Partnerships with BDC, Saint Elizabeth Health Care also announced; will further support social ventures

TORONTO, March 18, 2014 – The first round of ventures in MaRS Discovery District’s impact investing platform, SVX, have raised $650,000 in financing.

SVX issuers, including Investeco and Community Forward Fund (CFF), attracted $650,000 through investments and commitments since the launch of SVX (Social Venture Connexion) in September 2013. The announcement was made today at MaRS’ Impact Ontario conference.

SVX mobilizes private capital for public good by driving investment in companies and organizations that will better our world alongside generating profits. It is the first registered local impact investment platform of its kind in North America.

“These first investments and commitments demonstrate real momentum for the impact investing marketplace inCanada, with new investors and capital mobilized to tackle our most pressing problems,” said Adam Spence, Associate Director, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing and Founder, SVX. “We hope that Impact Ontario will catalyze even more connections between a growing group of impact ventures and investors.”

Hosted by the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, Impact Ontario brings Ontario social impact ventures together to pitch investors in four key areas: education and technology; health and wellness; inclusion, and sustainability.

The sold-out conference featured an open pitch session showcasing five early-stage social ventures: Agri-NeoForward Vision GamesLocal ButtonsSpecialisterne Canada and Textbooks for Change. The Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, opened the session.

“Supporting the creation of a strong and vibrant social finance marketplace is a key component of Ontario’s Social Enterprise Strategy, which is helping Ontario’s social enterprises get the tools and resources they need to grow and succeed,” Minister Hoskins said.

MaRS’ Centre for Impact Investing also announced a new partnership with BDC to provide coaching and connections for entrepreneurs in MaRS’ Impact8 accelerator. Impact8 fast-tracks high-potential social ventures to a greater stage of investment readiness and provides connections to impact capital. The announcement further cements BDC’s ongoing commitment to social impact; last week it announced its certification as a B Corporation, making it the first financial institution in Canada to receive this important designation.

The spring 2014 Impact8 cohort will also be supported by Saint Elizabeth, with a special focus on innovations that empower individuals to be in control of their health and well-being, enabling living and aging well at home and in the community. By providing vital resources, mentorship and partnership opportunities to Impact8, Saint Elizabeth continues to demonstrate its support for innovation and sustainable solutions that impact people, their health, their communities and the health system as a whole.

The MaRS Centre for Impact Investing also announced the launch of “State of the Nation: Impact Investing in Canada,” a report produced in partnership with Purpose Capital that will equip decision makers with critical information to assess opportunities across nine impact sectors.

Impact Ontario is sponsored by the Government of Ontario and Deloitte. For a full list of supporting organizations, visit:

About MaRS 
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto. MaRS works with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify innovation. MaRS supports entrepreneurs building Canada’s next generation of growth companies. MaRS’ ventures have created over 4,000 jobs and, in the last three years alone, they have raised over $750 million in capital and earned over $375 million in revenue.

About the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing
The MaRS Centre for Impact Investing works to increase the awareness and the effectiveness of social finance with the aim of driving new capital, talent, and initiatives dedicated to tackling social and environmental problems.


For more information, contact:
Melissa Hughes
Manager, Media & Community Relations
MaRS Discovery District