The famous and industry-leading MaRS Discovery District in Toronto has a new CEO.
Yung Wu has been tapped to lead the innovation centre starting November 1. Wu is a pioneering entrepreneur and investor and will replace outgoing CEO Ilse Treurnicht, who had held the position for 12 years.
Wu is chairman of NFQ Ventures, an early-stage firm based in Toronto that has a notable track record of scaling and backing startups like Castek Software, Fuse Powered and Antibe Therapeutics. Many of these startups have gone on to be purchased by huge names in the industry.
“MaRS is pleased to welcome aboard an extremely successful entrepreneur who understands the full cycle of innovation–from seed stage financing to global scaling,” said Gord Nixon, chair of the board of directors at MaRS. “The Canadian startup ecosystem is going through tremendous growth, and our talent and inventiveness is attracting attention around the world.”
MaRS is a unique platform that aids innovators in building and scaling made-in-Canada companies to a global scale.
“What attracted me to this opportunity was the promise of supporting entrepreneurs and early-stage companies with transformative and viable innovations to create broad economic and social impact,” said Wu. “As an entrepreneur, I know that timing is critical and we have a unique window of opportunity to make Canada an international destination for great founders, not just a source of top talent. After building and launching several global companies from Toronto, I’m thrilled to see a new level of confidence in this city’s maturing innovation ecosystem.”
Wu will continue to work with MaRS four key sectors of health, work and learning, energy and environment, and finance and commerce.
The MaRS DIscovery District is home to several notable tenants such as Airbnb, PayPal, TransPod, Moneris and more. Massive companies often select MaRS as home to their innovation labs, as the amount of cooperation and cutting-edge decision-making within the building helps to foster new ways of bringing companies into the future.