Tag Archives: MaRS

RESI on MaRS Innovation Challenge – Check Out the Winners

12 Apr

By Chris Cummings, Senior Marketing Manager, LSN

On April 10, more than 600 entrepreneurs and investors entered the exhibition hall at MaRS Discovery District in Toronto. They were greeted by 30 Innovation Challenge finalists across therapeutics, medical device, diagnostics, and healthcare IT sectors. The 30 companies, hand selected by LSN’s scientific and commercial review team, competed directly on merits of innovation and commercial viability. We wish all our finalists the best in bringing their products forward toward commercialization, but there could only be 3 top prize winners.

First Place: Neurescence

Neurescence has developed and commercialized a miniature microscope initially targeted to the neurology research market. Our Quartet™ system gets implanted in multiple regions of the brain and spine and follows the activities of 100s of neurons in each region for months while the subject freely moves around. Our hardware-software suite is the only technology that allows establishing a causal connection between the effect of the treatment, such as a drug, on both the neuronal micro-circuitry and the disease phenotype. This extremely powerful approach takes the process of discovering and developing treatments from a trial and error method to an intelligent design.

Lucy Parkinson, VP of Investor Research, Life Science Nation | Yasaman Soudagar, Founder & CEO, Neurescence | Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, Life Science Nation | Ying Tam, Managing Director, Health Ventures, MaRS

Second Prize: Acorn Biolabs

People’s own cells have and will continue to become the foundation of the most important future biomedical therapeutics and regenerative medicine strategies. Aged cells, however, are highly mutated and deteriorated versions of our current cells. Precisely when people will need high-quality cells the most, their cells at that time will be at their worst. Acorn Biolabs has developed a novel non-invasive at-home kit to collect and viably transport cells. Acorn cryopreserves these cells as a way to ensure people will always have access to their own young therapeutically-capable cells. The value potential is immense; customer’s preserved cells are a life-long living resource, retrievable for direct use with advanced cell-based therapeutics, and analyzable for personal genomics, epigenomics, proteomics and beyond.

Lucy Parkinson, VP of Investor Research, Life Science Nation | Steven ten Holder, Founder & COO, Acorn Biolabs | Drew Taylor, CEO, Acorn Biolabs | Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, Life Science Nation | Ying Tam, Managing Director, Health Ventures, MaRS

Third Prize: Therachat

Therachat is a mental health platform which simplifies homework in therapy for therapists & psychologists & their clients. Therapists & psychologists can customize the homework experience for their clients via a simple web application and their clients can do their homework on an easy-to-use, HIPAA compliant, mobile application. We believe that homework needed a simpler way and that’s what we have built! Check http://www.therachat.io to find out more!

Sajid Reshamwala, Director of Design, Therachat | Kouris Kalligas, CEO & Founder, Therachat | Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, Life Science Nation | Ying Tam, Managing Director, Health Ventures, MaRS

If you missed out on the opportunity to compete in the RESI on MaRS Innovation Challenge, we’d be happy to take your application for our upcoming Boston event on June 4th.

Apply for RESI Boston Innovation Challenge Now!



RESI Lands on MaRS in 5 Days – Check out the Program Guide

5 Apr

By Nono Hu, Director of Marketing, LSN

In 5 days, The Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference will return to MaRS Discovery Centre, Toronto for the third time during the Toronto Health Innovation Week. So far, we have over 700 meetings booked through the RESI Partnering Platform, and have registered over 250 early stage investors.

If you’re planning your day at RESI on MaRS, check out the program guide now to find the full lineup of speakers, innovators, exhibitors and sponsors.

See you at MaRS on April 10th!

RESI on MaRS Panel Announcement: Venture Philanthropy

29 Mar

By James Huang, Research Analyst, LSN


RESI endeavors to bring a diverse pool of investors to each of our events for early stage life science companies. Among them are venture philanthropic foundations whose profound expertise within their targeted disease areas makes them great resources for any entrepreneur looking to work within their areas of expertise. Additionally, venture philanthropic investors tend to focus on assets at an earlier stage than typical VCs, with the aim of helping new treatments traverse the infamous “Valley of Death.”

LSN is pleased to announce a panel of five venture philanthropic investors for the upcoming RESI on MaRS this April 10th in Toronto. In this panel, these investors will explain their unique strategies and expertise, and entrepreneurs can learn how to find and work with a venture philanthropy investor in their domain. RESI attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to hear from:

RESI on MaRS Panel Announcement: Diagnostics Investors

29 Mar

By Claire Jeong, Research Analyst, LSN


The field of diagnostics can be a difficult space to navigate due to challenges in the regulatory and reimbursement processes that hinder successful commercialization. However, the implications of diagnostic technologies can be enormous; from precision genomics that enable optimum health management and personalized care to novel biomarkers that can successfully detect high mortality diseases in its earliest stages, diagnostics companies are developing some of the most highly disruptive technologies in the industry.

