Tag Archives: Toronto

Hot Investor Mandate 1: Toronto-Based Single Family Office Looking to Invest in Seed-Stage Medtech, Diagnostics, and Digital Health Companies

3 May

A single family office based in Toronto, Ontario has its main focus on real estate and mining, but is now looking to expand into the healthcare sector and plans to initially invest approximately $10M into seed-stage deals in the healthcare space. The firm may potentially reserve another pool of capital for additional healthcare investments in the future. The firm has flexibility with deal structures and may make either straight equity or convertible loan investments depending on the deal. In addition to capital, the group looks to add value to portfolio companies through marketing and sales expertise. The firm has no specific number of healthcare investments it’s looking to make.

Within healthcare, the firm is focused on the medtech, diagnostic and health IT space. The firm is particularly interested in newly created or accessible markets such as leveraging smart phones, big data/data mining and AI for healthcare purposes. The firm is highly interested in mobile diagnostic devices, diagnostics for the consumer market and portable lab devices. The firm will also look at more traditional FDA regulated medical devices and diagnostics on a secondary basis.

The firm seeks companies addressing specific markets, but has no set requirements for entrepreneurs/management teams other than a very focused team that is passionate about the tech and market being pursued. The firm typically seeks a board seat along with in an investment, but may not require one depending on the terms of the deal.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email mandates@lifesciencenation.com.

Interview with Yasaman, Winner of the Innovation Challenge in RESI Toronto

19 Apr

Yasaman Soudagar

An interview with Yasaman Soudagar, Founder & CEO, Neurescence

– By Greg Mannix, VP of International Business Development, LSN

Greg Mannix

Interview with Yasaman Soudagar: This year’s winner of the Innovation Challenge at RESI on MaRS was Neurescence, a Toronto-based company that has combined the power of novel optical imaging technology with advanced machine learning and quantum machine learning techniques for intelligent drug discovery for the diseases of the central nervous system.

CEO Yasaman Soudagar got a late start preparing for RESI, since she didn’t decide to attend until about 10 days before the conference, when she was informed that she would compete as a finalist in the Innovation Challenge. So I wanted to ask her how she managed to have such a successful conference, not to mention winning the Innovation Challenge, on such short notice.

Greg Mannix: Yasaman, you attended RESI alone, How did you get so many players to “invest” their RESI dollars in Neurescence and win the IC? Did you spend the whole day at your poster?

Yasaman Soudagar: Actually no! I moved around and looked for the places where the most people seemed to be hanging out, and I brought a tablet around so I could show them what our technology does, in a video of the actual imaging we do.

GM: Who did you target?

YS: One thing I really like about RESI is that all the investors are easy to spot because they have a red ribbon on their nametags. So it was really easy to approach investors and start a conversation.

GM: Was it difficult to get a conversation going, or did you find that most of the investors were approachable?

YS: I just went up to them and said “Hi, I am the founder of the coolest company on the planet”, which always at least drew a smile and a funny comment. Once I got their attention, then I had the chance to say “Here, let me show you”.

GM: Did you have very many one-on-one partnering meetings?

YS: I didn’t really have time to book a lot of meetings—I only had 2 scheduled, which I took at the poster. But I made a lot of great connections just by networking. In fact, I have already had follow-up meetings with investors I met at RESI.

GM: So all in all, it sounds like you had a good experience at RESI. What did you like most about the conference?

YS: It was a great event for me. I liked the density of relevant people and that it was easy to identify the investors. It was a great opportunity to network.


Yasaman Soudagar, Founder & CEO, Neurescence

Dr. Yasaman Soudagar holds a PhD in the field of experimental quantum optics, under the supervision of Dr. Nicolas Godbout at École Polytechnique de Montréal and Dr. Aephraim Steinberg at the University of Toronto. She then tenured an NSERC IRDF scholarship at Attodyne, a picosecond laser manufacturing company in Toronto. The exposure to the demands of a startup gave her the confidence to start her own, which is called Neurescence Inc. Soudagar has been building up Neurescence full time since Aug. 2015. Since then the product is developed and commercialized to the scientific research market.

Greg Mannix, VP of International Business Development, LSN

Greg Mannix is Vice President of International Business Development at Life Science Nation. After graduating from the University of California, he moved to Europe where he began a career in the life sciences and obtained a Master’s degree from IE Business School in Madrid. He has extensive experience in sales and marketing management in the medical devices field. He has worked extensively in Europe, North America and Latin America and he speaks English, Spanish and French. Greg’s role at LSN is to provide international early-stage companies with the tools and strategies to succesfully fundraise and to facilitate cross-boarder investments, licensing and M&A transactions.


About 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.

Hot Investor Mandate 4: Toronto-Based Global Firm Seeks to Invest Early-Stage Medical Device, Diagnostics, and Digital Health Companies

19 Apr

A firm based in Toronto that has offices worldwide manages a variety of different investment vehicles including private equity and multi-strategy funds. In the life sciences, the firm makes equity investments typically at Series A; initial investments range from $100,000-$1 million with follow on capital available of $1-3 million. The firm focuses on companies based in North America but has the capacity to invest worldwide.

