FedDev Ontario has announced an investment of $2 million for the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) to scale 30 tech companies across Southern Ontario through the Toronto-based tech accelerator OneEleven and to support 450 jobs. At least 25 per cent of the new participants will be located outside the greater Toronto area (GTA).
The investment also includes targeted support for underrepresented groups. Over 45 per cent of in-person business leaders of OneEleven member companies are Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, 2SLGBTQ+ and Francophone professionals.
Hard hit by the global economic situation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, OneEleven had announced the permanent cessation of its operations in April last year. As part of this FedDev Ontario investment, the original founding member of the tech accelerator, OCI, has been tasked with supporting the relaunch of programming at OneEleven. FedDev Ontario says it will also leverage nearly $1.2 million in additional private investment.
The investment aims to enable OneEleven to augment its programming and extend its digital reach to high-growth small and medium enterprises (SMEs) located in smaller communities across southern Ontario.
“The scale-up programming offered by OneEleven will help high-growth companies to navigate challenges brought on throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and provide them with technical advice needed to succeed while continuing to raise capital. Thanks to FedDev Ontario’s investment, through OCI, OneEleven will be able to support 30 high-potential tech firms and 450 jobs within the GTA and across southern Ontario,” said Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina–Fort York.
OneEleven focuses on supporting high-growth companies that have already received initial seed financing and early-stage incubation support and that are now ready to pursue more substantive capital raises. The tech accelerator’s programming is aimed at bringing together peers from high-growth companies at similar stages of growth to collectively tackle barriers to scaling their companies. Some of the companies previously accelerated through OneEleven include Borrowell, Wealthsimple and Tulip, which are now global companies.