NEO Announces Collaborative Partnership With OCAD University

Endowment fund and commissioning program launched in support of innovation and disruption

NEO, a bold and disruptive capital markets fintech firm, is excited to announce the official launch of a collaborative partnership with OCAD University (“OCAD U”), Canada’s oldest, largest, and most comprehensive university of art, design, and media.

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Digital Market Open & Artwork Unveiling Event in celebration of NEO’s collaboration with OCAD University (Photo: Business Wire)

In an effort to support and foster innovation, NEO has established a $25,000 endowment fund with OCAD U for the NEO Award for Disruptive Design. The award, to be granted annually, provides tuition assistance to fourth-year students enrolled in the Industrial Design program who embody NEO’s foundational values of challenging the status quo, driving profound change, and making a positive social impact.

“Despite the vastly different industries in which we operate, NEO and OCAD U are actually very much alike,” noted Jos Schmitt, President & CEO of NEO. “We share a passion for innovation, for doing things differently, for being change-makers and champions of disruption in our respective spaces. And as a long-time enthusiast and patron of the arts, our new partnership with OCAD U is especially meaningful to me.”

Today also marked the public debut of NEO’s Commissioning Program in collaboration with OCAD U, to commemorate new listings on the NEO Exchange. “When a company or exchange-traded fund launches on NEO, it is a momentous occasion for all of us,” explained Schmitt. “Most stock exchanges gift their new issuers with a traditional plaque to commemorate the listing. But NEO has always done things differently. We wanted to celebrate these milestones with our clients by doing something truly special.” To that end, NEO has selected a roster of five emerging artists – either recent grads or current students – from OCAD U, who have been commissioned to create custom-made works of art for new issuers on the NEO Exchange. “It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” continued Schmitt. “We are supporting our talented arts community while giving our clients a unique, one-of-a kind gift to add to their corporate collections.”

Following a thorough application and interview process, these five artists were selected for the inaugural year of NEO’s Commissioning Program with OCAD U:

  • Mac Lenters, a visual artist and recent graduate from OCAD U

  • Justyna Werbel, a visual artist, curator, and graduate student at OCAD U

  • Gillian Toliver, a multidisciplinary artist and recent graduate from OCAD U

  • Jinke Wang, a freelance illustrator, mural artist, and recent graduate from OCAD U

  • Elise Conlin, a freelance illustrator, mural artist, and current student at OCAD U

Additional artists will be brought into the NEO Commissioning Program each successive year.

“We are thrilled to be working with NEO on this exciting collaboration,” commented Ana Serrano, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University. “As a university of emerging artists, designers, makers, creators and innovators, we value partnerships like the one with NEO Exchange because we want to give our students opportunities that will showcase their talent and support them as they embark on their chosen career. We are also very grateful to NEO for establishing a $25,000 endowment fund for the NEO Award for Disruptive Design.”

About NEO Exchange

NEO is a group of established fintech companies that provide capital markets infrastructure designed for and led by the industry. NEO’s competitive drive, innovation, and advocacy enable change for the better. The NEO Exchange is a progressive stock exchange that brings together investors and capital raisers within a fair, efficient, and service-oriented environment; and DealSquare, powered by NEO technology, is a platform that enables the distribution of financial assets not listed on a stock exchange in a way that reduces costs, minimizes operational risks, and improves the investor experience.

Connect with NEO: Website | LinkedIn | Twitter

About OCAD University

OCAD University is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” The university, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art, design and digital media education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies.

Connect with OCAD: Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Adam Bornstein
E: [email protected]
P: 905.505.2540

OCAD University
Natalie Pavlenko
E: [email protected]

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