Microsoft for Startups and MaRS Team to Help Canadian Startups Reach New Heights
Today in Toronto, Microsoft for Startups and MaRS unveiled plans to support the Canadian startup ecosystem with a dedicated space where startups can experience tailored business and technical programming in the flagship MaRS Discovery District building.
MaRS Discovery District is a technology hub in downtown Toronto that serves as a local nexus for Canadian startups. The hub serves not only as a home for a diverse community of startups but also provides them with multiple services including advisory support, connections to talent, and access to capital and customers.
MaRS and Microsoft will curate quarterly tech showcases, profiling 6-8 top Canadian startups, along with quarterly events that will engage leading tech thinkers within specific sectors and industries in Canada. Microsoft will also sponsor two MaRS Mornings, which are MaRS’ marquee speaker and fire-side chat series for the startup community.
Connected to over 1,200 Canadian startups, top venture capital firms, and 120 full-time tenants including corporate innovation partners, MaRS is Canada’s central hub for growing and scaling tech companies.
In addition to events, Microsoft will have a primary physical space within the MaRS campus that spans over 1.5 million square feet of space in four connected buildings in the heart of downtown Toronto. It will be used to host a Microsoft Reactor. This area will foster opportunities for founders, developers and business leaders for high quality technical, business and community events.
The engagement with MaRS Discovery District follows similar technology hubs where Microsoft has partnered with local governments, investors, and startup-enabling organizations including Hub71 in Abu Dhabi and Station-F in Paris. Alongside our stand-alone Microsoft Reactor sites, these spaces allow us to deeply engage with startup communities where they reside.
Today’s announcement also follows news of our expanding Canadian headquarters in Toronto which will comprise 132,000 square feet over four floors of the 81 Bay Street building now under construction. Currently, Microsoft employs more than 2,300 employees across Canada, and supports an extended ecosystem of more than 14,000 partners including many startups who sell, service or deploy on our platforms. We expect that given the pace of technology and the investments we’re making that the Microsoft ecosystem could account for more than 60,000 new jobs by the time its new headquarters opens in two years.