Toronto, June 10, 2011 – TiE Global is very pleased to announce a partnership of TiE Catalyst, its first Global Virtual Chapter, with the prestigious University of Toronto and the leading innovation centre MaRS Discovery District, located in Toronto.

This partnership will provide a forum to entrepreneurs worldwide for strategic exploration of emerging new frontiers at the intersection of engineering, bio-medical sciences, and IT.  The announcement coincides with the gathering of 1000 North American members of the Indian diaspora at the mini Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in Toronto today.

“We are delighted to partner on this new initiative with the University of Toronto and the MaRS Discovery District – two highly respected organizations that have been outstanding in promoting innovation and discovery.” said Ashok Rao, Chairman of TiE Global. “Together we will advance our shared goal of assisting entrepreneurs and startups in the field of biotech and IT,”  Rao added.

“We are very excited about this three way partnership, given our common commitment to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship. TiE was founded by global visionaries like Kanwal Rekhi and Suhas Patil.  TiE Catalyst will benefit tremendously in its partnership with Drs Treurnicht and Naylor, both global thinkers who bring along with their prestigious institutions deep domain experience and rich diversity.” said Dr. Nandini Tandon, TiE Global Trustee and the Chair of TiE Catalyst.  Dr. Tandon has led the effort on TiE Catalyst, and her vision is to have this program support a broad spectrum of entrepreneurs globally.

Dr. Nandini Tandon is Managing Director of Lumira Capital, a North American life sciences venture capital fund.  She has been a venture capitalist for the past 10 years and has more than a decade of diverse operational experience in the life sciences industry.

TiE Global’s partnership with MaRS Discovery District and the University of Toronto leverages several strengths of the Toronto region and Canadian entrepreneurial context, and has huge potential for building connections back to India.

MaRS is a world-renowned hub providing business services to early-stage enterprises across the spectrum of high-tech activity.  Healthcare, bioscience, engineering, and IT are strongly represented among MaRS client companies.

The University of Toronto anchors a network of 10 prestigious academic hospitals, and is one of a handful of universities globally with convergent strength across all the theme disciplines of the mini-PBD.

Commenting from MaRS, Dr Ilse Treurnicht said, “The broad Toronto region is home to one of the world’s largest Indian diaspora communities.  MaRS has been proud to partner with TiE Toronto and is delighted to extend its collaborative network through this exciting new connection with TiE Global and TiE Catalyst.”

Treurnicht, who holds a DPhil in Chemistry from Oxford, is a former venture capitalist who currently oversees the MaRS Centre and its broad suite of entrepreneurship and innovation programs.

Dr. David Naylor, President of the University of Toronto also expressed his enthusiasm at collaborating with TiE.  He said, “India is where the world is going.  With its strength in IT and commitment to public health, along with the vision of business leaders in the Indian Cabinet like Sam Pitroda and Nandan Nilekani, India is positioned to leapfrog many other jurisdictions in the convergence of healthcare, life sciences, and IT.”

Naylor, a former Dean of Medicine, also worked with the World Bank as a consultant to the Government of India on urban healthcare in the 1990s.

About MARS

Headquartered in Toronto, Canada’s finance and technology capital, MaRS offers advisory services, market intelligence and entrepreneurship education to more than 700 emerging companies in health care/life sciences, information technology, communications and entertainment (ICE), cleantech and social purpose businesses.

About University of Toronto

With three campuses in the world’s most multicultural urban region, and almost 500,000 alumni active in every corner of the globe, the University of Toronto has one of the strongest research and teaching faculties in North America.  According to the 2011 QS peer review survey, Toronto is one of a handful of universities worldwide with high global standing in all major disciplines, including computer science and information systems (10th), electrical engineering (13th), medicine (12th), and biological sciences (12th).

About TiE and TiE Catalyst Program

TiE Inc. (The Indus Entrepreneurs) is the world’s largest not-for-profit organization promoting entrepreneurship, spread over 57 locations across 14 countries. TiE’s mission to foster entrepreneurship globally through mentoring, networking, and education is delivered by its 11,000 members worldwide.

About TiE Catalyst

TiE Global Catalyst leverages the virtual vehicle to provide access for TiE’s entrepreneurial community across all 57 chapters to innovators and entrepreneurs at the intersection of life sciences, health care and IT.  TiE Catalyst connect TiE’s large and very successful core of engineers and entrepreneurs with innovators in the health care field to leverage their respective areas leading to new entrepreneurial opportunities and creative solutions.