• 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.

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Snapchat + Netflix + YouTube = Lurniture

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The Big Takeaway from 48 Hours in Silicon Valley

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Follow us @RyersonFutures


RFI superstars @tryshoelace made Toronto their home. Here's why it paid off. c/o @startuphereTOtwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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Twitter Media

Welcome to Next Big Idea Contest fellows from India, meeting with top Cdn companies and VCs over the next two weeks… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Huge congratulations to RFI company @zensurance for securing $1M in their seed round of funding!… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Here are 7 roles every startup founder should learn to play, c/o @agazdecki @Entrepreneur. Do you play them all?… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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Twitter Media

.@hosinux, CEO of @FlybitsInc, talks smart cities and the banks' role in creating them, c/o @payments_sourcetwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

Did you catch the news of the launch of Zone Startups' newest program in India, @Gateway91_? #startupindiatwitter.com/i/web/status/7…

Innovation has a long history in Canada. Today, Google celebrates Sir Frederick Banting on World Diabetes Day.… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…

How Canadian company @AwakeChocolate jumped on the US retail bandwagon with caffeinated chocolate bars.… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…

Heard about @Gateway91_ partnership with the gov'ts of Canada and Ontario? @GlobeSmallBiz @nationalposttwitter.com/i/web/status/7…

Gov'ts of Canada and Ontario and @ZoneStartUpsIn partnered for @Gateway91_, helping int'l companies begin in India.… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…

Why university incubators are the resource so many startups need, c/o @RyersonDMZ @asnobar theglobeandmail.com/partners/spons… pic.twitter.com/hXGtpyX140

Twitter Media

Some startups like Uber and Lyft are offering Americans free rides to the polls. digitaljournal.com/business/uber-… pic.twitter.com/6yvoBfQhYG

Twitter Media

Wondering how to give fair feedback in your growing company? RFI alum @SoapBoxHQ has some ideas.… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…

Tech developers in Toronto plan to tackle the problem of demential with hackathon this weekend, c/o @globeandmail.… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…

Working startup life can be intense. Here are some destress tips for #NationalStressAwarenessDay, c/o @DeepakChopratwitter.com/i/web/status/7…

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