Anchor of Toronto's startup community
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That pause has ended and the MaRS facility continues to grow along Toronto's College Street and University Avenue corridor. It's a transformation that draws delegations from around the world (including China, India, the U.S., Africa and Europe, Duval says) who are interested in possibly importing the MaRS model abroad.
The way MaRS houses a cluster of startups and access to entrepreneurial resources in such close proximity “is to me a best practice and a model that can be adopted in various sizes across (Canada),” says John Reid, president and CEO of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance in Ottawa.
“By having them intertwined it gives the SMB person access to far greater resources and we need that in terms of improving our commercialization record,” Reid says.
“But that doesn't necessarily mean that's the version you put in place for your local community,” Reid adds. “Toronto is a large city so that model might not be the right model for Strathroy (Ont.). But Strathroy may be able to use aspects of that in a different setting. So it really is a need to customize. Everyone is going to create a slightly different version based on their local resources and infrastructure.”
For Rodriguez, whose company moved from the major IT hub of Waterloo, the MaRS framework has paid off – directly and indirectly -- for Polar Mobile and many of the other startups that call Toronto home...