MaRS Discovery District names Yung Wu new CEO

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By Ted Liu

Yung Wu, chairman of NFQ Ventures, a Toronto based early-stage investment firm, has been named as the new CEO of MaRS Discovery District. Wu will start at MaRS on November 1, 2017, the culmination of a global search to find a successor to outgoing CEO Ilse Treurnicht.

Wu is a serial entrepreneur, innovator, private equity investor and experienced corporate director, specializing in digital strategy and technology. Wu has a track record of founding, scaling and actively backing several startup companies, including: Castek Software, an insurance software vendor that was sold to a division of Oracle in 2007; Fuse Powered, a mobile analytics and big data firm that was purchased by Upsight in 2016; and Antibe Therapeutics, a biotech company developing medicines to treat pain and inflammation.

Wu currently serves on the board of Green Shield Canada, Antibe Therapeutics Inc., and The DMZ at Ryerson University.

“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.”

“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. “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.”

Wu has been recognized as one of Canada’s “Top 40 under 40” leaders and for leading one of the country’s “50 Best Managed Private Companies.”

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.” Treurnicht resigned in June 2016, stepping down as of June 2017, ending a 12-year term as CEO of MaRS.

Under Wu’s leadership, MaRS will continue to work across its four key sectors— health, work & learning, energy & environment, and finance & commerce —to advance prosperity through entrepreneurial achievement.

photo credit: MaRS