Information technology, communications and entertainment practice

MaRS ICE practice

The information technology, communications and entertainment (ICE) industries are rapidly changing and constantly evolving. In response, the MaRS ICE practice is also constantly iterating and growing to fulfill the needs of the startups we support.

Mentorship and advisory services are at the heart of our operations, but startups tackling the sea of opportunity in the online, mobile and deep technology space need much more than mentorship to succeed. Here are some of the newest initiatives we’ve launched to support our clients.

The MaRS Commons: Great co-working space and mentorship

The MaRS Commons is an 8,500-square-foot open-concept co-working space for select high-growth startups. It’s also home to the MaRS ICE team and the JOLT accelerator.

While it offers many amenities, the MaRS Commons is best known as a great networking hub, enabling entrepreneurs to interface with others in the startup community and with the MaRS advisors. Learn more here.

JOLT: A Global Accelerator Network–affiliated accelerator

One of the key obstacles startups face during their life cycle is acquiring the funds and education to go from beta to business. The JOLT accelerator program allows us to fill this gap in the market for online and mobile startups. For more information, check out the JOLT website.

Clusters: Who we’re working with

The ICE industries span the gamut of technology companies, and though we aim to help all ventures in this sector, we’re seeing a lot of activity in some areas in particular:

ICE company types

And here are some of the most prominent emerging technology trends:

ICE trends

We are also seeing a few distinct clusters emerging as hot spots in the ICE sector:

  • Business tools: Tools that help all businesses, from small companies to large enterprises. A great example is the Social Media and Business site.
  • Consumer: Content creation, distribution and interaction experiences for individuals. For example, the interactive showcases of some of our top innovators in Mod Media Makers 1 and Mod Media Makers 2.
  • Data and analytics: The collection, discovery and communication of meaningful data and trends. Check out the Startup Library and the Startup City map to see two great examples of this work.
  • EdTech: Technology that maximizes learning both in and outside of school. To read about opportunities for entrepreneurs in this area, read our paper, K–12 Education: Opportunities and Strategies for Ontario Entrepreneurs.
  • Financial: Tools that enhance the services of the financial industry.
  • Healthcare IT: Technology that is used to diagnose, treat and prevent disease, illness and injury.
  • Retail: Technology, platforms, and destination sites that enhance and enable the buying and selling of goods. To see some great examples of entrepreneurs who work in this area, see the Merchants of Social site.

For more information on what’s going on in these clusters, check out the corresponding thought leadership pieces above.


Our full roster of advisors has grown to include over 50 ICE experts, each with a solid general business background as well as complimentary industry and deep functional expertise (e.g., go-to-market, HR, financial, fund raising, and so on). To learn more about our advisors, please visit the MaRS Commons website. We’re always building our team to better serve our clients, so check back often to learn more about who you could be seeing next.


How we can help you

  • Business planning
  • Sales and marketing
  • Financing and funding strategy
  • Human resources
  • Financial management, accounting, tax
  • Legal and intellectual property
  • Product development and marketing
  • Operations and manufacturing
  • Customer relationship management
  • Strategic partnerships

read more

By the numbers

To see a snapshot of the ICE practice, including capital raised and new jobs created by our ventures, as well as client revenue, check out this infographic:

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