on to create more than $800 million (CDN) in equity value. For more information on the Lab, visit www.creativedestructionlab.com

The Rotman School of Management is located in the heart of Canada's commercial and cultural capital and is part of the University of Toronto, one of the world's top 20 research universities. The Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables our graduates to tackle today's global business and societal challenges. For more information, visit www.rotman.utoronto.ca.

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Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
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