For those who want to follow along:

With acknowledgement, and sincere apologies to Clement Clarke Moore.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all throughout MaRS
Not a creature was stirring, not even cranes lifting rebar.
Entrepreneurs’ stockings were hung in MaRS Commons with care,
In hopes that their mentors soon would be there.

The entrepreneurs were nestled all snug in their bedsheets,
While visions of exits danced in their spreadsheets.
And Ilse in her ‘kerchief, and Papa Smurf in his cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the roof there arose a small clatter,
Every entrepreneur in the building sprang to see what’s the matter.
Away to the Commons patio they flew in a flash,
And looked up on the roof – and stood all aghast.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of promise to the onlookers below.
When, what to their wondering eyes should arise,
But a miniature sleigh – but one empty of prizes.

With a little old driver, rather sad and bad karmic,
They knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
But puzzled they were, o’er his sad demeanour,
More so even o’er his sack, with contents so meager.

Wearily down the MaRS chimney Santa slid,
Coming to rest ‘mongst the entrepreneurs with a skid.
“But Santa,” they cried, “whatever’s the matter?
No ‘Ho Ho Ho,’ only two reindeer and no real clatter!”

“Ah,” sighed Santa, “‘tis a sad tale of woe.
The North Pole’s not immune to recession, you know.
I’ve laid off most elves, and let six reindeer go.
I even fired Rudolph – he’s in a real stew, don’t you know.

My lead elf, Ginny, is just wringing her hands.
Who out there can help us before Christmas disbands?”
“But Santa,” someone said, “what about your biz plan?
Surely your strategy can handle this jam?”

“Biz plan?” puzzled Santa. “Whatever is that?
I just ‘ho ho hoed!’ I had it down pat.”
“Aha!” cried Krista. “You’re in just the right place!
We’ll soon get you back in this Christmas Eve race.

First you need a mentor – only the top dog will do.
Bring on the Donald – our strategy guru.
He’ll build you a team of the finest advisors,
ICEy, Clean and Green, and Healthy providers.

Now, where’s Usha? And, for rhyming, where’s June?
That team’ll put your market intel over top of the moon.
You’ll know all the hot toys, the hot games, the hot books.
You’ll know the hot e-gadgets – and not the Playbooks.

Now, don’t worry that your elves are all too distant to learn.
Our Android app Entrepreneur’s Toolkit will address that concern.
With Keri’s team to coach them on all aspects of business,
In no time flat those elves will know all they need to refloat Christmas.

Now, of course you’ll need funding  – say, a project to start.
Bring on Amie and Amrutha with a fair, balanced panel
To score your app highly – ‘gainst all others, set apart.
Perhaps an Embedded Executive to guide Santa’s role?

Now, let’s all pause to think who we’d like to send to the North Pole…
Some equity backing from MaRS Angels is no dream.
Backed up by $500K from the ace IAF team.
Now let’s face it, Santa, your image is starting to slip.

Those shoes, the velour jacket and that beard most of all –
You need a video makeover so you’ll look much more hip.
Claude’s team will start with an old fashioned boob.
When they’re done with you, it’s to the top of YouTube.

To maintain this cool image, this man we’ll adore,
You will, of course, need to become a registered B Corp.
Ahh, Joyce is right handy, she has no real objection.
If Santa ain’t social venture, then ain’t no one got traction.”

Now, all remaining MaRSians were hardly left idle.
Their task was the most important of all in this whole fable.
They collected metrics, of course, of all sorts and diverse functions
To prove once and for all the great worth of our actions!

And since MaRS works magic, this all took place in a flash,
And the sleigh became instantly a wonderful toy-filled cache.
At the top of the pile were the best gifts of all –
Real chemistry sets, with real chemicals the kids to enthrall.

Santa smiled as he viewed the passing streetcars.
“Yes, Virginia,” he said, “there indeed is a MaRS.”
Then he laid his finger aside of his nose,
And bid adieu to all gathered and up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh and St. Nick gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard them exclaim, ‘ere they drove out of sight,

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

 

Tony Redpath

Tony Redpath mentored entrepreneurs at MaRS, with a particular emphasis on environmental, advanced materials and manufacturing markets. His primary role was to ensure that MaRS has the right programs in place to help companies take their ideas to market and that these programs are working together. See more…