MaRS celebrates successful one-year anniversary of angel program
Over fifty percent of MaRS clients have received funding
Toronto, July 13, 2010 – MaRS, a Toronto-based not-for-profit innovation centre, is proud to announce the one-year anniversary of its successful angel program, created to help its start-up clients connect with new funding sources. Since the program’s inception, more than 50% of presenting companies have received funding, with more recent participants in ongoing dialogue with interested investors.
Five MaRS Angel breakfast events have been held since June 2009 at the MaRS Centre. Clients from three practice areas – ICE (information technology, communications & entertainment), cleantech as well as life sciences and health care are invited to pitch to a group of accredited investors. Co-Chairs Jim Meenan (MaRS Advisor), Ron Close (MaRS Advisor) and Jim Rae (a prominent life sciences executive) facilitate the company selection process and host the MaRS Angel breakfast events. The participating angel investors are highly regarded in their respective industries, with many sourced through personal networks from MaRS advisors, staff and community stakeholders.
Program feedback from both investors and companies has been very positive. “The MaRS angel event that we attended was a huge success for us,” says Ray Newal, Founder and CEO of Jigsee. “We raised additional angel funds for our recent investment round as a direct result of being selected to present to the group. We were amazed at the high profile investors that these meetings attract. We are also grateful for the guidance and pitch coaching we received from the MaRS team in preparing for this event.”
Canaccord Genuity, the leading independent advisory and restructuring firm in Canada, was the first company to come on board in a sponsorship capacity – providing the funds to launch the program.
“The MaRS angel program is playing a vital role in connecting entrepreneurs with qualified investors. Given the need for early-stage funding that this new generation of companies requires, we’re delighted to be a supporter of this program,” says David Kassie, Group Chairman, Canaccord Genuity.
The funds raised from angels are often the first substantial source of financing for early stage science and technology companies. “Through our Advisory Services group, MaRS has a unique window on a new generation of emerging companies,” says Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS. “We are very pleased with the feedback from respected angel investors. They appreciate that presenting companies are very well prepared for these meetings. Furthermore, they view MaRS as a valuable resource to help them grow companies over the longer term. Given the financing deals completed over the first year in a tough investing climate, it is clear this process is working.”
MaRS Discovery District (www.marsdd.com) is a large scale, mission driven innovation centre located in Toronto and networked across Ontario, focused on building Canada’s next generation of technology companies. MaRS works closely with entrepreneurs to grow and scale their ventures into global market leaders in life sciences and health care, information, communications and entertainment technologies, cleantech, advanced materials and engineering, as well as innovative social purpose businesses.
For more information, please contact:
Director of Communications, MaRS