What our community is saying
“MaRS is playing a key role in helping Ontario reach its goal of becoming a global leader in tech innovation. By educating and coaching tomorrow’s entrepreneurs today, MaRS is fueling the creation of new businesses and industries for decades to come.” — Mary-Ellen Anderson, VP Developer Experience & Evangelism (DX), Microsoft Canada
“I was deeply impressed when I had the opportunity, during my recent state visit to Canada, to learn about MaRS and the success story of that centre of enterprise and research. It demonstrates just how much inventive potential can be unlocked by innovative structures and an open, hands-on attitude.” — Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany
“As one of the largest innovation clusters in North America, MaRS has the right structure, programs and partners to drive the adoption of next generation technologies — capturing new domestic markets and creating international opportunities for made-in-Ontario ventures.” — Perry Stoneman, Corporate VP & Global Head of Sectors & Utilities, Capgemini
“MaRS offers a great platform for entrepreneurs looking to launch and grow disruptive, global companies from Ontario.” — Michael Serbinis, CEO & Founder, LEAGUE
“MaRS was founded in 2001 by a group of entrepreneurs to support the commercialization of breakthrough discoveries and help launch and grow a new generation of Canadian companies. Today, MaRS is a global model for driving innovation and entrepreneurship.” — Richard Ivey, Chair, Ivest Properties Limited (MaRS Board of Directors)
“I’ve traveled to many urban innovation centres over the past 10 years and MaRS is both the largest and the most exciting. We thought that the digital revolution would allow us all to connect online, but what we didn’t realize is that creative people like to gather together. When people meet face-to-face, the sparks fly, ideas happen. I especially like to see it here in beautiful Toronto – how that innovation is happening in a real space. Biotech is the next great frontier and it will be a different type of innovative frontier and Toronto will be at the centre of it.” — Walter Isaacson, CEO, The Aspen Institute and Author of The Innovators
“Governments want to foster innovation by better leveraging our critical knowledge infrastructure. The MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, in which universities, hospitals, the financial sector and government agencies are located in close physical proximity, is a good example of how to do this successfully.” — Meric S. Gertler, President, University of Toronto (MaRS Board of Directors)
“Interface Biologics has been a MaRS tenant since 2005. The world class facilities, proximity to both the University of Toronto and the University Hospital Network and access to the MaRS Innovation Accelerator Fund have all been key contributors to our success.” — Tom Reeves, President & CEO, Interface Biologics, Inc.
“MaRS is fostering increased job creation, better access to investment capital and positive social and environmental impact for the people of Ontario.” — Annette Verschuren, Chair & CEO, NRStor
“As my research clearly shows, innovation is essential to solving today’s complex challenges and it’s more likely to succeed in and around hubs, where people from a diverse range of industries can meet, exchange ideas and collaborate. MaRS is critical to preparing us to meet the demands of the 21st century.” — Don Tapscott, Best Selling Author, most recently of The Digital Economy and Founder, Global Solution Networks
“We feel very fortunate to be part of the MaRS community. Our organization made a conscious decision to move into the MaRS Centre as we started to scale. To be clear, we didn’t NEED to move into MaRS, we chose to. Access to the MaRS programs and services was part of our initial rationale but it has been all of the intangibles of being in this environment that has had the largest impact on our business. Having roots at MaRS make us part of a tight community that has led to amazing client introductions, world-class technical expertise/knowledge sharing and an ability to help build an innovation hub in Canada.
“Politics aside, as a country, we should be applauding any effort to push forward a knowledge economy in Canada. MaRS is a unique place that is working on driving this change.” — Ben Zifkin, CEO, Hubba
“MaRS has been fantastic to work with. They have shown tremendous support and have provided a wealth of resources that have been integral to Bubl’s success. Whether it be mentorship, market research or MaRS’ vast network of financial and technology professionals, Bubl has been very lucky to have the opportunity to take advantage of everything MaRS has to offer and we look forward to MaRS’ continued support and the mutual success that it brings.” — Greg Ponesse, COO, Bubl Technology
“We are clients of the MaRS ICT Venture Services group. My involvement started when I was a volunteer advisor helping embryonic companies to get a foothold in the marketplace. When it came time to start my own company, the obvious choice was MaRS. The company Horizn has flourished in the MaRS space both physically and in terms of the spirit of innovation it inspires. We now operate in 15 countries and in 10 languages, with all jobs resident in Ontario.
“Here are just a few of the ways MaRS adds value to me personally and my company:
- Access to markets – Horizn sells marketing technology. On a regular basis, the MaRS network has extended our reach with introductions to key potential clients.
- Access to capital – MaRS advisors have helped us to craft our story for investors, helped us to better understand the investor landscape and introduced us through their network to venture capital. Our first funding was through the MaRS IAF fund. Without this early support we might not exist as a company today.
- MaRS to us is also a physical place. It is a building where great minds come together. A spirit of ‘anything is possible’ and the worldwide penetration is not only possible but necessary.
- MaRS has been a key selling feature, helping us to identify, attract and retain technical software and technical talent that have brought to market and continue to develop software that engages and delights our customers.
