Ryerson’s Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) has announced a partnership between campus incubator The Music Den and one of the world’s biggest record labels, Universal Music Group (UMG).

The Music Den, located in the Transmedia Zone, is Ryerson’s free incubator offering assistance to entrepreneurs and innovators with an interest in the music industry. With UMG now in the fold, The Den will become the first Canadian destination for their international Accelerator Engagement Network.

Ramona Pringle, director of the Transmedia Zone, said she is excited about the partnership.

“We see on a daily basis how much innovative, creative talent there is right here in Toronto and we are thrilled to help discover and nurture the best of what Canada has to offer.”

Through the network, UMG aims to support more music-focused business ventures. The company plans to do so by providing expert mentorship and industry insights and connections.

In a press release, Tuhin Roy, UMG senior vice-president of new digital business and innovation, said the company is “looking forward to engaging with the Toronto and larger Canadian startup ecosystem to foster the next generation of music-related startups.”

“Canada is bursting with talent — this partnership is a natural extension of our laser focus on innovation,” added Jeffrey Remedios, president and chief executive officer of Universal Music Canada, and co-founder of prominent Toronto indie record label, Arts & Crafts.

Charles Falzon, dean of FCAD, is similarly excited, noting that “tech startups are the new rock stars, and the next revolutionary music technology is being developed right here.”

The partnership adds Toronto to a global network of similar programs UMG has installed in Berlin, Belgium, New York City, South Korea, and China.

Max Asper is a Toronto journalist and social media editor, with an interest in pop-culture, film, T.V., and music. Outside of journalism, Max works as an artist manager and publicist.

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