KPMG and MaRS launch cleantech accelerator

21 June 2022 2 min. read

KPMG Canada and MaRS Discovery District have together launched the “Climate Impact Accelerator,” which will match promising cleantech startups with corporations and governments to scale up solutions.

The program will match KPMG clients with cleantech startups in the MaRS ecosystem looking to scale up – combining the expansive client base and advisory expertise of KPMG with North America’s largest innovation hub. The program has the potential to be expanded to other areas such as financial services, healthcare, and retail.

“Often, startups and corporates don't talk to each other, and they tend to operate in silos," said Yung Wu, CEO of MaRS Discovery District, a Toronto-based non-profit that supports high-growth startups in a variety of sectors.  “It's time to move beyond pilot projects and towards creating sustainable models that will move Canada's innovation agenda forward."

The accelerator will aim to bridge the gap between Canada’s strong innovation base and effective commercialization that drives long-term economic growth.

KPMG and MaRS launch cleantech accelerator

Canada ranked 16th out of 70 countries in World Intellectual Property Organization’s 2021 Global Innovation Index in 2021, but the country ranked 20th in business sophistication and 23rd in knowledge and technology outputs.

According to OECD stats, Canada has the highest share of innovative firms, but its projected GDP per capita growth is only 0.7% from 2020-2030 and 0.8% from 2030-2060 – placing Canada last in a ranking of 38 advanced and G20 countries.

"Canada is home to more than a dozen of the top global cleantech companies, second only to the United States," said Armughan Ahmad, president and managing partner, digital, KPMG Canada. “Our innovation economy represents 12% of GDP but it's growing three to six times faster than the rest of the economy. Canada clearly has a strong foundation in research and innovation, but we're lagging in commercialization. The Climate Impact Accelerator helps solve that disconnect.”

One of the startups participating in the new accelerator is BrainBox AI, a Montreal-based firm in the MaRS portfolio that specializes in AI software that improves the efficiency of HVAC systems.

“This program helps us find the right corporate partners quickly and efficiently,” said Sam Ramadori, CEO of BrainBox AI. “We are looking forward to working with governments and companies and help them cut their energy usage by enabling building owners to significantly reduce their carbon footprints.”