- MaRS ICT Venture Services have provided and continue to provide us with the tools we, as a startup, need. We now have strong governance, accounting and control oversight in place. We have a go-to-market strategy and, most importantly, product in market that customers want and need.
“I see no better way to develop the high-paying advanced jobs that Ontario desperately needs than what we have at MaRS and incubators like it.” — Janice Diner, Partner, CEO, Horizn
“For my team and me, the decision to have Giveffect become a client of MaRS was a natural one. MaRS provided us with valuable mentorship, facilitated introductions to new client prospects and, most importantly, helped us navigate the startup ecosystem. When I look back on how my company has grown over the year, it is indisputable that MaRS played a critical role in our continued success.” — Anisa Mirza, CEO, Giveffect
“MaRS is like a jetpack for PostBeyond. Our startup’s revenue more than tripled in the last quarter. MaRS’ advisory services helped us expand into the US market and greatly accelerated our growth. And, as a result, we are planning to hire five new employees in Toronto. All of that would be impossible without MaRS.” — Ivan Tsarynny, Co-founder, PostBeyond
“InteraXon started working with MaRS in 2008. We were a young company and their guidance and expertise was invaluable and allowed us to expand. The MaRS team saw us through our first major contract, the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. They also walked us through fundraising best practices, and supported InteraXon when we raised our seed financing and subsequent rounds. In total, we’ve raised $7.2 million with the help of MaRS. InteraXon has had the opportunity to work with extraordinarily capable, high-level MaRS advisors from the outset. To be given that level of mentorship, trust and access to business experience was phenomenal. It gave us the confidence that our business was viable.” — Ariel Garten, CEO, InteraXon
“MaRS has been a great connector for us. They have a wealth of contacts with other startups in this space, as well as with big education companies, venture capitalists that focus on this space, and education thought leaders. Over the last couple of years, MaRS has provided dozens of opportunities for us to meet with people from these various organizations, and this has been invaluable. Our last startup was a global success, with customers in 70 countries around the world. With Edsby, we’d certainly like to match, and even surpass, the success we enjoyed previously, and we think we have a good chance since it’s definitely easier the second time round!” — John Myers, CEO, CoreFour, makers of Edsby
“MaRS has been a cornerstone to supporting and building a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Ontario — they are a key player in our ecosystem. Today, Ontario is benefiting from the rise of many high-growth tech companies, like mine, and a lot of hard work has gone into building the right community, infrastructure and support networks by groups like MaRS. Our companies continue to be major contributors to job creation in the province, with a focus on knowledge-based workers that are helping our companies compete on a global scale.” — Kunal Gupta, CEO, Polar Mobile
“The MaRS ecosystem has been instrumental in catalyzing and accelerating the growth of SPARQ Systems. Since engaging with the dynamic leaders of Cleantech Venture Services just last August, SPARQ has experienced substantial growth: new capital, new markets, new product and new management, and we’re on course to triple our workforce in a little over a year.” —Randy MacEwen, CEO, SPARQ Systems
“A few years ago when we engaged with MaRS, MMB Networks consisted of three of us in my grandparents’ basement. Today, in no small part due to the programs offered by MaRS and the extremely enthusiastic support of its team, we’re a rapidly growing team of 30 men and women at the centre of the Connected Home industry, working with nearly every major player in our space and attracting strategic investment from multi-billion-dollar global companies. MaRS has been and is critical in supporting our growth — from providing access to advisors with invaluable experience, to helping us secure several million dollars in venture capital investment, to connecting us with other companies in our space with whom we’re building value together. I can’t imagine a better case for the value and importance of MaRS, and I know many others with similar stories to tell.” – Daniel Moneta, CEO, MMB Networks
“MaRS has been a valuable partner in ENBALA’s growth and emergence as a leader in real-time demand management. The people at MaRS have managed to add value in a variety of ways — by being there to help refine an investor pitch and offer timely professional development, and by making introductions to both investors and markets. And they do it while striking the right balance of involvement and support. I think of them as our unfair advantage as we compete in global markets.” — Ron Dizy, EVP, Chief Revenue Officer, ENBALA Power Networks
“Closing our first financing round is a critical milestone for Temporal Power as we prepare to install energy storage in a range of applications to demonstrate the unique capability of our breakthrough technology. MaRS has been instrumental in facilitating introductions to investors and supporting our ongoing commercialization efforts.” — Cam Carver, CEO, Temporal Power
“MaRS provided a lot of the vital support and market intelligence to help us make many important strategic decisions as our company grew. I love seeing how much Real Tech has grown over the last nine years and I cannot wait to see where we will be able to take our company, our products and our technologies in the next nine years. There will be new applications and new markets in which Real Tech can apply our solutions in order to continue with our global effort to solve some of the water quality monitoring challenges and to make water quality monitoring more attainable.” — Jodi Glover, CEO, Real Tech
“The importance of MaRS to the high-technology ecosystem in Ontario cannot be overstated. MaRS has played a central role in Morgan Solar’s growth and success through mentorship, introductions to customers and investors, and by providing a community hub where like-minded innovators can come together. Today my company employs over 50 people in Toronto, and we continue to grow. We are moving into a new expanded production facility and launching new products this year that will be manufactured in Ontario and exported. Building a successful high-technology company is an incredibly difficult thing to do. Without MaRS, I don’t know if we could have succeeded.” — John Paul Morgan, Chief Technology Officer, Morgan Solar Inc.
