MaRS Launches Canada’s First Financial Technology Cluster; Applications Being Accepted

MaRS this evening announced a series of strategic partnerships to power financial technology innovation and entrepreneurship.

The announcement included mentioning that a new “fintech cluster” based at MaRS will connect leaders in the technology and financial services sector with startups developing next generation technology in payments, financial services, peer-to-peer transactions, alternative lending, and crypto-currencies. Partners include UGO and PayPal.

“We are working with MaRS to help Canadian startups create meaningful and innovative digital commerce experiences,” said Alexander Peh, Head of Market Development and Mobile at PayPal Canada.”

“UGO is a new mobile wallet app that allows users to make payments, collect, and redeem loyalty points,” said Alec Morley, CEO of UGO Mobile Solutions.

“The industry partnerships announced today signal a desire from senior leaders in Canada’s technology and financial services sector to facilitate innovation and entrepreneurship by partnering with MaRS,” said Salim Teja, Executive Vice President of Ventures, MaRS.

MaRS is banking on financial technology, or “fintech,” as one of those next big things. Global investment in fintech ventures reached $3 billion in the last five years and is set to grow to $8 billion by 2018. Geographically, MaRS is well-positioned; Toronto is the heart of financial services in Canada, generating $13 billion in fiscal benefits annually.

“MaRS, which is located within walking distance of Toronto’s financial district, is the natural home for fintech innovation,” Teja said.

MaRS’ new FinTech Cluster will be led by Adam Nanjee, previously Vice President of Business Development in Emerging Payments at MasterCard Canada.

Applications are currently being accepted.