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Mark Zimmerman - MaRS Discovery District. Toronto, ON, CA

Mark Zimmerman

Advisor: IT, Communications and Entertainment | MaRS Discovery District

Toronto, ON, CANADA

The Entrepreneurs Lifeguard! Experienced advisor who has successfully steered many start-ups through the rough seas of business development





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Entrepreneurship 101 2010/11 - Distribution




Mark advises entrepreneurs in the information technology, communications and entertainment practice at MaRS. He specializes in B2B enterprise software, SaaS business models as well as security and privacy. Mark is member of the MaRS web business advisory panel and an advisor to New Ventures Projects at the Richard Ivey School of Business.

Mark’s been working in the information and communication technology industry for more than 15 years. He’s worked with some of the biggest companies in the industry, but he’s also worked with very early stage start-ups—so he knows what it’s like to be in an entrepreneur’s shoes.

He has been a key leader of three start-ups: Netcom Canada, an Internet Service Provider sold to AT&T Canada in 1999; Nextair Inc., a developer of software for wireless devices sold to a major Canadian technology company in early 2005; and ConnectedN, a software as a service (SaaS) company developing simple and intuitive social communications tools.

He has also held senior sales, marketing, solutions development and innovation roles at Bell Canada and AT&T Canada.

At Bell he developed and helped launch several innovative new businesses in areas as diverse as real estate, local search and reviews and home security and monitoring. At AT&T he product managed the high growth $150 million+ internet access, hosting and security business lines and led the Advanced Internet Solutions consulting team.

Industry Expertise (6)

VC and Private Equity

Computer Software

Management Consulting

IT Services/Consulting

Information Technology and Services


Areas of Expertise (7)


Product Strategy

Software as A Service


Product Management

Business Strategy

Cross-Functional Team Leadership

Accomplishments (4)

Advisor: IT, Communications and Entertainment – MaRS Discovery District (professional)

MaRS is where science, technology and social entrepreneurs get the help they need. Where all kinds of people meet to spark new ideas. And where a global reputation for innovation is being earned, one success story at a time. MaRS provides resources — people, programs, physical facilities, funding and networks — to ensure that critical innovation happens. We stimulate, identify and harness great ideas, nurture their development and guide the transformation of those ideas into reality.

Founder and Principal – Tiny Ship Consulting Services (professional)

Tiny Ship Consulting provides strategy, management advice and services to technology and telecom companies. We aim to help you navigate the vast sea of chaos that is today’s market.

Entrepreneurship Mentor – The Next 36 (professional)

The goal of The Next 36 is to help launch the careers of Canada’s most promising and innovative undergraduates. The program will identify these students through a rigorous selection process, and give them the academic foundation, practical skills, role models and networks to become Canada’s next generation of entrepreneurial leaders. Students learn from high-profile business leaders, entrepreneurs and academics while wrestling with the challenge of building a new venture from idea to market.

Ivey Entrepreneur-In-Residence (professional)

Ivey Entrepreneurs-in-Residence are people with an outstanding track record as owner-leaders or through their involvement in start-ups, who share their expertise and exceptional knowledge with HBA and MBA students enrolled in the Ivey New Venture Project. Students gain real life knowledge through one-on-one coaching to develop a thorough business plan ready to take to market.

Event Appearances (2)

How should your company tackle distribution?

MaRS Entrepreneurship 101 Series  MaRS Discovery District, Toronto


Enterprise Mobility: 3 Trends, 6 Startups

MobiBiz 2011  Toronto, Ontario


Sample Talks (1)

How should your company tackle distribution?

How should your startup approach distribution? Which method works best? Should you be using inside sales? Direct sales? E-commerce? A franchise system? Integrators? This presentation will offer a strategic perspective of the distribution channel options available to start-ups. By attending this workshop, you will gain from the insights of someone who has helped both early stage companies and huge multinationals achieve greater success.



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Host/MC
  • Corporate Training


*Will consider certain engagements for no fee