• 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 and Zone Startups, Matt manages a seed-stage investment fund and five Corporate 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 with Barclays and the Bombay Stock Exchange, and in Bangalore with Axis Bank). 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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Follow us @RyersonFutures


Your decisions as a startup founder could influence future workplace trends, c/o @AlleyWatch alleywatch.com/2017/03/entrep… pic.twitter.com/9p7j8b7djx

Twitter Media

It's looking up for Canadian #spacetech! Canada is finally getting its first spaceport! c/o @Gizmodotwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Scaling? @heyfeifer explains addressing subcultures within your company and approaching open dialogue, c/o @cheddar twitter.com/cheddar/status…

Big congrats to RFI alum @Figure1 for their social impact award win at the Canadian Startup Awards!… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Amazing job by the @ZoneStartUpsIn team for #FZ17. Already looking forward to 2018's event! pic.twitter.com/ME83rWVm8O

Twitter Media

Canada must seize the moment to lead in tech innovation, says @samsebastian at Google Canada. @RyersonDMZtwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

.@SoapBoxHQ’s new tool GoodTalk takes the awkwardness out of 1 on 1 meetings. Launched today on @producthunt:… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Marketing is sometimes overlooked. Here are some thoughts on how much a small company should spend c/o… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

The Cdn Startups Award noms are out @techvibes and two RFI alums made the lists: @Figure1 & @AdaSupport! Vote now!… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Our president @RFI_Matt explains why startup founders should use options to attract top talent.… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

.@VentureOutNY is looking for 15 early-stage female founders for their program in NYC. Hurry: Deadline is Friday!… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

RFI alumni @SmoothPayApp and @getsensibill are one of 7 #fintech companies to watch this year!… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Canada ranks 5th on the @LegatumInst's prosperity index, including a 3rd place for business environment!… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

How do we combat lack of women in tech? | @Snap's female board member @JoannaColes makes less than male colleagues.… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Check out @SandboxDMZ, the community arm to @RyersonDMZ. Free skill-based classes for students and wider community!… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Looking for your next big idea? Here are 10 startups that raised most capital in the US last month c/o @AlleyWatchtwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Entrepreneurs need to ask themselves a bunch of questions, says @Fownders founder @IAMGerardAdamstwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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