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MaRS Fall Intensive: Launch your startup before the end of 2017

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MaRS Discovery District

101 College Street

Collaboration Centre

Toronto, ON M5G 1L7


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Navigate the world of business at our hands-on workshop series.

The entrepreneurial journey is challenging. How do you lead your team successfully on this adventure? What’s your unique selling point (USP)? Could you manage your financials better? Benefit from expert advice and peer feedback along the way.

Participants in this program will attend four workshops over a nine-week period. Diverse cohorts of up to 30 participants will work together to share experiences and try to solve some of the critical business challenges facing early-stage startups.

We’ll be covering four fundamental themes (full details below):

  • Value Proposition
  • Business Model Canvas
  • Finance Fundamentals
  • Leadership

The Details:

When: Sessions will be held once per week.

Time: 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Number of spaces: 30

Location: MaRS Discovery District, Collaboration Centre, 101 College St., Toronto, ON

Early bird deadline: August 28, 2017

Final application deadline: September 5, 2017

Workshops begin: Friday, September 8, 2017

Come a little earlier and enjoy some networking over complimentary coffee. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.

Note that all participants need to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

How to Apply

Step 1: Fill out the questions in the registration form once you click "Tickets" by September 5. A fee of $250 will apply (or early bird $199 until August 28). If you are a RIC client or member, please reach out to before proceeding to register.

Step 2: Should you apply before August 28 at 5:00 p.m., you will hear about your application status by September 1. If you apply after August 28 you will hear from the Entrepreneurship Education Team no later than September 6. Those who are not selected for the course will have their deposits fully refunded.

The course has been valued at $3,720, so this is an unmissable price!

Are you eligible?

To be eligible for the program your venture must:

1. Be an early-stage innovative company that fits in one of four sectors:

2. Be looking to deploy an innovative venture. To see how we define “innovative,” here are some examples of ventures we work with.

3. Not be a service provider (e.g. consultants, CROs, SR&ED agents)

Our selection criteria is also determined by:

  1. Stage of venture
  2. Commitment of entrepreneurs
  3. Fit with MaRS mission

As this intensive program is customized for entrepreneurs, we do not encourage consultants, teachers, advisors or coaches to attend.

Workshop Schedule

Starting Lean: Value Proposition

Session 1 – Preparing to leave the building (Friday, September 8, 2017 // 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Establish a process to clarify and test key assumptions you have about your business USP and lower your venture’s overall risk.

Deliverable: Overview of the Lean Startup approach and a tested customer interview guide based on your venture’s most important foundational assumptions.

Session 2 – Refining your customer development (Friday, September 15, 2017 //1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Learn to record, organize, and analyze your customer interview results. Validate key customer assumptions from your interview results.

Deliverable: A solid customer interview technique that can be used throughout the course of new business development.

Session 3 – Determining your value proposition (Thursday, September 21, 2017 //1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Use data obtained from interviews to synthesize customer feedback into a value proposition.

Deliverable: A framework and template for determining your value proposition.

Starting Lean: Business Model Canvas

Session 1 – Designing your business model (Friday, September 29, 2017 // 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Use your value proposition to test your business model for sustainability and growth.

Deliverable: A business model designed around your value proposition.

Session 2 – Validating your business model (Friday, October 6, 2017 // 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Analyze external factors to test your business model for sustainability and growth.

Deliverable: A framework for validating your business model that analyzes external forces and key business model metrics.

Finance Fundamentals

Session 1 – Preparing your business forecast (Friday, October 13, 2017 // 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Understand the basics of financial statements, management reporting and how to build a detailed cash flow forecast to be used in making day-to-day business decisions that lead to growth.

Deliverable: Expense budget template for your business.

Session 2 – Understanding revenue forecasting, funding and business valuation (Friday, October 20, 2017 // 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Use your cash flow forecast and add revenue estimates by looking at inputs such as pricing, sales funnel and revenue types resulting in a complete cash flow forecasting model you can use in your business. You’ll also learn the basic concepts surrounding different types of business valuations and the inputs and factors that impact valuation from an investor perspective.

Deliverable: Revenue cash-flow template for your business.

Session 3 - Business valuation and tutorial session (Friday, October 27, 2017 // 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

First half: Outline basic concepts surrounding different types of business valuations, and the inputs and factors that impact valuation from an investor perspective.

Second half: Working session/finance lab.

Deliverable: Basic complete 12-month cash flow forecast for your business.


Session 1 - Leadership (Thursday, November 2, 2017 // 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Become more conscious of your natural leadership style and how you employ it. The session will enable you to become more mindful and deliberate in your personal interactions with your team and help you deal with a variety of entrepreneurial challenges more effectively.

Deliverable: A framework to create interview questions for prospective partners as you build your leadership team.

For further information about the Fall Intensive, our workshop programs generally, or how to become a client of a regional innovation centre, please contact

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MaRS Discovery District

101 College Street

Collaboration Centre

Toronto, ON M5G 1L7


View Map

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