MaRS and RBC Tech for Nature launch RBC Women in Cleantech Accelerator to advance women-led clean technology ventures

New accelerator seeking women entrepreneurs from across Canada to transform breakthrough ideas into market-ready clean technology products.

TORONTO, April 22, 2021 – MaRS today announced the RBC Women in Cleantech Accelerator, powered by MaRS and supported by RBC Tech for Nature. The new program aims to help Canadian women advance their clean technology ideas into market-ready clean technology products with the potential for global impact.

The one-year accelerator will provide 10 women entrepreneurs with targeted advisory support, access to investor and mentor networks and the opportunity to participate in events held by MaRS and its ecosystem partners. Through the support of Natural Resources Canada, women recruited for the accelerator will also have the opportunity to work with federal research labs to accelerate their R&D activities.

Building on the success of the MaRS Women in Cleantech Challenge, launched in 2018 with Natural Resources Canada, the accelerator will focus on supporting women entrepreneurs from across Canada with an emphasis on those from under-represented communities.

“Although the number of women in cleantech is increasing, we have a long way to go,” said Jane Kearns, vice-president, Growth Services, MaRS. “Solving the world’s toughest environmental challenges won’t happen unless all innovators are given a chance. The RBC Women in Cleantech Accelerator will focus on scaling breakthrough ideas while building on the diversity of ideas, perspectives and experiences within Canada’s cleantech ecosystem.”

According to a 2018 federal strategy paper, greater participation by women, people of colour and Indigenous people is critical to accelerate the development of the cleantech sector in Canada. While the number of Canadian cleantech companies with at least one woman founding partner is slowly increasing, it is still low.

“Boosting the number of women in Canada’s cleantech space is critical,” said Valerie Chort, vice-president, Corporate Citizenship & Sustainability, RBC. “To accelerate this sector, we need greater participation by women innovators who are ready to scale their business into world-leading solutions. We are proud to support the accelerator through RBC Tech for Nature to help build the sustainable, inclusive future we all want to see.”

MaRS is seeking applications from ventures focused on the creation of intellectual property and new products that generate, protect and/or more efficiently use land, energy, water and natural resources while improving economic performance and reducing the environmental footprint.

Applications will be accepted from April 22, 2021 to June 11, 2021 at midnight (EDT) and the cohort will be announced in September 2021.

For more information and to apply, visit:


About MaRS

MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) 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.


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