Markham’s Startup Ecosystem Landscape

Markham Startup Ecosystem

Markham is a thriving city that offers the perfect blend of urban convenience and suburban relaxation. Located in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, Markham is home to a dynamic and diverse economy that includes leading companies in life sciences, technology, semiconductor research and development, clean tech, autotech, food and beverage, finance and insurance, advanced manufacturing, and professional services.

Moreover, it is home to some of the world’s most respected and successful corporations, including IBM, Aviva Insurance, AMD, Honda Canada and GM Canada Technical Centre, just to name a few. This city is a business powerhouse, with a diverse array of companies that are driving innovation and growth.

Markham has gained a strong international reputation through its economic alliances and frequent business exchange missions with Asia, the USA, and Europe. These efforts have helped bring investment into the city and opened doors for Markham-based businesses to expand globally. The sister cities of Markham include Nördlingen from Germany, the Town of Carry from the US, and Wuhan from China.

Notable Startups

  • Troes specializes in the development of advanced energy storage solutions. In 2021, the company has raised a seed investment of US $ 1 million from five investors.
  • NodeApp is a platform that connects brands with micro-influencers to promote products and reach targeted audiences. In 2021, the company received a seed investment from Techstars.
  • Hop in Technologies is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that connects private bus operators and rideshare fleets with organizations. It functions as a marketplace for transportation services.
  • Spaice, Inc: is a pre-seed stage startup, that offers a one-stop shop for contractors to enhance their interior design skills and streamline material management.
  • Innovere Medical creates wireless peripheral devices for use with MRI machines.
  • Bluewirst provides automation solutions and products in the fields of robotics and machine vision for industrial applications. In 2017, the company has raised US$ 2 million in a Series A round.
  • Phyxable is a virtual physical rehabilitation platform. The platform offers 1-on-1 tele rehabilitation sessions.
  • CMEOW is assisting local businesses in optimizing last-mile delivery for increased efficiency and speed. CMEOW’s technology is based on route optimization technology.

Startup Support

Accelerators & Incubators

  • YSpace Markham]( is an incubator run by York University. As of 2022, the hub has supported over 600 ventures. YSpace has dedicated program for technology, food and beverage, women-led and black-led ventures to build and scale their businesses while developing their entrepreneurial and leadership skills.
  • My Main Street Local Business Accelerator aims to boost the economies of main street communities by revitalizing their retail offerings and providing economic opportunities to local residents, entrepreneurs, and businesses.
  • ventureLAB aims to scale IP-rich tech titans in Canada. Since 2011, VentureLab helped 2,000 tech ventures and provide unbiased support and direct connections for founders to raise capital. In addition to grants, expert knowledge, and network partners offered to startups, they can also benefit from 50,000 square foot facility and a lab to transform ideas into products.
  • HELIX is Seneca’s innovation and entrepreneurship incubator, invites students and members of the community, to explore and develop their entrepreneurial mindset. HELIX provides the essential tools and supports needed to design and launch a scalable startup, or to innovate from within an existing organization as an intrapreneur. Since its launch in 2017, HELIX has supported the acceleration of over 650 new ventures and engaged over 30,000 individuals in innovation and entrepreneurial workshops and events.
  • IBM Innovation Center Markham launched in partnership with IBM, the Government of Ontario, Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI), and ventureLAB. It offers entrepreneurs access to resources such as IBM cloud and cognitive business technologies, as well as education, business mentorship, and legal counsel through IBM’s network. The center is as large as 50,000 square feet and residents include the ventureLAB, York University, Seneca College, Markham Small Business Centre, Markham Board of Trade, National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, Ontario Centre of Innovation, York Angel Investors, TechConnex, and over 40 tech start-ups and scale-ups.

Coworking Spaces

  • Regus has three different coworking spaces in Markham, including Trillium Executive Center, Woodbine Avenue Suite, and Allstate Parkway Suite. All three spaces offer an option to rent an office space or work from a desk in the coworking area.
  • The Village Hive has three office spaces in Ontario and one of them is based in Markham. The space has several plans, including a dedicated desk, flex desk, or private office space. Entrepreneurs can also rent meeting or podcast rooms. The Village Hive community can benefit from such as affiliate discounts, health, and dental insurance option, and wellness seminars.
  • M Club is a private club that serves the community in the York Region. Membership is exclusive and offers a platform for business professionals, community leaders, creatives, founders, change-makers, and investors to connect, engage, and grow.
  • Swift Offices, Inc. offers four different coworking options; private office, dedicated desk, hot desk, and virtual office plan.
  • York Executive Group has a private office, dedicated desk, and hot desk plan. The space also hosts some events for networking and an on-site cafe.

Main Strengths of the Markham Startup Ecosystem
    • 1,500 tech and life sciences companies, providing 35,000 jobs to the community.
    • R&D investment from corporations such as IBM, Huawei, AMD, and Enghouse.
    • Strong talent pool – one of the highest post-secondary the educated workforce in Ontario.
    • The highest concentration of tech employers per capita.
Ecosystem Milestones

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