The City of Toronto supports MaRS through its focus on technology as a strategic sector for economic development. Through initiatives that advise small businesses, provide incubation space, attract knowledge-driven investment and support infrastructure development, both the City of Toronto and MaRS work to create a positive business climate for growth companies.


MaRS Health can provide what entrepreneurs need most: access to the counsel, resources and the capital they need to bring their breakthroughs to patients. Located at MaRS Discovery District, it serves as a bridge between innovators and institutions. MaRS Venture Services currently supports 250 health ventures in the areas of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and health IT, connecting them with experienced business advisors, free market research and investors. MaRS also provides office and lab space to 22 private health companies. As a venue space, MaRS provides in-kind space to community and government partners for conferences, showcases and team-building events. MaRS staff frequently speak as thought leaders in health innovation at these events and take an active role in building the agenda and connecting host organizations with keynote speakers and health ventures.

MaRS EXCITE, a program under MaRS Health, works closely with a range of research organizations to facilitate high-quality technology assessments of Ontario health technologies: Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative (THETA), St. Michael’s HUB, Mount Sinai Services, Ozmosis Research and the University Health Network. These assessments involve Toronto hospitals and clinics as sites for testing and evaluating local breakthroughs in diagnostics and therapeutics. By including the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and Health Quality Ontario, MaRS EXCITE helps streamline the path of reimbursement for health ventures by involving payers in the evidence development process. MaRS EXCITE is supported by its board members from the Health Technology Exchange, MEDEC, Ministry of Research and Innovation, the Council of Academic Hosptials of Ontario, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and Saint Elizabeth.


The main benefit of operating a health and life sciences business in Toronto is the unparalleled access the city offers to world-renowned researchers and talent. Toronto has one of the largest medical schools in North America and is a global leader in peer-reviewed papers. And we also have the infrastructure required to get the best ideas out of the labs and into the market. Thanks to new collaborative labs and incubation spaces such as the MaRS West Tower—now 20% owned by U of T—scientists are working together more closely so they can benefit from each other’s findings and expertise. Toronto is already the third largest biotechnology cluster in North America—larger than the automotive and aerospace industries combined—and is set to continue its growth trajectory as large multinationals start to look further afield to scout breakthrough ideas and new startups. In September 2015, JLABS, a division of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, announced it will create a new incubator in Toronto (the first of its kind outside the US) that significantly expands the resources and networks available to our high-growth health and life sciences community.


MaRS remains absolutely committed to doing everything we can to help emerging high-potential companies succeed. In addition to educating, advising and supporting entrepreneurs, we will continue to strengthen our relationship with the innovation community in Ontario, carve out new areas of expertise, and forge fresh alliances with corporate partners and government agencies both at home and abroad.


Lead, MaRS Health and Director, MaRS EXCITE

Zayna plays a critical role in helping MaRS ventures get their innovations adopted into healthcare systems in Ontario and around the world.



Launched in 2005, MaRS is a 1.5-MILLION-SQUARE-FOOT global innovation district located in the heart of Canada’s largest research cluster in downtown Toronto.

MaRS supports over 1,000 promising young ventures in the health, cleantech and ICT sectors. In the last three years alone, these ventures have raised $1.3 BILLION in capital and earned $640 MILLION in revenue.

MaRS helps companies bring their breakthrough ideas to market and thrive on a global scale by offering them advisory services, market intelligence and access to capital, as well as connections to talent, customers, and systems providers — from hospitals to hydro.

101 College Street, Suite 410
Toronto, ON M5G 1L7
T: (416) 673-8100


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