What do three very different MaRS cleantech clients have in common?
Well, as it turns out, quite a lot! Last Wednesday, we invited three hot cleantech companies to our cleantech Meet the Entrepreneurs panel as part of the Entrepreneurship 101 lecture series: Daniel Moneta, CEO of MMB Research, Kamal Hassan, Co-founder and board member of Skymeter and Nicolas Morgan, Director and VP of Business Development at Morgan Solar.
Each of the three panelists had a mouthful to say about being an entrepreneur in the cleantech sector in Toronto.
While each company represents a different part of the cleantech sector, they also share similar challenges, successes and goals. Reaching out to a large audience coming from various industries, this panel addressed the stages of a start-up that any entrepreneur will endure, especially one in Toronto.
When asked by moderator and cleantech advisor, Jonathan Dogterom, about the pros and cons of building a company Toronto, the panelists echoed one another. They all agreed the greatest “pro” is the talent pool in the city. Nic says that Morgan Solar employees perform beyond any reasonable expectation. Kamal agreed, adding that there is so much talent in Toronto – both with graduates and with immigrants who come here – that staffing is a non-issue. With pros, of course, always comes “cons”, and Kamal says there are fewer funds available and less obvious funds. It is harder to access money than in other environments such as Silicon Valley.
A key aspect of any entrepreneur’s journey is key supports. Daniel described how MaRS has been very helpful in getting MMB off the ground and has connected them with the right people who can answer their big questions. Both Skymeter and Morgan Solar agreed that MaRS has been an integral part of their successes thus far.
Toronto plays host to a plethora of entrepreneurs with a great deal of innovation, and not just in the cleantech space! While each entrepreneur has different needs and a different niche, all will end up following similar paths to commercialization.
We at MaRS believe that “meeting the entrepreneurs” is a great way to see that you are not alone, and the challenges you face as well as the successes you enjoy are shared by many others around you!
Our advisors work hard to connect clients to various sources of funding and a talent pool of potential employees, particularly on the executive level. If you are an entrepreneur just starting out and you’d like to see how MaRS can help you, contact us! We’re always eager to help start-ups and see who the next big star will be.
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