The MaRS Discovery District was abuzz with international excitement today, as the innovation hub announced memorandums of understanding with StartupDelta, supported by Utrecht University and Twente University, and the REshape Center of Radboud University Medical Center (Radboudumc) in the Netherlands.
Aimed at strengthening talent development, business networks, and joint programs in both nations, the agreement between StartupDelta and MaRS will identify technologies created by startup ventures in each innovation hub that have potential for development in their respective jurisdictions, as well as more broadly in both Europe and North America. StartupDelta is notably Europe’s largest startup ecosystem.
“Partnering with StartupDelta and Radboudumc’s REshape Center will enable us to share expertise and provide opportunities for innovative technology companies in Canada and the Netherlands to collaborate and grow globally,” said Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS Discovery District.
The announcement was paired with a visit to MaRS of their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, who have been making their way across Ontario surveying Canada’s innovation landscape. Six Canadian companies presented their tech to their Majesties, including eSight, Nanoleaf, WatrHub, Hydrostor, and Vanhawks.
“[His Majesty King Willem-Alexander] actually requested to see the bike, so it was awesome,” said Ali Zahid Vanhawk’s co-founder. “I didn’t pitch him. I explained the bike and what it does, and he was like ‘wow it’s the future’, and took a picture to share with his friends. We tell our vision to everyone, how we want to makes bike smarter, and he was really intrigued.”
“My attitude is that he’s a normal human being and we were making jokes,” Zahid continued. “He started making fun of me for the wheels, saying four months out of the year it snows here in Canada, so how can you ride on a wheel like that? I said that we don’t ride bikes in winter, it’s too cold.”