Ontario Centres of Excellence and OMERS Ventures launch oneeleven, Canada's first community for data-driven entrepreneurs

November 28, 2013

(From left to right) John Ruffolo, CEO, OMERS Ventures and oneeleven board director; Michael Nobrega, President and CEO, OMERS and Chair, OCE Board of Directors; Bilal Khan, Managing Director, oneeleven; Tom Corr, President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence and oneeleven board director; and Sheldon Levy, President and Vice Chancellor, Ryerson University at the official launch of oneeleven.

Visionaries in Toronto's tech community imagine a not-so-distant future where the downtown core is host to a big data ecosystem where entrepreneurs, investors and academics will come together to spark organic collaboration and innovation through everyday interactions such as getting a cup of coffee. With the launch of oneeleven, a major milestone toward achieving that vision has been reached and Canada's first community for data-driven entrepreneurs has been born.

Co-founded by strategic investments from Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and OMERS Ventures, with the recent addition of Ryerson University as the founding academic partner, oneeleven is a community of entrepreneurs that are ready to take their promising new tech ventures to the next level by harnessing the power of high performance computing (HPC).

“Since OCE is already doing work in the HPC space through the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Program, or SOSCIP, it was natural for us to be a partner in oneeleven,” says OCE President and CEO Dr. Tom Corr. “OCE’s commitment to both HPC and oneeleven stems from our belief that Toronto can be part of what is becoming the world’s biggest growth industry – big data.”

"oneeleven will be a community of the most promising and sophisticated data-driven entrepreneurs and home to some of Toronto's best technology start-ups," says John Ruffolo, CEO of OMERS Ventures. "oneeleven will allow its member companies to create scalable entrepreneurial opportunities by solving previously unmanageable problems through the aggregated power of high performance computing."

"Through organizations like OCE, our government is fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in all its forms," says Reza Moridi, Ontario's Minister of Research and Innovation. "This great partnership between OCE and OMERS, one of Canada's largest pension funds, will ensure oneeleven is a place where some of Ontario's most promising, successful and adventurous entrepreneurs will come together to innovate, collaborate and ultimately boost our province's economy."

A key element in the realization of the vision for oneeleven is bringing in academic-based research and bridging the commercialization gap to support the development of solutions to highly complex, data and time-intensive problems. Ontario Centres of Excellence will use its expertise in the commercialization and innovation space to address this challenge.

As an enhanced accelerator, oneeleven offers access to resources, peer networks and mentors for resident companies, but does not operate on fixed cohort terms like many other accelerators. Start-ups are recruited through a rigorous scouting and screening process, and the entrepreneurs who make the cut have often launched previous successful ventures.

Currently eight start-ups call oneeleven home, providing a breadth of products and services ranging from an app for sharing GIFs to a platform providing a seamless digital retail experience. The company roster also includes three OCE-supported companies:

  • Granata Decision Systems offers advanced decision support software for marketing resource management (MRM) to combine campaigns and optimize budget, audience and channel trade-offs as a cohesive portfolio. Granata's tools allow data-driven marketing organizations to evaluate and refine marketing strategies and campaign trade-offs across the entire set of active and potential campaigns.
  • Finmaven is a capital markets social data science firm whose clients include public companies, news organizations, institutional investors and discount brokerages. Finmaven's products allow clients to monitor the social buzz for more than 9,000 publicly-traded securities, brands and products across a variety of social media sources.
  • Rubikloud is a real-time big data company offering a new methodology for processing, analyzing, and searching continuous data streams. The Rubikloud platform will connect, process, and interpret any real-time data source.
oneeleven officially launched on Nov. 26 when more than 300 members of the investment, industry, academic and entrepreneurial community had an opportunity to tour the space.