MBLM sets up T.O. tech shop

The brand agency has opened its first office dedicated to its technology offering.

Extending its reach into Canada, independent agency MBLM has opened its first office dedicated exclusively to building technology and brand-focused software.

With its headquarters in New York, MBLM’s offering includes brand building and thought leadership and content. Most recently it has undertaken rebranding efforts for American Airlines and an integrated campaign for Underwriter Laboratories (UL), a not-for-profit product safety tester.

The new MBLM Lab in Toronto, which officially opened at the end of February, strengthens the agency’s software solutions arm, says Demetri Mihalakakos, the Lab’s managing director.

Its work is geared to B2B and B2C companies, comprising back-end software coding, digital experience design, such as app building, and software product creation. The Lab will serve the agency’s international clients, rather than seeking out new local ones, although Mihalakakos thinks this could change in the future.

“As of right now we’ll be primarily concentrating on the current client base as we get set up and as we grow,” he says.

MBLM was founded with digital as a central component, said Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM, in an email.

For the first two quarters, the MBLM Lab will be mostly working on projects for client UL, which includes event-planning tools and website upgrades, Mihalakakos explains.

The Toronto office currently has four employees, with the aim to expand to a staff of 10 to 12 over the next two years.

The decision to set up shop in Toronto was due in part to it being home to Mihalakakos, who has worked with MBLM in the past, as well as the local talent, he explains.

“When we were looking to see where we could build this office, I think originally we started looking in New York or in America, but then when we realized the amount of talent that’s available in Canada, it was an easy choice, I believe.”

Natarelli, whose career kicked off in his home city of Toronto, says the new Lab “gives us a footprint in a vibrant, world-class city with a deep technology talent base.”