Queen’s partners with U of T to advance entrepreneurship

University secures new space for Kingston startups to grow in Toronto through ONRamp initiative 

Spaces to advance entrepreneurship on campus are located in Mitchell Hall.
Queen’s is prioritizing post-grad student success with their latest university partnership.
On Feb. 28, Queen’s announced they’re the newest member of the University of Toronto’s ONRamp initiative. ONRamp provides entrepreneurs and new businesses with access to work space, events, and networking opportunities in Toronto. The U of T Entrepreneurship team launched the program in 2017. 
“Through Queen’s membership in ONRamp, we’re able to complement and expand the innovation and entrepreneurship landscape that is available to researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs working with Queen’s,” Jim Banting, assistant vice-principal (partnerships and innovation) said in an email to The Journal. 
The ONRamp facility consists of a 15,000-square-foot collaboration and co-working space located in U of T’s downtown campus. Through the partnership, Queen’s and Kingston-based entrepreneurs and researchers are granted access to a workspace in the city. 
“The space provides Queen’s-connected startups and researchers with a landing pad in Toronto to hold meetings and use hot desk space,” Banting said.
While Queen’s has developed an environment that supports innovation in Kingston through various acceleration programs and incubation spaces, including those available at Innovation Park and in Mitchell Hall, the University recognized the need for workspaces in Toronto.
“Many of our researchers and companies based in Kingston and working with Queen’s, hold business meetings in Toronto,” Banting said. “Entrepreneurs and startups working with Queen’s, as well as community partners, will be invited to use the ONRamp facilities as a location for meetings in downtown Toronto with potential investors, customers and suppliers, and government officials.” 
Queen’s is the fourth university to partner with U of T, following McMaster, Waterloo, and Western.
“Through collaboration with U of T and other ONRamp member universities, Queen’s will contribute to the strengthening of the Ontario innovation network,” Banting said. “Not only will [those] working with Queen’s be able to use the space, others using the ONRamp facilities will be welcome to participate in workshops and events organized by Queen’s and delivered in the space.”
The University hopes researchers and entrepreneurs affiliated with Queen’s will benefit from the new space, as students will be able to use it free of charge.
“Given the downtown location of ONRamp, and proximity to MaRS [Discovery District in Toronto], this is a valuable resource that provides students with a professional atmosphere to network and build their businesses,” Amanda Gilbert, communications coordinator, Research Partnership Unit, said in an email to The Journal
Entrepreneurs affiliated with Queen’s who are interested in accessing the space can visit the ONRamp facility at 100 College St.
Those who use the space are asked to notify the University through Gilbert by email, amanda.gilbert@queensu.ca, when the space is used to allow the monitoring of the 
partnership’s value. 
“While our local resources are always available to student entrepreneurs and researchers, we realize [they] may need to travel to larger hubs for collaboration meetings, pitch events, and other business development opportunities,” Gilbert said.
“ONRamp provides a home-away-from-home for startups and researchers needing to conduct some of their work and meetings in Toronto.”

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