Toronto, October 27, 2011 – Faced with unprecedented demand for space from web and mobile startups, the Information technology, Communications and Entertainment (ICE) practice at MaRS announces a new home for the most promising emerging companies, the MaRS Commons. The MaRS Commons provides both a physical space and a community that supports entrepreneurs in growing successful global businesses.
“The power of place to anchor a community and accelerate innovation is at the heart of MaRS,” said Ilse Treurnicht, CEO, MaRS Discovery District. “The MaRS Commons, which complements our existing incubator, is designed as a focal point for Toronto’s burgeoning web and mobile technology ecosystem, combining a great space with community, education, networking and mentorship.”
MaRS Commons is a unique mix of the old and the new, offering modern, open-concept workspace and Wi-Fi in a weathered brick heritage building that first opened its doors in 1913. The nearly 6,000-square-foot facility features workspace for 50 entrepreneurs, a boardroom, four meeting rooms, a kitchen and lounge areas. A carefully curated group of entrepreneurs working on promising startups will be invited to share the Commons workspace, each selected based on their uncommon ideas, uncommon talent and uncommon hustle.
While this cohort of entrepreneurs forms the core of the MaRS Commons community, other active and aspiring entrepreneurs from the broader web and mobile startup community will join them to network, learn and engage with the advisors in the Commons—the second key element of this new community. This exceptional group of more than 60 mentors, predominantly volunteers, represents the digital economy’s best and brightest minds, all providing their expertise and connections to help Canada’s entrepreneurs succeed in the global marketplace.
“I’ve been part of several startups and know how challenging it can be to work in an environment of extreme uncertainty – taking an idea and building it into a sustainable business,” said Dan Servos, COO, Locationary and a MaRS mentor. “MaRS Commons, including its community of peers and mentors, provides the proper foundation for entrepreneurs to take ‘leaps of faith’ with a greater degree of certainty, setting them up for future successes.”
Uncommon Founding Supporters Help Make MaRS Commons a Reality
A group of extraordinary founding supporters has assembled to help bring MaRS Commons to life. These organizations share MaRS’ passion for entrepreneurship and are contributing their expertise, time and resources. Founding partners include Globalive, WIND Mobile, Postmedia and the University of Toronto. Others will follow.
“We’re thrilled to get behind MaRS in the evolution of the MaRS Commons. I’ve been fortunate to have exceptional mentors and investors to help me build my business. Helping other entrepreneurs connect with ‘their own’ is a great way to increase our national competitiveness. MaRS clearly realizes no entrepreneur should feel left behind in the course of making their dream a reality.”
Anthony Lacavera, Chairman and CEO, Globalive
“Postmedia Network is proud to be a founding supporter of the MaRS Commons. We’re excited to help empower digital innovators with the tools they need to thrive and compete in this space. As a Digital First media company, it’s tremendously exciting to have a window into what’s on the horizon from the most creative minds in this country.”
Paul Godfrey, President and CEO, Postmedia Network
“The ongoing education and mentorship of young entrepreneurs is an essential ingredient to unleash Canada’s innovation potential. We are delighted to partner with MaRS on the creation of the Commons, a space and community that will be a wonderful launch pad for our entrepreneurial students and alumni.”
David Naylor, President, University of Toronto
Entrepreneurs who are interested in working in the MaRS Commons, and stakeholders interested in learning more about this exciting initiative, are invited to contact the MaRS ICE Practice.
About MaRS Commons
The MaRS Commons (Twitter: @marscommons) will be home to Toronto’s hottest technology and entertainment entrepreneurs and the MaRS information technology, communications and entertainment (ICE) practice. It offer’s advice, insight, mentorship programs, networking opportunities, co-working space, amazing speakers, market research, education programs and access to capital – all to help entrepreneurs thrive.
MaRS Discovery District (Twitter: @MaRSDD) is a large scale, mission driven innovation centre located in Toronto and networked across Ontario, focused on building Canada’s next generation of growth companies. MaRS works closely with entrepreneurs to grow and scale their ventures into global market leaders in life sciences and health care, information, communications and digital media technologies, clean tech, energy, advanced materials and manufacturing, as well as innovative social purpose business.
About WIND Mobile
WIND Mobile provides voice, text and data services to Canadians on a next-generation wireless network and is committed to offering a level of wireless service presently not available in Canada. WIND Mobile is built on actual conversations that are happening with Canadians who are passionate about wireless and creating a better mobile offering nationally.
About Globalive Holdings
Globalive Holdings is a leading provider of telecommunications solutions in Canada and internationally to the consumer, business and hospitality markets. The Globalive companies include: WIND Mobile, Yak, OneConnect, Canopco and Globalive Carrier Services.
About Postmedia Network
Postmedia Network Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (TSX: PNC.A, PNC.B), is the largest publisher by circulation of paid English-language daily newspapers in Canada, representing some of the country’s oldest and best known media brands. Reaching millions of Canadians every week, Postmedia Network engages readers and offers advertisers and marketers integrated solutions to effectively reach target audiences through a variety of print, online, digital, and mobile platforms.
For more information, contact:
Information technology, Communications and Entertainment (ICE) Practice Lead