Scotiabank pumps funds into disruptive tech venture at OofT Rotman School of Management

Source: Scotiabank

A new gift from Scotiabank will help the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management continue to produce the leading management talent that companies in Canada and the world need to operate successfully in the digital economy.

The gift of $1.75 million will create the Scotiabank Disruptive Technologies Venture at the Rotman School of Management and support programs and initiatives including:

• The school’s Creative Destructive Lab;
• Research and independent study in the subjects of machine learning, artificial intelligence and behavioural economics;
• The creation of a design thinking internship;
• Internships, research and independent study in the area of design thinking; and,
• Sponsorship of the school’s artificial intelligence conference.

“Successful businesses in the digital economy are creating new products and services, and reimagining how existing ones are delivered. This requires a new generation of talent that has the knowledge to understand the possibilities of a digital world and the skills to seize them,” says Tiff Macklem, Dean, Rotman School of Management. “This investment by Scotiabank will help us scale up our very successful experiential learning programs in technology-based entrepreneurship and design thinking."

“Consumers expect the same frictionless experience whether they’re paying for a coffee, booking a hotel room, ordering a taxi or signing up for a credit card,” says Brian Porter, President and Chief Executive Officer, Scotiabank. “As we work to deliver the best experience to our customers, we recognize the tremendous value of working closely with post-secondary institutions and their students. Partnerships like the Scotiabank Disruptive Technologies Venture at the Rotman School of Management support the development of leading talent and digital research. It also provides students hands-on experience to prepare them for job opportunities in the digital world. Scotiabank’s partnership with Rotman is an important piece of our digital strategy, and we are optimistic that it will produce great results.”

Part of the gift will provide five years of support to the Creative Destruction Lab, which is the premier seed-stage program for massively scalable, science-based technology ventures.

The nine-month program has two streams – one for science-based technology ventures and a second exclusively for machine learning and artificial intelligence ventures. The Lab provides participants with mentorship from leading entrepreneurs and angel investors; opportunities to raise capital; advice on technology roadmaps from the Lab’s Chief Scientists; and strategy and business development insights from Rotman faculty and MBA students.

Since its inception, over 125 ventures have been accepted into the Lab of which 45 have graduated, with the ventures creating a total equity value of CDN $300 million.

Scotiabank will be the presenting sponsor of the Lab’s 2nd annual Machine Learning and the Market for Intelligence conference, taking place on October 27. The conference brings together investors with experts in various fields including computer science and economics, and focuses on business insights into future industrial applications of machine learning.

Funding will also support a summer internship program with Rotman DesignWorks, the school’s business design studio. Business Design is a human-centred approach to innovation. It applies the principles and practices of design to help organizations create new value and new forms of competitive advantage.

Additional funding will be directed to independent study projects for Rotman students within the Creative Destruction Lab, Rotman DesignWorks as well as the School’s Behavioural Economics in Action Research group.  

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