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Social innovation at MaRS

Social Innovation

Social innovation has always been integral to the MaRS mission.

Originally treated as a separate practice (SiG@MaRS) — along with life sciences and healthcare; information technology, communications and entertainment (ICE); and cleantech — social innovation has since been recognized as an overarching area of focus at MaRS, given the growing number of MaRS ventures across all practice areas that identify a social purpose.

If you are seeking advisory services within one of our practice areas (including education ventures, which lie within the MaRS ICE practice) and feel that an additional consultation with a member of our social innovation team would help advance your social mission, we encourage you to discuss this with your intake advisor.

Social innovation programs at MaRS

Social innovation programs at MaRS consist of several components:

  • Advice: We provide advice to MaRS ventures in each of the practice areas (life sciences and healthcare; cleantech and physical sciences; and IT, communications and entertainment) through both an economic and social impact lens. For details on becoming a MaRS venture, see our Discovery Document.
  • Social finance support: We provide support for social finance initiatives through the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing.
  • Ecosystem development: We help create an enabling environment for social ventures to succeed.
  • Support for social entrepreneurs: We are part of the Social Innovation Generation (SiG) national collaborative, which advances new approaches to addressing persistent social challenges on a national level. The members include SiG West, based in Vancouver; SiG@McConnell, based at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation; and SiG@Waterloo, based at the University of Waterloo. We operate the SiG@MaRS node, which focuses on support for social entrepreneurs.

Social ventures: Connect with capital

MaRS can also connect ventures that have a demonstrable social and/or environmental impact to possible financing through SVX, a platform that connects registered impact ventures with accredited investors. Note that in order to qualify, ventures must satisfy a full list of requirements. For example, they must have been incorporated in Ontario for at least two years and have annual revenues greater than $50,000 but less that $25 million. For full details and a complete list of requirements, please see www.svx.ca.

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

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By the numbers

To see a snapshot of the social innovation practice, including capital raised and new jobs created by our clients, as well as client revenue, check out this infographic created by MaRS client Venngage:

Click this image to see more about the social innovation practice at MaRS

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