• RFI accelerates great companies, partners with great clients to deliver innovative, market changing solutions, and invests in high trajectory start-ups.

  • RFI accelerates great companies, partners with great clients to deliver innovative, market changing solutions, and invests in high trajectory start-ups.

  • RFI accelerates great companies, partners with great clients to deliver innovative, market changing solutions, and invests in high trajectory start-ups.

Ryerson Futures helps drive the success of high-potential startups focused on innovate and marketing-changing technology.

RFI is a for-profit entity that supports startups with hands-on strategic and tactical guidance. We help startups with market validation and customer acquisition, provide access to corporate partners, and make seed investments.

RFI is connected to The DMZ at Ryerson University, which has incubated more than 125 companies since its launch in 2010.

Working Together

RFI partners with key industry players to identify, support and deliver innovative technologies and solutions.


Meet the team

Matt Saunders
President & Managing Director
As President of Ryerson Futures, Matt manages a seed stage investment fund and multiple acceleration programs for early-stage technology companies, as well as the Innovation for Hire consulting practice for corporate clients. He has more than 18 years of experience as an entrepreneur and executive with companies in the technology and service sectors. Matt oversees operations in Canada, (Ryerson Futures, Zone Startups Sports + Media in Toronto and Zone Startups Calgary in Alberta), as well as Zone Startups India in Mumbai. Matt has a bachelor of science in business administration and MBA from Northeastern University.

Alan Lysne
Managing Director
Alan manages RFI’s accelerator programs, Innovation for Hire and seed funds in Calgary and India. He works closely with Ryerson Futures’ startups to provide them with strategic and tactical guidance. He has been a co-founder, CEO, CTO and COO of many technology businesses, and been working with startups for more than a decade. Alan was the CEO of a venture-backed mobile company acquired by Grapple Mobile and co-founder and CTO of Davinci Technologies, which was acquired by CSG Systems. Alan has an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University.

Craig Morantz
Entrepreneur in Residence
Craig Morantz is an entrepreneur, startup investor and experienced business executive who is committed to the customer experience. An entrepreneur since he was 15 years old, Craig has started and sold a number of businesses. The most recent was the sale of Aware Marketing Group to Pittsburgh-based Leed’s. Craig is an angel investor who takes active roles in the companies in which he invests. Currently, Craig is CEO at Kira Talent. Follow his blog at gotomarketguy.com

Max Vogrin
Operations & Business Development Manager
Max seeks entrepreneurs globally and helps Ryerson Futures with business development in North America and RFI’s office in Mumbai, India. Max keeps in close contact with the 80+ startups in DMZ’s space to ensure they are progressing towards milestones, overcoming challenges and are getting what they need, including hlep with successful grant applications. Max also works on Innovation for Hire projects, primarily focused on the financial, healthcare and education sectors.

Board of Directors

Nadir Mohamed

Former CEO, Rogers Communications

Jack Cockwell

Group Chairman, Brookfield Asset Management

Sabi Marwah

Former COO, Scotiabank

Mark Cohon

Former Commissioner, Canadian Football League

Mohamed Lachemi

President, Ryerson University

Julia Shin Doi

General Counsel, Ryerson

Executive In Residence

Gerry Frascione

Recognized for his passion for ideas, Gerry has dedicated his career to building high performance teams and cultures that support internationally recognized award-winning creative for clients. As President and CEO of BBDO Canada and North America, Gerry is a strategic advisor to some of the world’s most sought-after brands. Gerry is a board member of BBDO Worldwide, The Ad Club of New York and Drug Free Canada. He supports young people in their professional and personal lives through his work with Students in Free Enterprise, Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship and the United Way of Toronto.

