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An Incubator/Accelerator Experience Unlike Any Other

North Forge Technology Exchange partners with MaRS Discovery District to heighten the founder experience. 

There are some exciting new changes on the horizon for the new year here at North Forge Technology Exchange! The first two stages of the North Forge Founders Program (Base Camp and Pathfinder), will be run through the MaRS Discovery District(MaRS). MaRS supports Canada’s most promising startups — helping them grow, create jobs, and solve society’s greatest challenges. To gain more insights into how this shift will impact the overall North Forge experience for founders, Marissa Huggins, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at North Forge, met with Programming Director, Elaine Greer, to answer some key questions about the changes being made as we enter the new year! 

M.H: How will this shift benefit founders?

E.G: MaRS is one of the largest incubator programs in North America, they’ve helped some truly fantastic innovative Canadian start-up’s take off. Working with MaRS will increase the capacity of our Founders Program so that we are doing fewer intakes throughout the year, but we will be bringing in more founders per cohort. One of the benefits of this partnership is that we will be able to help founders quickly and efficiently move through customer validation and the importance of business model canvas development so that they can turn their dreams into a reality faster than ever. 

M.H: Why did we choose the MaRS program as our partner?

E.G: The MaRS team has a lot of experience and knowledge when it comes to the tech industry, but most importantly they share the same values as North Forge. MaRS is incredibly focused on creating impact companies that are going to provide long-term solutions to global problems that we are currently facing. Impact companies are companies that are actively establishing and building solutions to large-scale global problems. This aligns perfectly with one of our founding principles at North Forge, which is to use tech as a tool to solve global problems through innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Another key reason why we chose to partner with MaRS is their founder-first attitude, which again aligns perfectly with our core beliefs. Keeping the founders at the front and center of our program is critical to us, and we are constantly tweaking the Founders Program to reflect the wants and needs of our founders, MaRS does the same. 

M.H: How will we still maintain that personal quality and touch that founders associate with North Forge?

E.G: Given that we are only shifting pieces of our program, the overall level of quality and that sense of community that founders love about North Forge will not be affected. The Founders Program has always been delivered online. When we first started the program our team had to brainstorm creative ways to cultivate a sense of community virtually. Founders use various tools such as Slack to keep in touch with each other. Our programming team is also consistently in touch with founders to ensure that they are settling well into our innovative corner of the world. 

We also have a local coach available to help founders answer any broad-scale questions they may have about getting started. Every single founder who is brought into the program will always have a local connection. 

An unstoppable partnership

This is only the beginning of what is sure to be a fantastic relationship between MaRS and North Forge. By combining North Forge’s network of mentors, investors, and in-house team entrepreneurship experts with MaRS’ vast knowledge of innovation and technology in Canada, founders can look forward to an experience that is unlike any other. 

To find out more about the Founders Program, click here.

To learn more about MaRS Discovery District, click here. 

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