MaRS appoints new board member Allen Lau, Wattpad CEO and co-founder

MaRS appoints new board member Allen Lau, Wattpad CEO and co-founder

TORONTO, April 6, 2022 – MaRS Discovery District is pleased to announce the appointment of Allen Lau, CEO and co-founder of Wattpad, to its board of directors.

Mr. Lau will join MaRS in supporting high-growth startups and scale-ups to drive breakthrough discoveries, grow the economy and deliver meaningful impact. The board is pleased to add Mr. Lau’s deep, strategic thinking and extensive entrepreneurial experience to its ranks.

“I am thrilled to welcome Allen Lau to the MaRS board of directors,” said Yung Wu, CEO of MaRS Discovery District. “Allen is one of Canada’s great entrepreneurs and a leader in Canada’s tech community. His remarkable insights and experience as a founder and CEO will help propel MaRS in its mission to drive positive global impact as the partner of choice for entrepreneurs and the innovation community.”

“Allen’s strategic orientation and profound understanding of the startup and scaleup ecosystem makes him a welcomed addition to the MaRS board as we guide the organization in this crucial post-pandemic phase of its evolution,” said Annette Verschuren, MaRS board chair.

“I’m thrilled and humbled to join the board of MaRS,” said Allen Lau, Wattpad CEO and co-founder. “It is a privilege to be able to support a company that is helping Canada’s most promising startups grow, create jobs and solve society’s greatest challenges. I’m looking forward to working with MaRs and furthering their mission of helping innovators change the world.”

Allen Lau

As the CEO and co-founder of Toronto-based Wattpad, a global multi-platform entertainment company for original stories and leading social storytelling platform, Allen Lau leads an international team with the inspiring vision to leverage groundbreaking technology to transform how entertainment is sourced and produced while empowering diverse voices.

Under Mr. Lau’s leadership, Wattpad has grown into a community of 94 million people who have written more than a billion uploads on the platform. Thousands of Wattpad stories have been adapted for other platforms and gone on to become blockbuster movies and #1 Netflix hits, Emmy-nominated television series, and bestselling books around the world.

Mr. Lau also sits on the board of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), a cultural organization with a mission to transform the way people see the world through film. He is a member of the Canadian Council of Innovators, a lobby group that advances the interests of Canadian technology companies at all levels of government. He is also the co-founder of Two Small Fish Ventures, a fund that invests in Toronto and Waterloo-based early-stage internet companies with strong network effects.

MaRS board of directors

The board of directors provides MaRS with governance and strategic advice to steer the organization’s operations and ensure fiscal responsibility.

The MaRS board includes:

  • Annette Verschuren (chair), Chair and CEO at NRStor Inc.
  • Richard W. Ivey (vice chair), Chairman at Ivest Properties Limited
  • Allen Lau, CEO and Co-founder at Wattpad
  • Andrew Chisholm, Corporate Director at Royal Bank of Canada
  • Elyse Allan, former CEO at GE Canada and Vice President at GE
  • Elaine Campbell, Corporate Director
  • Claudette McGowan, Global Executive Officer for Cybersecurity at TD Canada
  • Derek Evans, President, CEO and Director at MEG Energy
  • Meric Gertler, President of the University of Toronto
  • Stefan Larson, Partner at Sectoral Asset Management
  • Geoffrey Matus, President of Mandukwe Inc.
  • Prashant Pathak, CEO at Ekagrata Inc.; Principal of In Colour Capital Inc.
  • Molly Shoichet, Professor at the University of Toronto
  • Martha Tory, retired Partner at Ernst & Young LLP
  • Yung Wu, CEO at MaRS

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 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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