What a year it has been at MaRS! As one of Canada’s largest innovation hubs, MaRS is the largest provider of entrepreneurship and innovation programs and events. From our Future Leaders to some busy bees, here are just a few highlights from 2013. Follow our MaRSDD Flickr page for more photos!
MaRS hosted and took part in several hackathons this year, including the MaRS Energy Hackathon (top left), the MasterCard NXT Challenge (bottom right) and Hacking Health Toronto, just to name a few. In November, MaRS brought together a multi-disciplinary group to learn more about the what, why and how of open government at GovMaker Day (centre). Countless other events, from panels of world-class thought leadership to citizenship ceremonies for Canada’s newest citizens (bottom left and centre top), packed the MaRS Centre all year round!
When MaRS’ flagship educational series, Entrepreneurship 101, launched its ninth year in September, more than 800 people attended the session in person and through webcast—our biggest audience yet! Many guest speakers, including Dan Martell (centre left) hit the stage for E101, sharing useful tips, tools and advice for entering and thriving in entrepreneurship. This year, MaRS also hosted the first-ever Entrepreneur’s Toolkit Workshops Fall Intensive Program. Some of the founders of the 24 companies that participated in the program are seen in the bottom right photo.
You may recognize some of the well-known people who visited MaRS this year, including (clockwise from top left) former US Vice-President Al Gore, astronaut Chris Hadfield, president of Chile Sebastián Piñera, mayor of Calgary Naheed Nenshi, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, just to name a few.
MaRS was proud to host two cohorts of budding young entrepreneurs this year in the MaRS Future Leaders program. Under the guidance of one-on-one mentors and entrepreneurs, the students learned how to draft a business model, interview potential customers, develop a marketing strategy and present a compelling pitch.
Last year, MaRS’ information technology, communications and entertainment (ICE) practice launched JOLT, an ongoing early-stage accelerator program for web and mobile startups. Since then, the program has put its startups to the test with many events, socials and workshops. In October, JOLT announced its third cohort (seen below in the top left corner), growing its portfolio of startups to 17 and its network of founders to 50.
MaRS was abuzz this year with a bee project that saw a hive take over the MaRS roof! Regular blog updates about the busy bees kept staff informed throughout the year. The MaRS Bee Committee, made up of several MaRS staff volunteers, held a waffle breakfast fundraiser in July to help raise funds for the project, which is solely funded by private donations. We even have had our first harvest! A limited supply of honey was sold internally to staff and resulted in some amazing photos. Check out more pictures of the bees on the MaRS Bees 2013 set on Flickr.
MaRS would not be what it is without the hundreds of clients and staff that walk its halls. From our life sciences and healthcare, ICE and cleantech practice clients to the people their companies affect to our very own MaRSians, MaRS is proud to be part of an ecosystem helping amplify and accelerate innovation in Canada and globally.
Thank you to all of the amazing MaRSians, clients, tenants, organizations and entrepreneurs who made 2013 so exciting (and eye-catching) as we look forward to the future! Keep up to date with all our MaRS photos on our MaRSDD Flickr page.