The market intelligence service provided by Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District will soon be accessible to qualifying Atlantic Canadian technology companies that are linked to the Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN), according to Moncton accelerator Venn Innovation.
Maritime entrepreneurs will be able to use the market intelligence service to leverage the knowledge of sector-specific analysts based out of MaRS.
The initiative is being made possible in part through a non-repayable contribution of $170,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Business Development program.
“For the past two years, Venn has been providing market intelligence to New Brunswick-based companies through a partnership with MaRS,” said Venn Innovation CEO Doug Robertson. “The opportunity to extend the access to market intelligence across Atlantic Canada was facilitated through our participation in the Canadian Digital Media Network and the relationships that we have forged with the other participating organizations in the network.”
Volta Labs and InnovaCorp will provide access to Nova Scotia entrepreneurs, along with the Genesis Centre in Newfoundland and Labrador, while Innovation PEI will provide access to local businesses through a referral via Venn Innovations.
“The CDMN hubs outside of Ontario expressed an interest in being able to leverage the network to access the MaRS Market Intelligence services being offered through the support of Ministry of Research and Innovation in the province of Ontario,” said CDMN director of network operations Lisa Cashmore. “We felt the economic impact of extending this program to help companies from across the country would be extremely valuable. We are proud to have played a role in bringing this service to our Atlantic hubs.”
The Canadian Digital Media Network is a network of 26 regional innovation hubs designed to support Canadian digital entrepreneurs.
“Market, customer and industry intelligence are some of the most important data sets that a start-up needs as they begin to develop their business idea,” said MaRS VP Learning and Insights Usha Srinivasan. “In Ontario, through the MaRS Market Intelligence services, we have been filling this critical gap since 2008 thanks to our funder Ministry of Research and Innovation. We are thrilled to partner with CDMN and the Atlantic provinces to extend our services beyond our borders to support other startups.”
If Canada’s tech sector is to live up to its potential as a significant driver of a diversified Canadian economy, a measure of information sharing will have to be systematically implemented at the incubator level, which access to market intelligence, to provide companies with sector-specific information such as market size, incumbent competitors, potential investors and strategic partners, intellectual property issues and best practices, should go a long way to address.
“Atlantic Canada is home to many promising startups and the Government of Canada is committed to helping new businesses get the tools they need to compete in the global marketplace,” said Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and also Minister responsible for ACOA, Navdeep Bains. “Strategic investments like this one contribute to long-term growth, support the creation of well-paying jobs for the middle class to grow and prosper and position the region as a thriving, knowledge-driven economy.”