About MaRS

MaRS Discovery District  (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is the one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs.

MaRS supports promising high-growth companies to scale their businesses globally, while tackling key societal challenges in areas such as Health, Cleantech, Finance, Transportation, AI, and others. In addition to helping start-ups launch, grow and scale, the MaRS community is dedicated to cross-disciplinary collaboration, commercialization of discoveries, and driving ideas to impact.

About Venture Programming

MaRS is home to the largest live and online entrepreneurship education programs in Canada. As part of our program offerings, we deliver a suite of experiential workshops and digital programs to help early stage technology and social innovation entrepreneurs grow their businesses (https://learn.marsdd.com). The Associate, venture & corporate programs will provide operational, content and communications support in the delivery of a portfolio of programs. This role will include working with a variety of local and national stakeholders, including a group of experienced entrepreneurs who facilitate programs; CRM database management; community and program participant engagement; and end-to-end product management and delivery.

Position Summary

The Ecosystem & Capital team is made up of industry thought leaders, connectors and program managers who represent MaRS and advocate for Canadian ventures within the ecosystems of Health Science, Cleantech, and Software. 

We exist to do the following:

  • Be seen as an important signal amongst active investors in Canada and abroad, enabling asymmetric capital advantages for our most promising and transformative ventures. 
  • Represent systemic challenges within our venture ecosystems to relevant stakeholders within government, industry, philanthropy and venture capital. 
  • Co-create strategies with relevant ecosystem stakeholders to support our most promising ventures to overcome systemic barriers to growth, and to operate from a position of strength within their respective markets

Reporting to the MD, Ecosystem and Capital, the Director, Software Ecosystem will play a key role in the organization, working with MaRS advisors and key internal stakeholders to lead the development of the 3 to 5 year strategy MaRS will undertake in the software ecosystem to create paths to scale for Canadian ventures. 

This person will possess trusted relationships with active VC’s, executives, and entrepreneurs in the software ecosystem, and will serve as a highly impactful connector for notable software ventures within the MaRS portfolio. 

This person will utilize empathy gained from leading or investing in software ventures, to represent needs and opportunities within the software ecosystem, and focus with precision on breaking down barriers which impede promising Canadian ventures from reaching their potential. 

The role demands a deep knowledge of the software landscape and strategic opportunities, and a vision for a path to global market leadership within one or more related sectors. Experience building a software venture will be a major asset, as will established networks within the Canadian and international venture capital communities.

Position Responsibilities

  • Lead Software Ecosystem Strategy
    • Lead the publication of an annual state of the nation sector report, a comprehensive view of the state of the Canadian software ecosystem, encompassing up to date perspectives on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats faced by Canadian ventures (across stages of development).
    • Lead members of the Ecosystem & Capital team and advisors at MaRS to develop and refine strategy, define key stakeholder groups, and help establish MaRS’ point of focus in the software ecosystem
    • Lead and Support key MaRS initiatives including strategic events, Missions from MaRS, and more
    • From impactful partnerships with other organizations in the ecosystem (locally and internationally) to support the needs of Canadian ventures
  • Investor Communities & Engagement
    • Be an important signal for active VC’s in terms of new investments, making connections that result in funding activity, and increased velocity on funding rounds for showcased MaRS ventures.
    • Serve as a trusted partner and venture connector to VC firms that are active in the software ecosystem
    • Develop strategies to expand capital access for Canadian ventures
    • Actively expand the investor community
    • Identify structural capital and liquidity gaps that impact ventures in the ecosystem, and co-create strategies to address these gaps with key stakeholders
  • Venture Engagement and Advisor Collaboration
    • Provide capital oversight and evaluation criteria to advisors at MaRS, enabling them to effectively screen ventures for investor readiness.
    • Provide input and guidance as it pertains to trends in the sector, investment activity, and deal intelligence to  advisors as it pertains to software ventures in MaRS’ Growth Services and Momentum portfolios
    • Provide baseline understanding of the current opportunities and challenges faced within the software ecosystem as a whole
    • In consultation with internal and external stakeholders, develop a 3 to 5 year strategy that will guide MaRS’s investments in the software ecosystem
    • Support the development of a MaRS “Mission” in Transformational Technologies, including the possibility of a side-car fund.
    • Develop an ecosystem partnership model to make it easier for software ventures to commercialize and scale
    • Build and nurture long term relationships for the benefit of MaRS ventures.
    • Bring outside ideas, intel, and opportunities to MaRS by participation in the broader tech and capital ecosystem
    • Represent MaRS as a thought leader, speaking at external technology and capital events and committee
  • Qualifications
    • Undergraduate/Bachelor degree or relevant work experience
    • University degree with areas of focus that include business, science, technology or finance is preferred
  • Experience
    • 5-10 years in software related fields
    • investment experience within a VC/PE firm, or incubator/accelerator, preferred
  • Personal Requirements
    • Excellent relationship management, business development skills and confidence to facilitate discussion between subject matter experts
    • Superior strategic thinking, planning and organizational abilities, combined with tactical execution excellence
    • Knowledge and passion for tech and helping early-stage technology companies succeed

What’s it like to work at MaRS? 

On top of working for a mission-driven organization with a passionate, smart and engaged team, you can expect to enjoy some of these perks:

  • Access to a wide array of fascinating conferences and lectures hosted by MaRS
  • A very active social committee that organizes potlucks, “serendipity coffee” dates, the annual MaRS Summer Games, Trivia Nights, team building outings, and summer golf day
  • Joining the MaRS softball team and knocking it out of the park 
  • Indoor bike parking and showers
  • Discounted gym membership

You’ll be working at the MaRS Centre – a vibrant, architecturally inspiring complex connected to the subway. In early 2014, MaRS increased its innovation footprint to 1.5 million square feet with the opening of its 20-storey West Tower, making it one of the world’s largest innovation hubs.

For more about what it’s like to work at MaRS, check out our profile on B Meaningful. 

Working Conditions

  • Open-concept office environment
  • Typical operating business hours of 8:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday

MaRS Discovery District is committed to diversity and encourages applications from all qualified candidates, including aboriginal persons, francophones, members of sexual minority groups, persons with disabilities, visible minorities and women.

Application submissions are due on Monday August 2, 2021

Applicants must be legally eligible to work in Canada and reside in Ontario.

We are a purpose-driven organization on a mission to make the world a better place through inclusive innovation. This commitment to inclusion, equity and diversity are core to who we are and what we believe and, as such, encourage applications from members of diverse identity groups, including those who have been historically excluded and marginalized. You are welcome at MaRS.

We want you to be as successful throughout our recruitment process as possible. Please get in touch with us if there’s anything we can do to make your experience more accessible and inclusive, including accommodations for differing (dis)abilities.

Applications are due by 11:59 PM on the closing date stated above.

Applications received after this time will not be considered.

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