In this session, we invite 5 investors with strong expertise in this diverse space to speak about their unique approaches in working with early-stage companies. Investors will discuss the types of investment opportunities they seek and share valuable insights on building long lasting relationships, differentiating your technology from similar competitors, and more. We hope you will be able to join us for the RESI Toronto Conference in the MaRS Innovation Center on April 10th to meet these awesome panelists!

Moderated by Drew Taylor, Lead Medical Researcher, Epic Capital Management, the panel participants are:

  • Yiu-Lian Fong, Innovation Lead for Diagnostics, Johnson & Johnson (Medical Devices)
  • Kelly Holman, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Genesys Capital
  • Yvan Côté, General Manager of Dynacare Next & Orchid PRO-DNA, Dynacare
  • Amine Benmoussa, Principal (Healthcare), BDC Healthcare Fund


RESI on MaRS Panel Announcement: Corporate Venture Capital

22 Mar

By Cole Bunn, Director of Research, LSN


Large corporations, especially in the pharmaceutical and biotech world, play a very important role in anchoring an innovation ecosystem. The most notable activity of these corporations is perhaps their role as an investor in and buyer of innovation – an exit partner. However, attracting and concentrating talent, and providing access to resources and experts are also vital elements of a healthy entrepreneurial community that big pharma brings with its presence. Corporate venture funds, which can serve as a vehicle for big pharma to make riskier/earlier investments, continue to find their way into more and more biotech venture rounds every year.

Toronto, looking to ramp up commercialization of its world-class research and put its name on the map as a life science powerhouse, will host the RESI conference for the third time as a part of the Toronto Health Innovation Week and welcome a panel of Corporate Venture investors. This increasingly important investor class will discuss trends in the space, their current interests, and how entrepreneurs can best prepare to pitch to and work with a group like theirs.

Moderated by Salim Teja, President, Venture Services, MaRS Discovery District, this panel will feature:

  • Marian Nakada, VP of Venture Investing, Johnson & Johnson
  • Jens Eckstein, President, SR One
  • Richard Osborn, Managing Partner, TELUS Ventures
  • Tom Gibbs, Director, Debiopharm Innovation Fund

By registering for RESI on MaRS, you’ll be able to listen to the Corporate Venture Capital panel live and learn how to position yourself to work with this type of group as well as interact with the a range of investors and entrepreneurs and experience numerous opportunities to expand your network in the life sciences.

RESI on MaRS Panel Announcement: Medical Device Investors

22 Mar

By Lucy Parkinson, VP of Investor Research, LSN

Medical device innovation is known for being a challenging area for raising capital.  Given the timelines and capital requirements involved, as well as the increasing consolidation of the major firms that make up the exit landscape for devices, entrepreneurs may find it difficult to build their investment story.  However, LSN is in contact with hundreds of investors who are seeking deals in the device space, either for purely return-driven investments or for adding to a strategic pipeline.  At RESI, we aim to bridge the gap between early stage device firms and investors and help entrepreneurs close those ‘last three feet’ to make deals.

At RESI on MaRS, we welcome a Medical Device Investors panel featuring experienced investors from across North America, including both strategic players and financially-driven venture investors who will explore and elucidate the world of early stage device investment from every angle.  The panel will be moderated by Sam Ifergan, President & CEO, iGan Partners, and the participants are:

  • Katherine Parra Moreno, Vice President of Business Development, Epic Capital Management
  • Zishan Haroon, Chairman and General Partner, Julz Co LLC
  • V Kadir Kadhiresan, Vice President, Venture Investments, Johnson & Johnson Innovation
  • Gerry Brunk, Managing Director, Lumira Capital

Agenda Launches For RESI on MaRS

1 Feb

By Lucy Parkinson, Director of Research, LSN

With RESI returning to MaRS in Toronto on April 10th, LSN has prepared a full day agenda of panel and workshop content. In addition to RESI’s high quality one-on-one partnering, attendees will also have the opportunity to hear directly from investors on a variety of topics in early stage fundraising.

For this RESI event in Toronto, we are introducing panels on Tech Transfer and on Government Research Funding, both of which are key topics in the local ecosystem. RESI on MaRS will also see the return of perennial RESI sessions such as Early Stage Therapeutics, Medical Device Investors, Diagnostics and Digital Health. Additionally, RESI will include panels on increasingly popular topic areas – Family Offices, Genomics, and Big Data & Algorithms in Healthcare. Finally, RESI’s Track 4 presents 4 workshops and panels focused on Asia-North America Partnerships, with deep dives on Cross-Border In-Licensing, the Asia Investors Landscape, and more.

RESI on MaRS is a chance to immerse yourself in the early stage life science fundraising world for a day, with full-day partnering and the opportunity to educate yourself on the latest in funding new healthcare technologies and building strategic relationships. If you’d like to attend, sign up now.

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