• 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

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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.@StackSocial has a pay-what-you-can deal for $1500 worth of coding training that you need to check out now!… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

The @Reputation_Inst released its most reputable cities list, and Canada has three in the top 10! c/o @weftwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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At Ryerson Futures, we're always looking forward. That said, take today to enjoy right now. Get started on the futu… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Happy New Year! Stay fabulous. pic.twitter.com/GGeDViRnFr

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When making new year's resolutions, @JimJosephExp suggests setting one simple professional goal. What's yours?… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Free webinar: "The State of #Fintech in Canada" on January 11 by @LatAmStartupsCo eventbrite.ca/e/webinar-the-…

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Need social media reports in other languages? @Crowdbabble is introducing Spanish and Portuguese reports!… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Chinese investors investing heavily in Canadian startups like @Cyclica. What are your thoughts? c/o @globeandmailtwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Sometimes the big guys do some great stuff. @Googleorg donates $30MM to buy tech for non-profits c/o @TechCrunchtwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

From all of us on the RFI team, we wish you the best today and throughout the holidays. (Actual RFI team not shown;… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Have you ever thought of creating a monthly business plan? Here's why you should, c/o @JZspeaks @tracybyrnestwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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