MaRS Discovery District spins out SVX and Talent Development
Toronto, March 28, 2019 –MaRS Discovery District is spinning out two programs that were incubated at the hub and have built mature offerings that allow them to operate independently.
Founded in 2007, SVX is a financial services firm that designs strategies, manages products, and raises capital for impact ventures, funds, organizations, and investors. Since 2017, SVX has achieved significant milestones from helping issuers raise over $40 million, to establishing new impact investing funds like the VERGE Breakthrough Fund, to expanding operations across North America.
MaRS Talent Development program, which aims to grow Canada’s pipeline of diverse tech workers, has built its capacity to provide a rich selection of courses and events and are pursuing broad opportunities beyond the MaRS mandate.
This announcement marks a new milestone for MaRS which has been nurturing and graduating innovative programming and ideas, as well as supporting over 1,200 startups through its advisory services.
“When MaRS programs are able to operate independently, we’ve done our job,” said Yung Wu, CEO of MaRS. “Our mission is to incubate companies and programs until they reach critical mass and then step back so they can pursue other growth opportunities.”
SVX, which has been incubated at MaRS since 2010, was incorporated as a non-profit under the MaRS umbrella and has now reached a natural stage of evolution to be a fully independent organization, while continuing to expand and scale its impact across the continent. The growth of SVX coincides with the exponential growth of social impact investing in Canada and abroad, and it is well-positioned to play an ongoing leadership role in the industry.
“SVX was incubated at MaRS in 2010 as an innovative idea that could start and scale with the right advice, talent, and capital,” said Adam Spence, Founder and Director of SVX. “Today, we are a recognized leader in the thriving impacting investing sector with a platform, products, and partners across Canada and North America, and we’re well-positioned to continue to scale our impact.”
Toronto’s tech sector is the fourth largest in North America, and the fastest growing. As a result, the demands for Talent Development – which has been tasked with upskilling and building a pipeline of diverse and qualified talent – have increased exponentially. Operating as an independent organization – though still in partnership with MaRS – the move will enable the Talent Development team to respond in an agile manner to the rapid changes of the tech community.
“Toronto’s tech ecosystem is growing at a rapid pace, and our startups need to hire more qualified talent,” said Lekan Olawoye, lead executive of Talent Development. “Spinning out helps us meet these demands and support our companies as they compete internationally.”
MaRS will continue to provide talent services for the ventures it supports, including assistance with international hiring.
Since its founding in 2000, MaRS has been committed to growing Toronto’s tech sector and providing programming to fill gaps in the market. Over the years, numerous MaRS-affiliated programs and companies have spun out from the MaRS community as they reached a point of being self-sustaining.
SVX will continue to be located within the MaRS building and will work alongside its existing founding partners, including MaRS, TMX Group Inc., and others. MaRS Talent Development will transition to a new location under a new name, to be released shortly, and will continue to receive the support of its existing partners.
About MaRS Discovery District:
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is North America’s largest urban innovation hub. Our purpose is to help innovators change the world. MaRS supports promising ventures tackling key challenges in the health, cleantech, fintech and enterprise sectors as they start, grow and scale. In addition, the MaRS community fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration to drive breakthrough discoveries and new solutions to be adopted in Canada and beyond, growing our economy and delivering societal impact at scale.
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