CIBC contributes to MaRS in support of entrepreneurial education

Toronto, October 31, 2007 – MaRS today announced that CIBC is making a contribution of up to $500,000 and will be recognized as the presenting donor of its flagship skill-building program, Entrepreneurship 101.

“CIBC presents Entrepreneurship 101” is a free non-credit course introducing members of the research community to issues involved in starting and growing a technology-based business. It is aimed at graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, faculty, technicians and young entrepreneurs active in physical or life sciences and engineering.

With the first of its weekly lectures to be delivered tonight in the MaRS Centre auditorium – and offered via webcast to other centres in Ontario – the series explores a range of topics including financing, defining markets, hiring teams and protecting intellectual property. No prior knowledge of business is required.

“Entrepreneurship 101 isn’t designed to compete with business schools.  Instead, it provides academic researchers with a clear look at the elements that go into building a successful company from the ground up,” said course coordinator Dr. Tony Redpath, a physical chemist, who has been both an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, now serving as an advisor to MaRS’ Venture Group.

“It’s experiential, hands-on learning delivered by people who have been there in the marketplace as entrepreneurs and business leaders.”

The demand for this type of programming is clearly on the rise. Entrepreneurship 101 began three years ago with a target of 50 participants and has grown to more than 400 students enrolled this year.

“Entrepreneurship 101 at MaRS offers an important set of tools for the education and development of entrepreneurial skills for young people in science,” said Gerry McCaughey, President and Chief Executive Officer of CIBC. “This contribution is aligned with our strategic community investment focus on youth, education and health,”

CIBC’s contribution of up to $500,000 underscores the value of MaRS’ flagship educational program. “MaRS is delighted and truly grateful that CIBC will present Entrepreneurship 101,” said CEO Dr. Ilse Treurnicht. “It is a key component of our programming and a crucial piece of the commercialization puzzle for aspiring entrepreneurs. CIBC’s donation to MaRS reflects their understanding of the importance of fostering this culture of entrepreneurship.”

Located at the gateway to Toronto’s Discovery District, MaRS is a non-profit organization with a mission to create successful global businesses from Canada’s science and technology.

CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to its clients, employees and communities. We aim to make a difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. With a strategic focus on youth, education and health, and employee commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the CIBC World Markets Children’s Foundation and the United Way, CIBC is investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2006, the CIBC group of companies contributed more than $36 million globally to charitable organizations and non-profit initiatives. At the end of fiscal 2006, CIBC’s multi-year commitments to universities and colleges across Canada totalled $20 million. Of this, more than $6 million was directed to bursaries and scholarships to enable students to pursue post-secondary education.

More Information on The MaRS Website

About MaRS
MaRS Discovery District ( is a large scale, mission driven innovation centre located in Toronto and networked across Ontario, focused on building Canada’s next generation of technology 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, cleantech, advanced materials and engineering, as well as innovative social purpose business.

For more information, contact:
Linda Quattrin
Director Communications
MaRS Discovery District