About Us

MaRS Innovation exists so that when inventors in our community discover the next insulin, we can help them bring it to market from Canada.

Who We Are
MaRS Innovation (MI) is a non-profit organization that acts on behalf of our members–15 of Toronto’s top universities, institutions and research institutes, plus the MaRS Discovery District–to bring their most promising research breakthroughs to market.

Our portfolio is built upon a pipeline of over 1,400 intellectual property disclosures from researchers within our member institutions, which collectively receive over $1.47 billion in Canadian research funding each year.

MI staff work with inventors and their founding teams to bring these discoveries to global markets through industry partnerships, licensing or start-up companies. We provide commercial services, early-stage funding resources and broker deals with industry and private investors.

Created in 2008 as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) by the Networks of Centres of Excellence, MaRS Innovation is supported by its 15 member institutions and by the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Centres of Excellence.

Our Vision
To make a significant contribution to Canada’s economic outlook and to the quality of life of Canadians and others around the world.
Our Mission
To maximize the commercial and social return on our Member Institution’s research assets, converting great science into commercially viable products and services.
Our Team
Photo of Rafi Hofstein Rafi Hofstein President & CEO

Dr. Raphael (Rafi) Hofstein joined MaRS Innovation as President and CEO in June 2009. He is currently member of the board of directors of Life Science Ontario and of Clinical Trials Ontario, as well as a member of the Organizing Committee of the Public Policy Forum on Venture Capital and Innovation (part of the Quebec City Conference) and part of the Ontario Health Innovation Council (OHIC).…

Photo of Judy Blumstock Judy Blumstock Senior Director, Corporate Development

Judith provides financial strategy and in-depth portfolio reporting for MaRS Innovation and its technologies and companies under management. She also takes an active role in fundraising and investor relations, and leads a variety of special projects. Prior to joining MaRS Innovation, Judith was a principal with Genesys Capital Partners, one of the largest Canadian-based venture-capital firms focused on the life sciences industry.…

Photo of Mary Fournier-Park Mary Fournier-Park Administrator, IP Processing

Mary maintains MaRS Innovation’s main disclosure and Intellectual Property (IP) databases. Her role includes facilitating agreement execution, financial tracking and managing the IP portfolio. Mary has more than a decade of experience spanning trademark and patent prosecution, including domestic and foreign jurisdiction filings, as well as general maintenance of trademark and patent applications.…

Photo of Phil Goldbach Phil Goldbach Manager, Intellectual Property

Phil manages intellectual property rights across all technologies within MaRS Innovation’s portfolio. He advises on various forms of intellectual property protection, assessing patentability and managing patent application filings and prosecution decisions. Prior to joining MaRS Innovation, Phil trained with an intellectual property boutique law firm in downtown Toronto as a member of the firm’s life sciences patent practice group, where he was exposed to a wide array of technologies including biologics, small molecules, medical devices, and information technologies.…

Photo of Stacey Ivanchuk Stacey Ivanchuk Director, Intellectual Property

Stacey has over 10 years experience relating to intellectual property (IP) protection, management and strategy. She oversees and provides strategic advice for all projects in MaRS Innovation’s portfolio spanning diverse technical fields, working closely with the venture development teams to evaluate technologies and develop optimal IP protection strategies. In addition to her IP role, she is responsible for strategic oversight of all technologies originating from Baycrest, a MaRS Innovation member.…

Photo of Hassan Jaferi Hassan Jaferi Co-Director, UTEST

As a commercialization manager at MaRS Innovation, Hassan divides his time between projects located in York University’s Innovation York office and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s Technology Transfer office, located in the Sunnybrook Research Institute. He conducts due diligence on invention disclosures, aids in patent application preparation and prosecution, executes business development for early-stage technologies, helps to manage start-up companies, and pursues public and private funding to advance early-stage research projects.…

Photo of Timothy Key Timothy Key Manager, Technology & Venture Development

Tim manages projects in MI’s Life Sciences portfolio. He performs technical and market due diligence and evaluates the competitive positioning and advantages of new technologies to support and grow MI’s portfolio. He develops business, technical, strategic and financing plans to support new start-up ventures. He also actively markets technologies to support licensing, co-development and other commercialization transactions.…

Photo of Abu Nana Abu Nana Accounting Specialist, New Ventures

Abu conducts the day-to-day accounting and finance activities for several new ventures within MaRS Innovation, including Bedside Clinical Systems, Encycle Therapeutics, Kapplex, QD Solar, ScarX Therapeutics and Vasomune Therapeutics.…

Photo of Parimal Nathwani Parimal Nathwani Vice-President, Life Sciences

Parimal Nathwani has over 15 years of experience in various aspects of the biotechnology industry, including corporate finance, business development, transactions, intellectual property management, technology development and operations. He has been actively involved in forming and managing start-ups, preparing and executing on business plans, raising early-stage capital, and in- and out-licensing activities. Before joining MaRS Innovation, Parimal was a healthcare analyst with a boutique investment bank, where he conducted equity research on publicly-traded biotechnology companies in Canada and the U.S.…

Photo of Samir Sahoo Samir Sahoo Technology and Venture Development Manager

Samir has been working in the Healthcare/Medical Device space for over 7 years and has worked with a number of start-up companies in Microfluidics, Diagnostics and Healthcare IT. He has been responsible for in-depth due diligence with Health businesses and startups.  More recently he has been working in the orthopaedics and musculoskeletal space in US and Canada, managing Spinal Implants, Orthobiologics products and Surgical Power Tool portfolios at Zimmer.…

Photo of Fazila Seker Fazila Seker Director, Technology & Venture Development

As director, technology & venture development for the physical sciences, Fazila develops strategies for bridging emerging technologies to market and monetizing assets, assesses the business potential, and project manages their commercial implementation with a focus on medical imaging and healthcare markets. She brings ten years of experience leading technology development and commercialization for GE and Xerox in electronic devices, systems and related materials.…

Photo of Susanne Staer Susanne Staer Manager, Corporate Affairs

Susanne is the Corporate Secretary for MaRS Innovation and as such is in charge of the integrity of the organization’s governance framework, including compliance with various governing and funding requirements; efficient administration of the Board of Directors and its various governing and advisory committees; and management of the process related to the annual general meetings and accurate record keeping of Board decisions and organizational history.…

Photo of Jackie Terry Jackie Terry Executive Assistant to the VP and Program Administrator for LAB150

In addition to her responsibilities as EA to the Vice President, Jackie provides administrative support to the boards of several of MaRS Innovation’s startup companies.  She also assists with the daily administration of the LAB150 funding initiative for new drug discovery, and is the liaison between MaRS Innovation and our partner, Evotec AG, as well as the main contact for the Technology Transfer Offices and researchers at our Member institutions who wish to apply to the LAB150 program.…