OneEleven, a Toronto-based technology incubator, announced on Wednesday it has officially ceased operations due to COVID-19’s economic impacts.
Established in 2013, OneEleven describes itself as home to a community of high-performing technology scaleups, with global locations that provide unparalleled access to peer networks, investment capital, and on-demand services/strategic supporter.
“ Our highly curated community share their expertise, networks, and resources while we facilitate meaningful connections. OneEleven’s set of services target the most pressing challenges of scaling a business and are delivered in an affordable, monthly subscription. And finally, we bring a variety of sources of investment capital and funding partners to our members so that they are able to optimize their cost of capital and minimize dilution.”
While explaining the reasoning for the shutdown, OneEleven reported over the past few weeks its team has watched the “landscape” around them change dramatically. The organization noted that after observing the devastating that COVID-19 did to the economy, it immediately provided two months of rent abatement to its members for April and May, ensuring that they had some runway to access new government support programs and assess their own strategies without major layoffs.
OneEleven also introduced remote programming, expert support, and resource centers to make sure its members were able to have access to advice, programs, and leadership models that could help them and their teams’ pivot.
“We advocated on their behalf to all levels of government, including calling for Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance along with expedited SR&ED payments and other changes to existing and new support programs, rolled out as quickly as possibly by government partners that we know are committed to our country’s ongoing competitiveness in technology.”
Unfortunately, OneEleven did not receive government funding and its membership and partnership fees represent its entire operating budget. As a result, the difficult decision was made to permanently cease operations of OneEleven. The incubator did note that this does not mean the doors of 325 Front Street are closing.
“Our member companies will continue to have access to their workspaces. Their offices and desks are safe, secure and well cared for as they have been throughout this work from home mandate, thanks to the efforts of our team and our Oxford partners. After May 31, OneEleven member companies will have the option to remain in the space, under new contractual arrangements with Oxford.”
OneEleven went on to add:
“We have helped to grow and develop some of the brightest lights in Toronto’s home-grown technology sector, including all of our current members and an alumni group that includes Wealthsimple, Borrowell, Maple, and Koho. We are incredibly proud of them and the work we have done with the support of so many, including our invaluable corporate partners and ecosystem allies.”