“When starting out, I wasn’t sure what I needed to learn or what kinds of problems I might face at different stages of building my startup, which made it impossible for me to prepare ahead. MaRS’ Venture Services boosted my self-confidence, becoming my ‘first responder’ when dealing with unknown business challenges.” — Aarash Sofla, CEO, uFluidix
“I am sitting in my office on the second floor of MaRS Centre and watching people coming and going. If I get out of this room and walk downstairs, like I do a few times a day, I will surely experience random collisions with fellow entrepreneurs, investors, advisors and frequent visitors whom I may know from previous lives. These random collisions create conversations that lead to ideas and potential opportunities.
“For me, this is the single most important benefit, among many others, to spend time here at MaRS, the largest innovation cluster in Canada. I have been a resident here for about six months and these happy collisions almost always bring me some kind of call-to-action. I have known the MaRS Centre in Toronto since it opened in 2005. Over the last five years, I had been a weekly visitor but had an epiphany about why MaRS matters so much only when I became one of its numerous tenants.
“The value of being at the centre of continuous random collisions is hard to explain unless you experience it for yourself. All I can say is better late than never! I am sure different tenants draw different benefits from being at MaRS Centre. I wanted to share mine and hope that some of you here at MaRS or in other innovation hubs in the world can relate to it.” — Mario Thomas, Ph.D. – Chief Commercialization Officer, Proteocyte Diagnostics Inc.
“The support we have received at MaRS has been instrumental in building essentials of our neurodegeneration pharma startup, which include our business plan, investor pitch, regulatory documents, clinical trial protocol, and clinical development plan. We have used all of these to enhance our reputation as we connect with prospective collaborators, partners and investors. Generally, feedback on our company has been very good and indicates that we are ‘investor-ready.’ This efficient progress reflects our extensive use of MaRS resources, including the Entrepreneur’s Toolkit, market research assistance and meetings with our advisors, as well as the interactions with other MaRS clients who are solving the same types of problems that we are.“— Katharine Sepp, CEO, Oxalys Pharmaceuticals
“MaRS has provided invaluable support to InDanio Bioscience Inc. as we drive forward toward commercializing our novel in vivo vertebrate drug discovery platform targeting nuclear receptors, and advancing our pipeline product with potential indications in steatosis and metabolic diseases. From valuable market research information, to funding opportunities, and access to potential partners and investors, MaRS has created an ecosystem critical to the success of startups such as InDanio. Congratulations to MaRS on the success of their inaugural MaRS HealthKick event ~ this was a great opportunity for ventures to access capital and potential clients; InDanio was delighted to have been invited to participate and selected as one of the winners of the CTA@ Boston award.“— Anne Cheung, CEO, InDanio Bioscience Inc.
“There is nothing more important in the business world than connections, and MaRS is all about making these connections. In less than two years, MaRS has helped me to make the connections necessary to turn my business idea into a profitable venture that is now affecting emergency department wait times all over Ontario. I could not have done this without the guidance and networks of their advisors, who truly are industry experts.“— Les Blackwell, Managing Director, MetricAid
“MaRS has been an outstanding resource for us as on a number of fronts. In particular, the guidance offered on topics such as fund-raising, investor pitches and pre-clinical development are pragmatic and typically based on practical first-hand experience. MaRS advisors facilitate access to an invaluable network of experts, allowing startups such as ScarX to leverage the collective knowledge of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.”— Stephen Whitehead, President & COO, ScarX Therapeutics
“We started our company with only a product vision in mind. The advisors at MaRS have helped us build a business around that vision. We’ve gained critical insight into sales, marketing, intellectual property, strategic partnerships and raising capital. Participation in HealthKick 2014 yielded invaluable connections that will certainly accelerate our growth.” — Richard Obuhowich, CEO, 3terra
“We are fortunate to be part of the MaRS ecosystem and grateful for their advice and mentorship as we grow our company. MaRS has offered us a wonderful opportunity to both contribute and benefit from their network of advisors, mentors and subject matter experts specifically in the Life Sciences community. They have fostered an environment that offers young companies like Profound Medical an unparalleled opportunity to network with potential investors, partners and other key contacts within our industry. They have sponsored numerous events that have provided us with opportunities to gain knowledge and tap into their network of advisors and experienced industry experts. As a winner of the 2014 MaRS HealthKick event, we were grateful to MaRS for the opportunity to pitch our company and gain visibility to the investor community, as well as to potential partners. As we gain our own knowledge and skills, we look forward to ‘giving back’ as active contributors to this unique community.” — Steve Plymale, CEO, Profound Medical Inc.