MaRS Discovery District CEO Yung Wu extending his five-year service commitment an extra year

He has helped grow the economic impact of Canada’s innovation ecosystem, stabilize MaRS’ finances and diversify its workforce.

TORONTO, April 18, 2023 – MaRS Discovery District CEO Yung Wu has announced this will be his sixth and final year with the organization. He has agreed with the MaRS Board of Directors to extend his original five-year service commitment to the organization to support an orderly transition to the next CEO by the end of 2023.

Since joining in 2017, Yung has put North America’s largest innovation hub on a path to sustainability by streamlining its programs for Canadian startups looking to scale and commercialize and diversifying the non-profit’s revenue sources.

“Leading MaRS has been the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Wu. “MaRS-supported ventures contributed more than $20 billion in GDP and the entire community has registered a compound growth rate of more than 20 percent, which is 10 times Canada’s GDP productivity growth. It’s humbling to support and collaborate with that kind of talent.”

Yung’s accomplishments include launching the flagship Momentum scale-up program and the Mission from MaRS climate impact program, as well as the creation of a new pan-Canadian biotech accelerator, launch of Graphite Ventures — a $100-million private sector venture capital fund anchored by investments from MaRS, institutional investors and successful founders supported by MaRS, and the opening of MaRS Waterfront in partnership with the University of Toronto.

“MaRS has a unified vision, mission and strategy thanks to Yung and is now poised to grow its provincial and national impact,” said Annette Verschuren, Chair of the MaRS Board of Directors. “Under his leadership, MaRS modernized its venture services offerings and tripled our net promoter score within the startup community.”

The MaRS Board has initiated a wide-ranging search for the next CEO. Wu will continue to lead MaRS through this transition period and the senior leadership team will step up to ensure continuity through to the new CEO.

“MaRS is an organization people want to join, to be part of our mission and make an impact,” said Claudette McGowan, MaRS Board Member and leader of the CEO transition committee. “We’ve had remarkable CEOs in the past and we are committed to finding another exceptional individual who will lead the next phase of MaRS’ growth.”

The MaRS board and senior leadership team look forward to celebrating Wu’s contributions with all the MaRSians and the wider innovation ecosystem in the months ahead.

About Yung Wu

Yung Wu has been CEO of the MaRS Discovery District since November 2017.

As a serial entrepreneur and investor, Yung has built breakthrough scale-stage companies in enterprise software, mobile analytics and big data, media and entertainment, technology services and biotech. He is a co-founder of two not-for-profit organizations, the Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism (CILAR) and DifferentIsCool (DiSC). He currently serves on the boards of OMERS, the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Antibe Therapeutics Inc. (TSX: ATE) and is a member of Green Shield Canada. He is a Governor in Council appointee to Canada’s Net-Zero Advisory Body.

He has been recognized as one of Canada’s “Top 40 under 40” and for leading one of Canada’s “50 Best Managed Private Companies” in the nation. Wu has a B.Sc. Computer Science, Economics and Mathematics from the University of Toronto and is a graduate of the Entrepreneurial Master’s Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the NACD Cybersecurity Oversight Certification Program at Carnegie Mellon University, a member of MENSA, the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D).

About MaRS Discovery District

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 and digital sectors. In addition, MaRS convenes 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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