MaRS Discovery District’s board of directors announced today that Yung Wu will be the entrepreneurship hub’s new CEO. Wu will begin his new role at MaRS on November 1st.
Wu is the chairman of early-stage investment firm NFQ Ventures, and sits on the boards of the DMZ, Green Shield Canada, and Antibe Theraputics. Wu was also the CEO of Castek Software, an insurance software vendor sold to Oracle in 2007. His role at Castek earned him a Canadian ‘Top 40 under 40’ nod in 1995.
“As an entrepreneur, I know that timing is critical and we have a unique window of opportunity to make Canada an international destination for great founders, not just a source of top talent.”
“What attracted me to this opportunity was the promise of supporting entrepreneurs and early-stage companies with transformative and viable innovations to create broad economic and social impact,” said Wu in a statement. “As an entrepreneur, I know that timing is critical and we have a unique window of opportunity to make Canada an international destination for great founders, not just a source of top talent. After building and launching several global companies from Toronto, I’m thrilled to see a new level of confidence in this city’s maturing innovation ecosystem.”
The board’s decision on Wu is the culmination of a search for new leadership following outgoing CEO Ilse Treurnicht’s announcement she would step down from the role in June of last year after twelve years of service. At the time, Treurnicht told BetaKit that MaRS had “now built the foundation of that vision, creating a unique urban innovation hub that combines economic results with societal impact. Now that we are through the launch phase of this ambitious project, it is time for a new leadership team to take MaRS through its next stage of growth.”
Related: Outgoing CEO Ilse Treurnicht on “battling the beast” of MaRS’ West Tower and what comes next
Treurnicht said she was pleased that the board “has chosen such a thoughtful and well-respected innovator to guide MaRS through its next stage of development.”
“MaRS is pleased to welcome aboard an extremely successful entrepreneur who understands the full cycle of innovation – from seed stage financing to global scaling,” said Gord Nixon, chair of the board of directors at MaRS. “The Canadian startup ecosystem is going through tremendous growth, and our talent and inventiveness is attracting attention around the world.”