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Home Concierge introduces Exclusive Errand Service April 17, 2020

In response to the effects of the increased lockdown measures, Home Concierge has launched their Personal Shopper Member service for a limited time. It is a simple, safe and reliable delivery service for items such as groceries, prescriptions, pet supplies, newspapers, mail delivery, hobby items or alcohol. Booking deliveries directly through this method avoids the two-plus week delays now being experienced through backlogged essential business, seen at grocery and pharmacy stores across the country.

Of course, members of Home Concierge already receive the full benefits of errand services as part of their membership. For prospective family members who may only need help with errands or for those looking to understand more about Home Concierge, the Personal Shopper Member service may be perfect.

For more information on the initiative and how exactly the process works, visit their Home Concierge website and schedule a call/request a free estimate.

Bryan Marcovici joins virtual TechTO to discuss trends in innovation and technology April 7, 2020

Earlier this week, our very own Bryan Marcovici joined Jared Gordon from Faculty of Change over lunch as part of a virtual TechTO series. In an action-packed 30 minutes, Bryan discussed what we are doing at Koru and the challenges / opportunities with scaling innovation, especially amidst COVID-19. Koru is super excited to be a part of this vibrant and tight-knit tech community.

Visit techto.org to find out more about what the tech community is up to.

Nesrin Elsawi joins Koru as Partner and Chief Operating Officer February 1, 2020

Koru is excited to welcome Nesrin Elsawi as Partner and Chief Operating Officer. Nesrin is a world citizen who’s passionate about building happy teams and game-changing businesses. She joins us from BCG Digital Ventures Berlin / New York, where she has served in multiple Senior Executive and General Management roles and successfully launched multiple businesses.

Previous roles include Chief Product Officer/Chief Technology Officer at Outfittery, where Nesrin built a team of 35+ and was successful in raising $23M USD with the team. She helped the company win two EU-digital technology awards and achieve its first profitable quarter. She has also held executive roles at Reed-Elsevier and other start-ups acquired by MakeMyTrip and Trimble spanning several industries, including: healthcare, travel, fashion, research management, construction, insurance and more.

Nesrin combines expertise in B2C and B2B businesses, 0 to 1 builds, scale-ups, and large corporates as well as privately-held and public entities in both Europe & North America.

Nesrin has a B.S. in Computer Science, B.A. in Psychology and an MBA. She’s fluent in multiple languages.

Garrick Tiplady, managing director of Facebook and Instagram Canada, named inaugural board chair of Koru February 18, 2020

TORONTO – Koru, the venture foundry launched by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’), is pleased to announce the appointment of accomplished technology executive Garrick Tiplady as its board chair, effective immediately.

Headquartered in Toronto, Koru works together with the pension plan’s portfolio companies to create, test and build scalable new digital businesses. Koru is a partnership with BCG Digital Ventures – the global corporate venture, investment and incubation arm of Boston Consulting Group – to foster innovation and leverage a competitive advantage for Ontario Teachers’ portfolio companies. Koru’s multi-disciplinary team has already begun to unlock value across sectors including healthcare, utilities and transportation.

“Koru’s approach to incubating and growing digital businesses for companies in Ontario Teacher’ investment portfolio, highlights the immense opportunity unlocked by technology for businesses and more broadly, Canadians,” said Mr. Tiplady. “I’m thrilled to join Koru’s board of directors and work alongside Ontario Teachers’ and BCG Digital Ventures in support of Canada’s innovation ecosystem.”

Mr. Tiplady has more than 20 years of experience managing and advising businesses globally and has deep expertise in the digital and new venture space. He is currently the Managing Director of Facebook and Instagram Canada and serves on the boards of ThePowerPlant and Right to Play International, in addition to Koru. He was previously the CEO of Vemba, an enterprise management platform for premium video distribution, and held several senior executive roles at Rogers Communications.

“As a leader in the tech industry, Garrick brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the board,” said Bryan Marcovici, General Manager and Managing Partner of Koru. “I look forward to working with him as we grow and launch some exciting new ventures in 2020 and beyond.”

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and BCG Digital Ventures Tackle Technological Disruption with New Venture Incubator Koru October 2, 2019

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is launching a venture incubator with a twist – it’s focused exclusively on building novel ideas with the companies in its own portfolio. Koru is designed to create, test and build scalable new digital businesses.

“Koru is a clear demonstration of Ontario Teachers’ partnership model of investing. It provides us with an entirely new way to work alongside our portfolio companies and help protect them against disruption by finding opportunities to add significant mutual value along the way,” said Ziad Hindo, Chief Investment Officer, Ontario Teachers’.

Koru is already generating ideas in sectors including healthcare, utilities and transportation.

Its first venture, Elovee, has the ability to bring the comfort of a familiar face and voice to dementia sufferers in the middle of the night, or at other times when those closest to them cannot be physically present.

This advanced conversation software, which digitizes the voice and likeness of family members, was designed with Ontario Teachers’ portfolio company Amica Senior Lifestyles. It is currently being piloted in two of Amica’s Canadian locations.

“Amica is proud to be working with Koru on Elovee,” said Douglas MacLatchy, Chief Executive Officer, Amica Senior Lifestyles. “Drawing on innovative technologies and Amica’s in-house expertise in cognitive-wellbeing, this venture is well positioned to enrich the lives of people with dementia and their loved ones.”

Wholly-owned by Ontario Teachers’, Koru is a partnership with BCG Digital Ventures - the global corporate venture, investment, and incubation arm of Boston Consulting Group.

“Our collaboration with Ontario Teachers’ is inspiring because we are able to draw upon our unique methodology for corporate innovation and experience in launching more than 90 ventures to help them create this new capability for venture building. The potential it has for igniting innovation in—and accelerating the growth of—its portfolio companies is very exciting,” said Anthony Koithra, Managing Director and Partner, BCG Digital Ventures.

To spearhead operationalizing Koru, Bryan Marcovici, BCG Digital Ventures’ Venture Architect Director, will officially join Koru as the incubator’s General Manager and Managing Partner.

“We are pleased to have Bryan on board, with his expertise including the industry know-how he has built during his time at BCG Digital Ventures” added Mr. Hindo.

Koru is headquartered in Toronto and plans to hire 35 people. It is currently recruiting a multi-disciplinary team of entrepreneurs, product managers, engineers, marketers, designers, and startup operators. The venture incubator already has three new ventures in the pipeline this year, with plans to launch four more in 2020.

Welcome, Bryan! October 2, 2019

We are excited to welcome Bryan Marcovici as Koru’s General Manager & Managing Director! Bryan Marcovici is a highly accomplished Venture Architect Director and seasoned entrepreneur with a deep background driving strategic and operational excellence across both the startup and corporate landscapes. He has extensive, first-hand experience building and scaling disruptive digital businesses, taking them from ideation to operationalization with velocity and precision.

As GM and Managing Partner of Koru, Bryan is responsible for building and managing the incubator’s overall processes and approach. He is also responsible for putting the teams in place that will identify disruptive opportunities for Ontario Teachers’ portfolio companies, incubate, and commercialize them, creating massive value and return in the process.

Prior to joining Koru, Bryan served as a Venture Architect Director and Venture GM at BCG Digital Ventures (BCGDV), where he focused on the healthcare and consumer spaces. Before BCGDV, Bryan founded and led IMAXShift, a fitness entertainment platform which employed a unique, location-based use of IMAX technology. He has also worked in the investment management space leading large-scale business transformations, and as a consultant where he served as a trusted advisor helping drive strategic change across organizations.