New MaRS Partnership will Foster Cleantech Growth

MaRS is back at it again with another international partnership, this time with a rising tech hub in the U.S.

The Toronto-located MaRS Discovery District announced a partnership with Greentown Labs, the largest cleantech incubator in the U.S., located just outside of Boston in Somerville. The new relationship between the two innovation hubs will allow cleantech companies in each city to enter the other’s respective market and scale.

MaRS and Greentown will foster growth by introducing local startups to investors and potential customers or partners in the new city. This will happen through soft landings, where the organizations can take temporary workspaces and interact with other entrepreneurs before establishing a permanent residence.

One company that has already taken advantage of the new partnership is the Toronto-based Peak Power, a startup that provides energy storage as a service. Earlier this month the business was accepted as a member and a tenant.

“This partnership between MaRS and Greentown Labs provides Canadian cleantech companies like Peak Power an invaluable resource to extend our reach in target US markets where barriers to entry are perceived to be high and initial cost of setting up a presence prohibitive,” said Derek Lim Soo, CEO of Peak Power.

MaRS and Greentown will also hold events together, showcasing rising cleantech companies to potential venture partners.

Greentown Labs has supported over 120 companies since its inception. So far, those companies have gone on to collectively raise over $260 million USD in funding. MaRS has a storied history of working with cleantech companies as well—the cleantech businesses MaRS has partnered with raised $210 million CAD in 2016 alone.

“MaRS works with many Canadian cleantech ventures that see Massachusetts and other parts of the northeast US as a strategic market, partly because of the progressive clean energy policies coming out of the region,” said Salim Teja, the president of venture services at MaRS.

“Partnering with a well-respected, expert organization like Greentown Labs will help our companies plant roots in the Boston area and will complement similar partnerships recently announced in New York City that are giving our ventures more opportunities in an important economic region,” he added.

The New York City partnership Teja is referring to involves MaRS’ recent announcement with Grand Central Tech. Earlier this month, the two formed a partnership similar to this one with Greentown that allowed companies based in either city to establish temporary workspaces and grow accustomed to new markets.

Some of Canada’s biggest cleantech companies include Green Mantra, Axine and Ecobee. Ecobee has worked extensively with MaRS to push its brand into global competition with Google and Honeywell.