Latest news

Swift Medical Powers PointClickCare’s New Skin and Wound App to Advance Senior Care Tech

  Long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) now has a new tool to help simplify wound care. Toronto-based machine-vision technology company […]

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vPhrase’s Platform “Phrazor” Analyzes Data and Writes Reports as Well as a Human Analyst

We’ve all received those reports before: hundreds of cells of numbers, dozens of columns, graphs and charts, with no idea […]

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Synervoz Hopes to Change the Way We Communicate with its First App TurnMeUp

Listen up: audio consumption is on the rise. 2015 was deemed the year of the podcast, due to the overwhelming […]

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An In-Depth Look at North American Accelerators

Accelerators help startups validate their products and attract customers. As important, they provide invaluable connections to a network of mentors, […]

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India's Startup Ecosystem Poised to Explode

“The next five years will be the golden era for Internet entrepreneurship in India”. That is the bold prediction of […]

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Snapchat + Netflix + YouTube = Lurniture

This guest post was written by David Bloom, founder and CEO with Lurniture, a Ryerson Futures portfolio company, that offers […]

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The Big Takeaway from 48 Hours in Silicon Valley

Having returned from another great trip to Silicon Valley (at the 48 Hours in the Valley program run by the […]

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Riding the Indian Startup Wave With Axis Bank

As India’s fast-growing startup ecosystem gathers more momentum, we’re riding the wave. We’re excited about the launch of a new […]

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Four Keys to Successfully Scaling Your Startup

This guest post was written by Brian Deck, CEO and co-founder of SmoothPay, a mobile payment platform that combines payment, […]

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A Win-Win Hiring Hack: Paying Your Startup's Summer Interns

This guest post was written by David Berglas, co-founder of Shoelace, a Ryerson Futures startup that lets small businesses embrace […]

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Follow us @RyersonFutures


Did you know Canada was named #1 among the G20 for access to financing for digital startups? business.financialpost.com/entrepreneur/s… pic.twitter.com/cFvIg88dAh

Twitter Media

Something fun for your Friday: Here are a bunch of swarming robots that bring you your phone, c/o @Gizmodo.… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…

The first 10 fintech startups have been inducted into Mumbai's Barclay's Rise Accelerator! c/o @crowdfundinsidetwitter.com/i/web/status/7…

Are you an entrepreneur with a second job? You're not alone. 42% of young founders work on the side to keep going.… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…

Canadian machine-vision tech co. @swift_medical partners with @PointClickCare to power their new Skin and Wound app… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…

Mumbai's @vphrase wants to change the way companies disseminate data, using robot report writers! @ZoneStartUpsIntwitter.com/i/web/status/7…

Chipotle has been through it all. Here's how to bounce back after turmoil, c/o CEO Mark Crumpacker @FastCompanytwitter.com/i/web/status/7…

Female CEO @aehpalmer of @AwakeLabs travels to Israel as the Canadian winner of Start Tel Aviv! c/o @BetaKittwitter.com/i/web/status/7…

All of us, especially entrepreneurs, suffer setbacks. Here's how to overcome them, c/o @kinglevi & @Entrepreneurtwitter.com/i/web/status/7…

Big congrats RFI alumns @KiraTalent, @TheSamplerApp, & @Figure1 in @torontolife's 20 most brilliant tech innovators… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…

Big congrats to @RepableCo for landing in the CIX Top 20! canadianinnovationexchange.com/cix/top-20/

Spread knowledge, talent & success of your #startup ecosystem worldwide. Take the 2016 Global Startup Survey! #GSER goo.gl/1gDfB4

Doctors in Syria are using @Figure1 to reach more patients in need of immediate care. theglobeandmail.com/news/world/med… pic.twitter.com/b4lNB8Kom9

Twitter Media

Osprey Informatics is seeing major traction amid tough times in the oil & gas industry calgary.zonestartups.com/good-news-stor… #Calgary #zonestartups

Entrepreneurs, founders, and CxOs: #TSXIgnite is returning to Toronto for a mini-conference on October 4. Register:… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…

Looking for a faster way to chat? RFI startup @synervoz wants to change the way we communicate with @turnmeupapp!… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…

One of the benefits of accelerators are "entrepreneurial collisions" calgary.zonestartups.com/collisions/ #startups #Calgary

Some thoughts on why demo days need to change (something we dont do) medium.com/@tydanco/why-d…

Congrats to Samplr for being named to BetaKit's Next list betakit.com/announcing-the…

Why large companies why it difficult to #innovate steveblank.com/2016/06/23/int… via @sgblank

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