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Oct 31, 2016
Further Support for Innovation from the Ontario Securities Commission
Last week, we covered the Ontario Securities Commission's announcement of the OSC LaunchPad initiative, a new resource designed to help FinTech startups and growth companies navigate securities regulation and accelerate their path to market.
This isn't the only way that the OSC has shown its support for the sector. A recent decision from the Commission granted interim relief from certain registration and filing requirements to AngelList, a well-known funding platform that connects investors and growth companies. The decision allows AngelList the opportunity to pilot its model in Canada under OSC supervision, without dealing with the compliance costs and red-tape slowdowns that would otherwise have deterred AngelList from serving the Canadian startup community.
As a result of this decision, eligible investors (i.e. investors who are accredited investors under Ontario securities law and who also meet AngelList's own screening requirements) are able to use AngelList syndicates to invest in startups. At the moment, only startups associated with the Creative Destruction Lab and NEXT Canada incubators are eligible under this framework - however, another decision regarding non-Canadian and/or non-incubator startups is expected soon.
Clearly, the OSC has placed a focus on regulatory flexibility to support innovation, both within and outside the FinTech sector. The annual OSC Dialogue event is further proof. This year's Dialogue (happening in Toronto on November 2nd) brings leaders from major North American funds, regulatory bodies, and young companies together to discuss the implications of blockchain technology, equity crowdfunding, and other FinTech initiatives on the future of the capital markets.
The ultimate question for the OSC is how to ensure that growing companies are given the regulatory flexibility they need to innovate quickly while still protecting the interests of investors. StartupSource will keep you updated on the OSC's response.