Faced with unprecedented demand for space from web and mobile startups, the Information technology, Communications and Entertainment (ICE) practice at MaRS has announced a new home for the most promising emerging companies, the MaRS Commons. The MaRS Commons provides both a physical space and a community that supports entrepreneurs in growing successful global businesses.
“The power of place to anchor a community and accelerate innovation is at the heart of MaRS,” said Ilse Treurnicht, CEO, MaRS Discovery District. “The MaRS Commons, which complements our existing incubator, is designed as a focal point for Toronto’s burgeoning web and mobile technology ecosystem, combining a great space with community, education, networking and mentorship.”
MaRS Commons is a unique mix of the old and the new, offering modern, open-concept workspace and Wi-Fi in a weathered brick heritage building that first opened its doors in 1913. The nearly 6,000-square-foot facility features workspace for 50 entrepreneurs, a boardroom, four meeting rooms, a kitchen and lounge areas. A carefully curated group of entrepreneurs working on promising startups will be invited to share the Commons workspace, each selected based on their uncommon ideas, uncommon talent and uncommon hustle.
While this cohort of entrepreneurs forms the core of the MaRS Commons community, other active and aspiring entrepreneurs from the broader web and mobile startup community will join them to network, learn and engage with the advisors in the Commons—the second key element of this new community. This exceptional group of more than 60 mentors, predominantly volunteers, represents the digital economy’s best and brightest minds, all providing their expertise and connections to help Canada’s entrepreneurs succeed in the global marketplace.
“I’ve been part of several startups and know how challenging it can be to work in an environment of extreme uncertainty – taking an idea and building it into a sustainable business,” said Dan Servos, COO, Locationary and a MaRS mentor. “MaRS Commons, including its community of peers and mentors, provides the proper foundation for entrepreneurs to take ‘leaps of faith’ with a greater degree of certainty, setting them up for future successes.”
A group of extraordinary founding supporters has assembled to help bring MaRS Commons to life. These organizations share MaRS’ passion for entrepreneurship and are contributing their expertise, time and resources. Founding partners include Globalive, WIND Mobile, Postmedia and the University of Toronto. Entrepreneurs who are interested in working in the MaRS Commons, and stakeholders interested in learning more about this exciting initiative, are invited to contact the MaRS ICE Practice.