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University Advancement | May 2017

Gift from Kimel family boosts zone startups

Kimel Family Campus Linked Accelerator Fund award winners with the Kimel family

Kimel Family Campus Linked Accelerator Fund award winners pose for a photograph with the Kimel family. (from l to r) Aly Burch and Alejandro Saettjone from uBioDiscovery, Michael Kimel, Samantha Kimel , Warren Kimel, Debbie Kimel, Stephania Stefanakou and team member, Geevith Rubakumar from ParDONE and friend.

 

A generous gift from Toronto’s Kimel family will give a boost to startups across Ryerson’s Zone incubation network.

The Kimel family’s remarkable gift of $100,000 was double-matched through the provincial government’s Campus Linked Accelerator fund, bringing the total effect of their generosity to $300,000 of support. But the real impact was revealed in January when 18 startups, all led by young entrepreneurs under the age of 29, were awarded support from the new Kimel Family Campus Linked Accelerator Fund.

“Today’s philanthropist appreciates activating added value through their giving,” said Warren Kimel, CEO of Fabricland and Director of the Warren and Debbie Kimel Family Foundation. “The Government of Ontario’s double match provided a wonderful opportunity to make a real difference as part of the DMZ and Ryerson’s Zone ecosystem.”

In early February, several members of the Kimel family had the opportunity to meet some of the entrepreneurs who will benefit from their gift, and learn firsthand about how the support will help the fledgling startups flourish. Among the startups advanced through the Kimel’s support are Stefanakou, a 3D-printing fashion company; uBioDiscovery, providing personalized probiotic solutions; and ParDone, an online platform to streamline legal pardons.

Steven Liss, vice-president, Research and Innovation, noted that “Ryerson has long been known for its entrepreneurial spirit and our mandate to apply knowledge to the benefit of our communities. The Kimel Family Campus Linked Accelerator Fund puts terrific momentum behind a dynamic group of incubators, labs and centres that will deliver on this promise.”

In the next two years, the Kimel’s gift will provide key business and product development support, bringing competitive edge to 40 new startups.

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