• 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

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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Ryerson Futures Launches New Accelerator With Barclays

When Ryerson Futures launched in 2012, the focus was nurturing the growth of innovative startups with great teams and scaleable […]

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Ryerson Futures Partners with Barclays to Launch Accelerator in Mumbai

Mumbai, India, June 15, 2016 — Zone Startups, the startup acceleration program run by Ryerson Futures Inc., is excited to […]

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How to Get Creative With Marketing on a Budget

This guest post was written by Sampler, a Ryerson Futures portfolio company. You started your own business because you’re a […]

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Toronto's Startup Ecosystem is a Global Leader

In some respects, Toronto has been the “Rodney Dangerfield” of startup communities: no respect. In the past five years, the […]

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The Biggest Marketing Mistakes Made By Startups

Too many startups take a shotgun approach to marketing, which is riddled with mistakes and missteps. The all-too-common approach is […]

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How Do Startups Balance Purpose and Make Investors Happy?

This guest post was written by Carlo Perez, founder and CEO of Swift Medical, a Ryerson Futures portfolio company. One […]

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Why Entrepreneurs Need to Be Delusional to Succeed

This guest post was written by Robert Reichmann, founder and CEO with Visr, a Ryerson Futures portfolio company. You must […]

Read More

Ryerson Futures and The DMZ: What's the Difference?

It is a question that gets asked a lot given the close relationship between RFI and the DMZ. The short […]

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Follow us @RyersonFutures

 

Good to see @RyersonFutures companies in the spotlight! #startups twitter.com/FlybitsInc/sta…

The best is yet to come, IMHO twitter.com/MaRSDD/status/…

Marie Chevrier from @TheSamplerApp did a #TechTO presentation on how #startups can sell to large enterprises betakit.com/sampler-founde…

Bombay Stock Exchange CEO Ashish Chouhan happy with strides made by @ZoneStartUpsIn #startups #Accelerator

Thanks @betakit for the coverage of our new #fintech accelerator in Mumbai betakit.com/ryerson-future… #startups

Good to see coverage of the launch of Rise Mumbai, our new #fintech accelerator partnership with Barclays: economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/star…

In case you missed it, we launched a new fintech #accelerator in Mumbai in a partnership with Barclays ryersonfutures.ca/2016/06/rise-m…

Exciting day in Mumbai for Ryerson Futures, Barclays & Rise Mumbai #accelerator #startups pic.twitter.com/X9vFZZESSz

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Exciting about our new partnership with Barclays to launch #fintech accelerator in Mumbai - ryersonfutures.ca/2016/06/rise-m…

We're excited about the launch of new accelerator in Mumbai, a partnership w/ Barclays ryersonfutures.ca/2016/06/rise-m… #RiseMumbai #startups

Lurniture looking for more #startup glory in NYC after winning Startup Now in Toronto betakit.com/lurniture-hope…

Many #startups stumble with marketing. Here's the three biggest mistakes they make: ryersonfutures.ca/2016/06/market… #marketing

Exciting news! twitter.com/OMERSVentures/…

The growth of Toronto's #startup scene is attracting more attention....finally: ryersonfutures.ca/2016/06/toront…

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