Today Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and Boston-based FinTech Sandbox, signed an historic memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate and expand the FinTech Sandbox model into Canada, starting in Ontario.
"This new partnership between FinTech Sandbox and OCE is a unique opportunity that will give the growing fintech ecosystem in Ontario access to data, networks, platforms and events that will help accelerate growth and support the creation of high-quality jobs in the province," says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of OCE. "Signing this MOU with FinTech Sandbox will allow OCE to continue building on our programs and offerings in fintech innovation in Ontario."
FinTech Sandbox is a non-profit that promotes financial technology innovation globally by providing free access to critical data and resources to fintech start-ups. For entrepreneurs in financial services, accessing data and infrastructure can be prohibitively expensive and complicated. FinTech Sandbox accelerates product development by making these resources available to qualified start-ups for free at the point when access is most impactful. Sandbox participants, in return, are expected to collaborate, sharing learnings and advancements that benefit the fintech ecosystem. Participants in the Sandbox program pay no fees and no equity is taken.
FinTech Sandbox will open its program in Ontario, which will provide quality data products from 32 industry-leading partners, to qualified start-ups in Ontario.
"We are thrilled to be able to work with great start-ups in Ontario who are enabling incredible technologies for the financial services sector," says Jean Donnelly, Executive Director of FinTech Sandbox. "OCE is a critical player in the ecosystem and we are pleased to be able to partner with an organization that is helping startups, and that creates growth within the community."
"This partnership is an exciting step that will help grow our economy, create jobs and give Ontario a competitive edge in an increasingly competitive financial services industry," says Charles Sousa, Ontario's Minister of Finance. "Ontario Centres of Excellence will provide an important contribution to the fintech sector, which is poised to grow and thrive in Ontario."
"Innovative organizations like FinTech Sandbox recognize that Ontario is both a start-up hub and a leading global financial services centre," says Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. "This collaboration highlights the important role that a well-developed fintech ecosystem can play in driving prosperity and competitiveness. Our government is proud to support OCE in its work, and we look forward to the increased jobs and investment that will arise from this partnership."
As a part of this agreement, OCE will provide initial access to the FinTech Sandbox offering in Ontario for qualifying fintech SMEs and start-ups at no cost, including those located at incubators and accelerators throughout Ontario.
This partnership between OCE and FinTech Sandbox will:
Establish a shared resource that will promote FinTech Sandbox to the Ontario fintech and broader innovation community and curate fintech companies for FinTech Sandbox services and the network;
Provide and drive the opportunity for Ontario-based fintech start-ups and SMEs that meet eligibility criteria to participate in the FinTech Sandbox offering that includes free access to data feeds for development, cloud hosting, and an opportunity to engage with a diverse fintech network of entrepreneurs and finance professionals.