CA$199 – CA$250

MaRS Winter Intensive: New Year, New Venture

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MaRS Discovery District

101 College Street

Collaboration Centre

Toronto, ON M5G 1L7


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Event description


Breathe new life into your business in January.

A new year is the perfect time to reflect on how your venture is performing. Could you be working on your leadership skills or evaluating your unique selling point (USP)? How about improving the way you manage your financials?

Start a fresh chapter of your business at the Winter Intensive, which is designed so that participants attend four hands-on 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: January 3, 2018

Final application deadline: January 10, 2018

Workshops begin: Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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 January 10. A fee of $250 will apply (or early bird $199 until January 3). If you are a RIC client or member and have not spoken to your contact at your RIC, please reach out to before proceeding to register.

Step 2: Should you apply before January 10, you will hear back from the Entrepreneurship Education team no later than January 15. 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 (Wednesday, January 17, 2018 // 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 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 (Wednesday, January 24, 2018 // 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 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 (Wednesday, January 31, 2018 // 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 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 (Wednesday, February 7, 2018 // 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 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 (Wednesday, February 14, 2018 // 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 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 (Wednesday, February 21, 2018 // 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 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 (Wednesday, February 28, 2018 // 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 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 (Wednesday, March 7, 2018 // 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 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 (Wednesday, March 14, 2018 // 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 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.

Regional Innovation Centre/ONE Clients

If you are a client of a Regional Innovation Centre (Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs), when prompted on the registration page, please list the organization of which you are a member and your current advisor’s name. You will be refunded your full ticket price at the end of the workshop series upon completion of all post-workshop surveys (4 total).

*Note that if you are not a member of a Regional Innovation Centre, your ticket will not be eligible for refunds.

For further information about the Winter 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


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