Canada’s future economic stars: MaRS announces companies in its Momentum program

Supporting Canadian ventures building to $100 million in revenue within five years.

Today, Momentum companies earn a combined sum of $905M in revenue. If these companies grow 20 percent in the next five years, they collectively would employ nearly 15,000 people.

TORONTO July 22, 2020 — Today MaRS announced the ventures that make up its current Momentum portfolio, a multi-sector program designed to support high-growth Canadian companies on their way to reaching $100 million in revenue in the next five years.

Momentum companies operate in a range of sectors. For example, Hydrostor, GreenMantra and CarbonCure are making environmental sustainability a reality. Borrowell is advancing financial inclusion and BioConnect is helping companies keep their buildings and data secure. Meanwhile, Magnovate is developing new high-speed transit systems, and pharmaceutical firm Highland Therapeutics is improving the performance of existing medications. The companies boast rich intellectual property in many areas in tech and science — from high-definition vector mapping to educational software to energy-grid optimization.

“The companies we have selected are being built on Canadian values. They are growing in sustainable, profitable ways, solving urgent issues and creating the kind of good jobs Canada needs,” says Krista Jones, Momentum’s founding executive.

Momentum, which is funded by FedDev Ontario, helps high-potential companies grow into global powerhouses that will build jobs and intellectual property in Canada, while exporting Canadian innovations around the world.

“By making strategic investments in Canada’s top innovation hubs, we are reinforcing Canada’s position as a world leader in generating global solutions,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. “Now, more than ever, we need to help our high-potential companies to innovate, create jobs, and grow their ideas. MaRS Discovery District is using its resources and expertise to advance this vision through the Momentum program, guiding businesses so they can solve real-world issues.”

If these companies maintain a 20 percent annual growth rate for the next five years, they will add approximately 9,000 new high-paying jobs to Canada’s economy.

Canada excels in advanced manufacturing, robotics, blockchain and artificial intelligence. These were coming to the fore before COVID-19, but the pandemic is almost certain to accelerate the shift toward automation that these technologies enable. “Momentum’s focus is on these ‘deep tech’ sectors and that plays to our strengths,” said Jones. “Now, conditions are right for Canadian companies to take the next step and scale rapidly.”

Momentum by the numbers

  • 9,000: The number of new jobs Momentum companies will create by 2025 if they maintain a 20 percent growth rate over the next five years.
  • 15%: Companies in Momentum that grew their businesses to more than $10 million in annual revenue each with little or no outside investment.
  • 44%: Companies in Momentum with women in roles of senior vice president or higher.
  • 4⅕: Average GlassDoor rating of Momentum companies as of June 30, 2020.
  • $7.9 Billion: Estimated revenue of the Momentum portfolio after five years with a 20 percent annual growth rate. At that time, more than 20 companies are likely to have surpassed the $100 million annual revenue mark.
  • 100%: All 17 of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals are addressed by the business operations of companies in the Momentum portfolio.

Quotes from Momentum company founders

“Axonify is focused on growing to $100M with the aim of being another successful global technology company that was built from the ground up on Canadian soil, with largely Canadian talent that showcases why Canada is such an awesome place for innovation. Being part of the MaRS Momentum program is another example of how our ecosystem supports companies like ours in that mission.”

– Carol Leaman, CEO, Axonify

“The ever-increasing news of financial loss is clear evidence that financial professionals are struggling to cope with big data problems. MindBridge’s mission is to empower people to make informed business decisions using explainable AI to analyze vast amounts of financial data. It takes a community to achieve such a goal. Being part of the Momentum program enables MindBridge to accelerate our progress by collaborating with experienced mentors who provide strategic guidance and advice, we are grateful for that support.”

 – Eli Fathi, CEO, MindBridge

“BioConnect’s mission is to enable trust in the connected world, but trust is eroding globally. To remedy this, BioConnect intends to unify digital identity and physical access from doors and vaults to cabinets and self driving vehicles. Growing past $100M will be an important milestone in achieving our mission. The MaRS Momentum program has already helped to shape our strategy, leadership, execution, talent access and ecosystem collaborations across Toronto. The MaRS Momentum team is deeply integrated into our growth plan on a weekly and monthly basis.”

 – Rob Douglas, CEO, BioConnect

“Our mission is to organize the world’s health information so that everyone gets the best care. That doesn’t happen without the world’s healthcare experts collaborating. Think Research has expanded from a single product company with a handful of clients in Ontario to its current offering of more than 10 products in global markets. With more than 28,000 clinicians using our digital health solutions in some 2,000 healthcare facilities around the world, our made-in-Canada company is continuing to forge ahead. The more we grow, the closer we get to creating a truly global network of healthcare knowledge sharing which, as we’ve seen during the course of this pandemic, is more important now than ever when it comes to keeping people healthy.”

 – Sachin Aggarwal, CEO, Think Research


About MaRS

MaRS is North America’s largest urban innovation hub. A registered non-profit, MaRS supports high-growth startups and scale-ups tackling key issues in the health, cleantech, fintech and other sectors. In addition, MaRS convenes all members of the tech ecosystem to drive breakthrough discoveries, grow the economy and make an impact by solving real problems for real people — in Canada and around the world.

Government of Canada Support for the Scale-Up Platform

In April 2019, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau announced a FedDev Ontario contribution of $17.5 million to MaRS Discovery District. This was part of an overall $52.4-million investment to bring together Communitech, MaRS Discovery District and Invest Ottawa, enabling these top innovation hubs to implement Scale-Up Programs, including Momentum, that help innovative companies grow more quickly.

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