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Investing in business as a force for good

MaRS Catalyst Fund provides funding and support to Canadian companies pursuing social and environmental outcomes with business models that scale.

We back passionate entrepreneurs leveraging the tools of modern technology to address society’s biggest challenges in delivering better health outcomes, a more sustainable planet and happier people through innovative education and work sustainability.

We seek founders who are mission driven and want to build sustainable profitable businesses to deliver sustainable impact. The fund is GIIRS rated and will measure specific impact metrics on a per investment basis.

After seeing a lack of impact investment opportunities in Canada, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite seeded the MaRS Catalyst Fund. The fund is managed by an experienced venture capital team at MaRS.

What we look for

We support ventures that have a social or environmental mission at the heart of everything they do, targeting complex challenges that governments simply cannot fund on their own.

Our experienced team of investment managers and advisors seeks out innovative, early-stage, for-profit Canadian ventures working in the sectors of education and employment, clean technology and healthcare. MaRS Catalyst Fund makes first-round investments of between $150,000 and $350,000. We will also make second-round, series A-stage investments for two to three times the first-round amount when appropriate. By leveraging the expertise and extensive networks available through MaRS Discovery District, we help ventures prosper and generate strong returns.

We look for an outstanding leadership team that has identified a clear opportunity to make a social or environmental impact alongside a sustainable business model. The impact must be measurable and specific to the business. Also crucial: having a sizeable potential market, a validated product or service and a track record with a revenue stream or signed contracts.

We play an active role in helping the businesses we invest in to grow. As well as gaining access to the unparalleled expertise available at Canada’s largest innovation hub, the entrepreneurs we work with can count on support from MaRS Discovery District’s partners in social innovation: Radius in Vancouver and Esplanade in Montreal.

Virgin Unite
Mars Catalyst
Esplanade
Radius