MaRS partnerships in US bring unique advantages to Canada’s cleantech sector

TORONTO, April 3, 2018 – MaRS Discovery District announced today it has been accepted into three programs in the United States that will give Canadian cleantech ventures valuable access to customers, investors and partners in the world’s largest energy market.

“MaRS continues to strengthen its relationships with key influencers in the US energy market, from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to banking giants like Wells Fargo, as part of its broader strategy to boost US export opportunities for Canada’s high-growth cleantech sector,” says Jon Dogterom, managing director of the cleantech practice at MaRS.

“By being the only Canadian and in some cases the only non-US participant in these programs, we’re providing unique opportunities for the more than 200 cleantech ventures we work with across the country,” Dogterom adds.

  • MaRS partnered this week with Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a program created in 2014 by NREL and the Wells Fargo Foundation. Cleantech ventures selected for the program receive funding to support product development and get to work with NREL researchers to validate their technology. Some go on to beta-test their products. As a partner, MaRS can refer Canadian ventures to be considered for this exclusive, historically US-focused program.
  • MaRS was also accepted as the first-and, so far, only-non-US member of the GTM Research Trailblazers program, joining seven of the top cleantech accelerators and incubators in the US. As a member, energy technology ventures supported by MaRS get discounted access to research and events, as well as exclusive access to GTM’s Grid Edge Executive Council, made up of senior executives from dozens of leading utilities and energy companies.
  • Earlier this year, MaRS became the first Canadian organization to partner with the Incubatenergy Network, a consortium of leading US clean energy incubators. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), in partnership with NREL and supported by funding from the US Department of Energy, has operated the network since 2014 and will take full control next year. This collaboration gives MaRS-supported ventures a friendly “soft-landing” partner in several major US markets, including the New England states, Texas, California and Colorado, along with access to exclusive networking events.

These latest collaborations are among several that MaRS has established in the United States over the past year. In November, MaRS announced a comprehensive partnership with Grand Central Tech (GCT), the largest innovation hub in New York City. GCT serves as an extension of the expert support and services that MaRS offers to Canadian entrepreneurs, and also offers temporary workspace to MaRS growth- and scale-stage ventures looking for a physical site in NYC.

MaRS also partnered with ACRE, a clean energy incubator operating out of the Urban Future Lab at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and Boston-based Greentown Labs, the largest cleantech incubator in the US.

Quick facts

  • The 20 companies that have been through the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator have gone on to raise an additional US$83.65 million in follow-on funding. On average, every dollar awarded through the program results in $12 of external follow-on funding.
  • Companies supported through the 14 members of the Incubatenergy Network have collectively raised more than US$1 billion in funding, created about 3,000 direct jobs and generated more than $330 million in revenues.
  • MaRS-supported cleantech ventures are high performers, capturing nine spots on the prestigious 2018 Global Cleantech 100 list of top emerging ventures.

“The United States and Canada have a history of strong collaboration, particularly around innovation, so it makes sense to open up the IN2 program to our northern neighbour. Partnering with a major innovation hub like MaRS gives the IN2 program an instant North American footprint.”
Kate Moore, assistant director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at NREL

“We are pleased to be among this group of collaborative US organizations working with MaRS to expand opportunities for innovation exchange. As we transition full control of the network to EPRI this year, we are focused on new collaboration efforts such as this to build support for energy entrepreneurship not only within the United States but also globally.”
Beth Hartman, EPRI project manager, Incubatenergy Network

“We’re thrilled to have MaRS involved as a Trailblazer partner within the GTM Research Grid Edge Service. Together we’re able to connect the industry leaders of today with the most innovative startups in the energy sector, and recognize the MaRS community as one of the most robust energy ecosystems in the world.”
Matt DaPrato, director of product strategy, GTM Research

Additional resources

Media contact

Lara Torvi

MaRS Discovery District