MaRS began its life as a great idea. The private-public partnership was launched in 2005 to bring a business focus to the life sciences (the acronym stands for Medical and Related Sciences). Its mission has broadened since then to the fostering of innovation in any sector with a commercializing potential.
Fired by a need to foster a new era of ambition in Ontario’s business sector, the region is now seeing a new surge of momentum in Toronto’s tech community, one that MaRS can take credit for helping to cultivate.
High profile tenants of the facility include RBC, U of T, GlaxoSmithKline, Etsy, Airbnb, and the Ontario Genomics Institute. Cementing the impression that MaRS is now consolidating its success is the announcement last week that Facebook Canada will become a tenant in 2016.
That Facebook wants to wants to move into MaRS (certainly not a necessity) suggests an endorsement of Toronto’s tech sector and a desire to nurture its potential. Facebook doesn’t nurture without an eye on how it might benefit. But as the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. Toronto’s tech scene is now riding that wave. It’s got momentum everyone can recognize.
Just as significant for Toronto’s tech community is MaRS’ creation of a Financial Technology (Fintech) Cluster, announced this past February.
Finance as an industry is the global colossus of our age. Using technology and the speed of internet communications to make it more efficient and cost effective seems obvious. Yet even though the World Wide Web has enjoyed widespread use for over twenty-five years now, Fintech’s ascendance as a sector is only now gaining pace. There are reasons for this, it’s a narrative filled mostly with security-concern plot points. More interesting is the story of the foundations that are being constructed right now, as I write this, ensuring that we are witnessing the birth of a new era, one with far reaching implications for the financial industry, including the possibility of its wholesale replacement. This is disruption in action.
Starting in March of this year, Decentral has been a partner of MaRS’s Fintech Cluster. We have been working with MaRS to present our DEC_TECH series of events. With our focus on the rapidly growing space of decentralized technologies, crypto currencies and Fintech, we see MaRS as a crucial partner on our events, in part due to sheer logistics: over 300 people have attended each one. As well, the number of sponsors for each event has grown considerably. Beyond the pleasure of working with the MaRS staff and enjoying use of their first class facilities, Decentral, like Facebook, knows how valuable this partnership will be as our business continues to grow, along with that of the Fintech sector in Toronto. It puts us at the heart of a network and an ecosystem that has great potential to contribute to the economic health of the region.