Ontario is pumping $50-million into a new venture capital fund to finance new and innovative ideas.
The federal government will match the provincial contribution, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Tuesday, with an additional $200-million coming from the private sector. She pitched the move as a job-creation program, designed to stimulate the knowledge economy and attract start-up companies to the province.
“Companies, if they can’t get access to capital here in Ontario, they will go somewhere else,” she said, after touring a company that incubates startups in Toronto’s trendy Queen Street West area. “We want the best ideas and the most innovative companies to stay right here in Ontario.”
Ms. Wynne said the plan is a partnership between the public and private sectors, with the government priming the pump to help create jobs. “I think it’s important, when we’re growing the economy, to know the government creates the conditions. We work with the private sector, we create the fertile ground, and that’s where the growth happens.”
The new fund is in addition to an existing pool of money, created in 2007.
Research and Innovation Minister Reza Moridi said the existing fund has attracted $750-million in private investment, generated $3.6-billion worth of economic activity, and created 50,000 jobs.