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MaRS Courses and Guides

Find articles, videos and courses on building your startup. Stay tuned for a fully searchable and discoverable library coming soon.

Business models

A business model describes the value an organization offers to its customers. It illustrates the capabilities and resources required to create, market and deliver this value, and to generate profitable, sustainable revenue streams. In principle, a business model does not matter to customers; it is important to the company and … Read More

The high-tech buying process and the technology adoption lifecycle

The technology adoption lifecycle (TALC) describes buying behaviour for technology products in various  market segments. The buying process is similar for the different segments along the TALC. Visionaries and technology enthusiasts in the Early Market  (see the TALC) follow the same stages of the buying process as pragmatists in the Chasm … Read More

Using the TALC

For a start-up, understanding where your product category fits on the technology adoption lifecycle (TALC) is critical for the strategic allocation of limited resources. That said, keep in mind that the TALC is a blunt tool that offers little chance for accuracy. It is therefore important for start-ups to achieve … Read More

Value proposition: A reflection of the relationship between your customer and brand

Researching a market? Our free online course Introduction to Market Sizing offers a practical 30-minute primer on market research and calculating market size. A product’s value proposition is a statement of the functional, emotional and self-expressive benefits delivered by the brand that provide value to the target customer. It consists of … Read More

Allocating stock options for an employee stock option plan (ESOP)

An employee stock option plan (ESOP) is a legal document permitting the company to issue stock options to certain insiders of the company: employees, directors, advisors and consultants. The ESOP is used as an ownership incentive for the team to build the value of the business for shareholders as well as … Read More

What is an execution plan?

The execution plan is the “how-to” for your venture. It is a necessary input to your financial plan, slide pitch deck and business plan. It should also be a tool that you use with your team on a regular basis to manage the business, to communicate your critical goals and … Read More

What financing approach is right for your business?

If you have a great technology idea, you will need financial resources to develop it. An inventor or entrepreneur should develop a long-term financing strategy for their technology. The following checklist can help you develop the right financing approach. To help determine the best approach for your idea, decide what … Read More

Building a board of directors—and its role in corporate governance

As part of the terms of financing, the term sheet  provided an outline of the size and composition of the board post-financing. A corporation requires directors, officers and shareholders to act. The directors comprise the board of directors. For early-stage companies prior to an outside investment, the board will likely … Read More

Personal liabilities and fiduciary duties of company directors

Most startup founders have a general idea that serving as a director of a corporation should not be taken lightly. But what are the key duties and personal liabilities that the law imposes on directors and how can you mitigate them? The basics regarding the three categories of director obligations—fiduciary duties, … Read More

Relationship marketing: Kotler on marketing

One of the things of most value to a company is its relationships—with customers, employees, suppliers, distributors, dealers, and retailers. The company’s relationship capital is the sum of the knowledge, experience, and trust a company has with its customers, employees, suppliers, and distribution partners. These relationships are often worth more than the … Read More

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