Tangerine creates new tech incubator

The bank has teamed up with Ryerson University on a new space for fintech startups.

Tangerine has forged a new partnership with Ryerson University, launching a new “Thinkubator” space for Canadian startups.

Located in Tangerine’s café in downtown Toronto (close to Ryerson’s campus), the incubator will house a variety of fintech-focused startups, offering them a workspace and mentorship from the bank and through other partnerships, including the Incubate Innovate Network of Canada (I-INC), funded in part by the Canadian government’s Canada Accelerator Incubator Program.

Among the current companies participating in the incubator are Digital Retail Apps, whose SelfPay offering allows customers to scan and pay for items using their smartphones, and Curexe, a web app for international payment and currency exchange for small businesses. Two job search-focused platforms, WhoPlusYou and CareerJSM are also housed in the incubator.

In 2010, Ryerson launched its DMZ (Digital Media Zone) program and has since been ranked among the top incubators in North America.

For its part, Tangerine’s hope is to be able to be the first to test some of the new innovations coming out of the Thinkubator program, says Brenda Rideout, chief strategy officer at Tangerine.

The Thinkubator launch comes as many of the major financial institutions in Canada are investing in new digital capabilities to stay competitive against new, often primarily mobile-focused, banking entrants. Last year, Tangerine also joined the Financial Technology cluster at MaRS, which helps connect the financial services industry to startups. CIBC is also part of the Fintech cluster, along with American Express, Interac and PayPal, among others.

Last fall, Scotiabank (which acquired Tangerine in 2012) also announced a new technology hub, which it calls its “Digital Factory.”