Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is announcing the launch of RBC Reach, a corporate accelerator that opens the door to a commercial deal with RBC for select post-seed to pre-series A startups. The program, which is accepting applications now, also provides companies with an initial investment and coaching to help them grow their businesses.
Startups from across Canada and around the globe are invited to apply for a spot in the first cohort of the accelerator program, which will focus on delivering solutions that go beyond banking to solve challenges faced by RBC's business clients to help them thrive.
Each company accepted into the program will receive:
- Initial investment of $100,000 CAD
- An opportunity to develop a proof-of-concept using their product or service in collaboration with RBC, which could lead to a commercial deal
- Focused accelerator programming delivered over a three-month period
- Access to RBC's innovation infrastructure and deep expertise in financial services
- Designated workspace in Toronto's financial district
RBC Reach will meet with eligible companies at Startup Fest in Montreal on July 12 and 13, as well as in various Canadian and select international cities throughout the summer months. International companies that are chosen may also be eligible for startup visa sponsorship.
To deliver the program, RBC is partnering with Highline BETA, a renowned startup and co-creation new venture company that focuses on working with enterprises to launch market-leading ventures.
"This is a unique approach to corporate accelerator programs," said Mike Dobbins, Chief Strategy & Corporate Development Officer at RBC. "Over the course of the program, the selected companies will collaborate with RBC executives, our own intrapraneurs and venture specialists from Highline BETA to address real challenges experienced by our clients. Our ambition is to create an expedited path to a commercial agreement with RBC, as well as solutions in market that could transform the way our clients do business."
At the end of the program, companies that sign an agreement with RBC will participate in additional part-time programming to drive the implementation and launch of a commercial pilot. These companies will also be eligible to receive additional investment from RBC and Highline BETA, as well as support from Highline BETA to raise future rounds of funding.
"Innovation is core to our thinking at RBC, and we continually explore new ways to deliver exceptional experiences and unparalleled value to our clients," continued Dobbins. "But our commitment to innovation goes beyond our walls. By enabling startups to commercialize their ideas and scale their operations, RBC is supporting the technology ecosystem that helps drive the future prosperity and economic success of our country."
Applications for RBC Reach are being accepted until August 31, 2018. For more information on the program, its eligibility requirements and to apply, visit rbcventures.ca/accelerator.