News Report: MaRS bailout could cost taxpayers up to $477 million
It is fair for you to assume that I didn’t fall out of my chair when the Conservatives released Ontario government cabinet documents surrounding the second phase of the white elephant known as MaRS.
In 2007, which dates this blog a bit, I wrote that “The MaRS project itself is not innovation; it’s just bricks and mortar.” More recently, I returned from a tour of Chicago’s small incubator and reported as follows (see prior post “See you again, Chicago” Sept. 20-12):
Chicago isn’t on the same scale as Palo Alto when it comes to tech deals. But it is strong enough to warrant a five month old State-backed Accelerator in the Merchandise Building, with 165 different start-ups already calling it home. Far more than you’d ever find at Toronto’s Mars Discovery District.
Which begs the question. If it was clear to some of us in the tech ecosystem that MaRS 2 wasn’t required back in 2011, at least not to support space demands from start-ups, why did the Liberal government proceed just the same? And why did the MaRS Board of Directors seemingly encourage it?