Scotiabank commits to helping Canada’s emerging AI start-ups
Scotiabank has partnered with C100, a non-profit community for Canadians working in technology, and MaRS, a support network for Canadian start-ups, in a bid to open its own platform up to new technologies, and consequently grow the number of Canada’s entrepreneurs.
As the third largest bank in Canada by deposits, Scotiabank wants to increase its access to emerging technologies – specifically artificial intelligence (AI) – coming out of Toronto and Silicon Valley, where C100 and MaRS are based respectively.
The bank will also give start-ups and tech entrepreneurs access to funding and expansion opportunities through the partnerships.
“Through these partnerships we’re supporting and driving AI innovation and adoption for business and societal good while improving our overall customer experience,” says Scotiabank’s senior vice president of innovation and insights analytics, Kristal Au-Yong.
Roynat Capital, an arm of Scotiabank’s Canadian business banking unit, will head up the partnerships and “provide flexible financing solutions” which meet “the unique needs” of each start-up.
MaRS currently has more than 1,200 Canadian tech companies on its books, whilst C100 has an established network of Canada’s entrepreneurs based largely across Canada and the US.
The bank says it will help C100’s individuals by providing them with “international business contacts and exposure”.
“With its vast footprint across the Americas and its dedication to Canada’s entrepreneurs, having Scotiabank as a foundational partner at C100 is a very exciting thing to C100 and the entrepreneurs we support,” says C100’s president and executive director, Laura Buhler.
“Not only is Scotiabank uniquely positioned to enable entrepreneurs to grow their business in these markets, but the bank is supporting C100 in our mandate to build the preeminent global community of Canadians in tech.”
MaRS’ senior vice president of venture services, Jon Dogterom, adds that “building the connections between the entrepreneurial community and corporations” is a huge part of what drives innovation in Canada’s financial sector.
Last month, Canada’s AI scene entered into a transatlantic partnership with the UK. Led by universities, funding was issued by the country’s governments to underpin ten new AI-focused research projects.
Aimed at uncovering more of the social and health benefits of AI, the projects will receive £5 million in the UK and CAD 5 million in Canada.
Both these countries are global leaders in AI innovation, and particularly Canada’s AI model – which successfully integrates government funding, venture capital, university research initiatives, and private sector sponsorship together – has been held up as a global example.