Great-West Life supports startups in academia venture

Insurer Great-West Life Assurance Company is investing $300,000 over three years in Univ of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – Toronto, a seed-stage program located in the university’s Rotman School of Management. The nine-month program helps technology startups to scale up by providing  entrepreneurs with mentorship, development support and guidance in looking for capital from venture capital firms. There are currently more than 100 companies in CDL-Toronto this year, and they recently had intensive sessions where they met with mentors, investors, corporate sponsors and successful entrepreneurs. Great-West Life’s parent firm, Great-West Lifeco, has interests in a joint venture investment in Portag3 Venture, which supports promising fintech companies in Canada and beyond. CDL-Toronto’s graduating ventures last year raised more than $46 million. Other CDLs are located in British Columbia, Calgary, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and a new one is scheduled to open in New York this year.