Relationship helps Canadians and Europeans access new international markets
Both Ryerson University and Canary Wharf Group plc’s technology accelerator space, Level39, Europe’s largest in the finance, retail and future cities sectors, have attracted international attention for their supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. The two institutions signed a friendship agreement, which opens new opportunities for collaboration, improved access into Canadian and European markets and provides soft-landings for globally-minded entrepreneurs. Through this agreement, members of Level39, based in Canary Wharf, London, UK, and members of the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, will have access to the space and startup support at each other’s facility, enabling international business development and growth.
“In order for young innovators to reach their potential, we need to connect the best and most passionate among them to each other, to businesses and to likeminded organizations such as Level39,” said Sheldon Levy, President of Ryerson University. “This agreement with Level39 will create a bridge between Canada and the United Kingdom offering a range of exciting new opportunities for students, entrepreneurs and innovators.”
Level39works with early-stage businesses that have potential for high-growth. The accelerator space helps members create, test, market and deliver scalable world-class financial, retail and future cities technology, products, and services.
“Collaboration between the technology sector and leading entrepreneurial academic establishments is key to the continuation of a thriving innovation ecosystem,” said Eric Van der Kleij, Head of Level39, Canary Wharf Group plc. “Ryerson’s smart technologists and professionals are the individuals that will help drive forward the already booming entrepreneurial community. We are very pleased to be collaborating with one of Canada’s finest Universities.”
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“Innovation is booming in the UK. Collaborations such as this open up a world of opportunities; expanding facilities and developing new partnerships, enabling ambitious entrepreneurs and businesses to innovate further,” said Dominic Jeremy, CEO of UK Trade & Investment. “This agreement between Level39 and Ryerson University demonstrates the commitment we all share to create growth and jobs in both Britain and Canada in the financial technology sector.”
“This is an exciting moment for Ryerson University as it represents the first major accord between a Canadian academic institution and Level39,” said Henry Long, UKTI Canada Investment Officer. “This agreement illustrates the forward thinking of both organizations and UKTI is eager to continue working with them to pursue their mutual endeavours.”
The Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University is Canada’s largest incubator and multidisciplinary co-working spaces for young entrepreneurs. Infused with the energy and resources of downtown Toronto, this hub of digital media innovation, collaboration and commercialization is home to both startups and industry solution-providers. The DMZ leads the way in experiential learning and business success by creating a unique ecosystem of education and entrepreneurship. Emerging leaders fast-track their product launches and grow their companies in this supportive community by connecting with mentors, customers and each other. The DMZ was recently recognized by the UBI Index as the best university incubator in Canada, and the fifth best university incubator in the world in their annual international benchmark study.
Since opening in April 2010, the DMZ has stimulated Canada’s digital economy by incubating and accelerating 133 startups and fostering almost 1,200 jobs. The Digital Media Zone is expanding its reach locally and internationally with the support of the Government of Ontario, Ryerson University, and partners in the private sector.
Located at One Canada Square, Level39 is Europe’s largest technology accelerator space for finance, retail and future cities technology companies. Members of the incubator are put in the same room as experienced entrepreneurs, technology investors and industry experts in order to accelerate their traction and access to markets. Level39 is a space for early-stage businesses that have potential for high-growth. Set in the middle of one of the world’s premier business and shopping districts, Space39 is a 220 seat event space that hosts regular industry events and boasts some of London’s best views.
Ryerson University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 38,000 students, including 2,300 master’s and PhD students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and more than 140,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada’s leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit www.ryerson.ca.
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) works with UK based businesses to ensure their success in international markets through exports. We encourage and support overseas companies to look at the UK as the best place to set up or expand their business.