MaRS makes Fast Company’s annual list of the 100 Best Workplaces for Innovators

MaRS is recognized for its commitment to the innovation community and is honoured along with Google, Samsung, Mattel, IBM, General Motors and Moderna.

TORONTO, August 4, 2021 — MaRS today was named to Fast Company’s third annual Best Workplaces for Innovators list, honouring businesses and organizations that demonstrate a deep commitment to encouraging innovation at all levels. As North America’s largest urban innovation hub, MaRS was recognized for its commitment to steering the tech and innovation community through the pandemic.

To strengthen Canada’s tech sector and help innovation companies navigate the disruption brought on by COVID-19, MaRS advocated for a broad range of supports, created a curated network, as well as provided advice and collaboration opportunities for its community of ventures and tenants. The MaRS Centre also remained operational throughout the crisis, providing safe and flexible workspaces for tenants performing critical healthcare operations, which included conducting millions of COVID-19 tests, administering vaccines and developing life-saving cancer treatments.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized by Fast Company as one of this year’s Best Workplaces for Innovators,” says Yung Wu, CEO of MaRS. “Our world is facing enormous challenges  — inequality, unemployment and a climate crisis, which have all been exacerbated by a devastating pandemic.   There’s an urgent need for innovative solutions that can bring about positive change. The adjustments we made during the pandemic are the foundation for how we will deepen our impact and help to rebuild Canada’s future in the innovation economy, which is now more important than ever.”

“These leaders and teams created cultures of innovation and sustained them, even as remote work extended into 2021,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “This newest list of the Best Workplaces for Innovators honours those organizations that found ways to collaborate and invent despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, ensuring employees were at the forefront.”

COVID-19 created severe challenges for the startup community. Early on in the pandemic, 82 percent of Canadian tech CEOs reported plans for major layoffs. MaRS immediately set to work advocating for substantial government policy measures to help the venture ecosystem survive the crisis. This included access to capital, expedited grants and funding decisions, realistic access to wage subsidies and fair access to procurement.

To encourage and support life science companies, MaRS is adjusting the design and makeup of its space. A floor currently dedicated to office space is being converted to state-of-the-art, flexible labs for scaling health startups. These new labs will accommodate companies at later stages of growth at a moment when Canada’s innovation ecosystem is experiencing a massive boom in biotech innovation and commercialization.

​​Developed in collaboration with Accenture, the 2021 Best Workplaces for Innovators ranks 100 winners from a variety of industries, including computer science, biotech, consumer packaged goods, nonprofit, education, financial services, cybersecurity and engineering. Working together, Fast Company editors and Accenture researchers scored nearly 1,500 applications, and a panel of eight eminent judges reviewed and endorsed the top 100 companies. The 2021 awards feature workplaces from around the world with several of the honourees based outside the U.S.

To see the complete list, go to:


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.


About Fast Company

Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, ethonomics (ethical economics), leadership, and design. Written for, by, and about the most progressive business leaders, Fast Company and inspire readers and users to think beyond traditional boundaries, lead conversations, and create the future of business. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with its sister publication Inc. Stephanie Mehta is editor-in-chief.

Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators issue (September 2021) is available online now, and the print issue will be on newsstands beginning August 17, 2021. Join the Best Workplaces for Innovators conversation using #FCBestWorkplaces.


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