Toronto Tech Descends on New York City to Promote Strategic East Coast Alliance

NEW YORK--()--Toronto and New York, two cities experiencing a surge in venture capital, are building a new alliance to concentrate tech talent and attract funding for their scaling companies.

On Tuesday, November 14, Toronto’s largest innovation hub, MaRS Discovery District, along with some of Canada’s top AI and fintech ventures, will host Toronto Mayor John Tory for a series of roundtable discussions that will address how to foster high-growth startups by leveraging contacts and networks on the East Coast. The event will be held at Grand Central Tech, an innovation hub in the heart of New York, which recently announced a new strategic alliance with MaRS.

High-profile entrepreneurs will argue why borders do not matter when it comes to the movement of tech expertise and investment, and debate the merits of aligning themselves – especially at the city level – to pool assets, mindshare, and deal flow to attract more investors.

Speakers include:

  • Toronto Mayor John Tory;
  • Michael Katchen, CEO of Wealthsimple, the online investment management firm that has raised over $100 million;
  • Allen Lau, CEO of global storytelling platform Wattpad and Co-founder of Two Small Fish Ventures;
  • Jonathan Libov, director of product at Figure 1, named by Fast Company as “the Instagram for doctors”;
  • Dessy Daskalov, CTO of Nudge Rewards, a mobile solution for retail, foodservice, and hospitality brands to impact frontline team performance;
  • Bill Marino, CEO of Uru, a NY-based venture that uses AI to pair videos with advertisements to help advertisers avoid appearing near harmful content;
  • Kerry Liu, CEO of Rubikloud, the world's most advanced machine learning platform for large retailers;
  • Steve Irvine, CEO of, an AI enterprise SaaS company that launched earlier this year in Toronto and has raised nearly $10-million.

Toronto has recently emerged as a global destination for artificial intelligence leading to a flood of inbound talent and windfall venture capital. In July, a survey of 42 high-growth Toronto ventures conducted by MaRS, found that nearly two thirds of respondents reported a significant increase in international and US-based job applicants compared to the same time the previous year. At the same time, Canadian venture capital reached an eight-quarter high reaching a total of US$1.8 billion for the year, according to PwC Canada and CB Insights.

As North America’s key financial hubs, Toronto and New York City are ideally positioned to develop a multi-city investment pipeline. MaRS and Grand Central Tech recently announced a partnership to share expertise and develop networks between their ecosystems. The partnership is one of many: Toronto’s university incubator DMZ moved into Primary, a collaborative workspace in New York City’s financial district, and the Creative Destruction Lab is partnering with NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Date and time
Tue, 14 November 2017
3:45 PM – 5:30 PM EST

Grand Central Tech
335 Madison Ave. - 4th Floor
New York City, NY

About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs. Our purpose is to help innovators change the world. MaRS supports promising ventures tackling key challenges in the health, cleantech, finance & commerce, as well as work & learning sectors as they start, grow and scale. In addition, the MaRS community fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration to drive breakthrough discoveries and new solutions to be adopted in Canada and beyond, growing our economy and delivering societal impact at scale.


Media contact
Ford Donovan
o. 212-564-3665
c. 917-232-1633
Danielle Klassen
c. 1-647-462-6862

Recent Stories

RSS feed for MaRS Discovery District