In the life sciences, the firm focuses on medical devices, diagnostics and digital health companies. The firm prefers to invest in companies that are close to commercialization or which are already generating revenue (for example, device companies must ideally be ready to file for a CE Mark, 510k or Health Canada application).

The firm prefers to invest in experienced entrepreneurs who have deep knowledge of their sector. The firm only invests in companies developing products that have a clear path to market, and which serve a clear need; the firm prefers to invest in companies that are no more than a year from obtaining revenues. As the firm has offices globally, the firm is well placed to help portfolio companies make international distribution or license/royalty agreements. The firm invests in both public and privately-held companies.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email mandates@lifesciencenation.com.

Why MaRS Toronto for an International Early Stage Investor Conference?

5 Apr

By Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, Life Science Nation; Creator of RESI Conference Series

There is a rich diversity of technology assets being developed in Toronto, as MaRS Discovery District and Johnson & Johnson’s JLABS have convened to create one of the most dynamic centers for life science technology innovation in North America. However, not to use an old cliché, Toronto’s real value in life science is in the people, from its visionary leaders to its extraordinary scientist-entrepreneurs, all striving (and succeeding) to move the needle and create the next generation of healthcare innovation.

When I first launched the Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference in Toronto in 2016, my network of global early-stage investors were initially open to seeing what was up in the north country. Just two years and three Toronto RESI conferences later, I am witnessing unprecedented signups from the global investor community. Much to my amazement, this upcoming RESI conference (April 10th at MaRS Discovery Centre) has seen a 25% increase in investor and strategic partner registrations. We expect 300-350 qualified investors (all with vetted investment mandates) to peruse the lineup of hundreds of early-stage biotech, medtech, diagnostics and digital health startups. But one quite compelling factor is that we expect that almost 60% of the investors and partners will be from outside of Canada.

But I digress. Back to the people factor. What I learned from discussion with investors who have attended RESI on MaRS in the past was actually quite startling. The main takeaway from a majority of the investors I chatted with was that the caliber of the fundraising CEOs and scientist-entrepreneurs was the main differentiator. It was their genuineness and their lack of inflated value of their technology that impressed the investors. In contrast, the Boston, NYC and CA players had elevated expectations regarding the amount of time it takes to get a deal done, and the valuations of their assets were off the charts. The investors implied that if they find a deal they like in Toronto, the valuations and executive teams in Canada are much more realistic, which translates into getting contracts signed quicker. These perceptions impact and ignite the global investor community and have heightened interest in Toronto, which proves out the adage that if you build it, they will come!


Meet the Family Office Panelists at RESI Toronto

5 Apr

By Christine A. Wu, Senior Research Analyst, LSN


For every RESI event, the LSN Investor Research team aims to recruit a diverse slate of panels with experienced investors of all types and focus areas within life science technology. As one of the more highly sought types of investors for entrepreneurs, Family Offices is a recurring panel at RESI. Mostly backed by private wealth as evergreen funds, family offices often have deep connections in the life science field both professionally and, at times, personally—some family office investors have loved ones battling debilitating diseases. Family offices are highly idiosyncratic with their own motivations and strategies, though despite their differences and founding stories, they continue to play actively within life science investment.

On April 10th at RESI Toronto, we will hear from four family offices that invest in several different life science sectors. Moderated by Catherine Love, Director of Capital Services for MaRS Discovery District, the panelists include:

  • Sherry Grisewood, Chief Investment Office, Foxhill Asset Management
  • David Ramos, CFO, AGP Holdings
  • Chuck Stetson, CEO, Stetson Family Office
  • Oded Levi, President, Epstein Enterprises

Register now for RESI Toronto at the MaRS Discovery District on April 10th to hear from these experienced individuals.

RESI Toronto 2018 Sponsors and Exhibitors List

5 Apr

By Sean Tran, Business Development Manager, LSN

The Life Science Nation team is pleased to announce the sponsors and exhibitors for our third RESI conference in Toronto. Attracting over 600 attendees, sponsors and exhibitors will be in the spotlight of our exhibition hall, standing out as leaders in the life science industry.

Twenty companies will participate in the Exhibition, displaying their products and services. The array of offerings from these exhibitors will give attending companies a chance to meet valuable partners to help move their technologies forward in development.


Title Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

MaRS Supporters

Media Sponsors


Thank you for your support of the conference and your commitment to the continual advancement of the healthcare industry.

RESI Toronto Innovation Challenge Finalists Announced

29 Mar

By Cole Bunn, Director of Research, LSN


We are excited to showcase the top 30 RESI Innovation Challenge startup applicants, who will be taking part in the poster presentation showcase at the third annual RESI conference held in Toronto, as a part of the Toronto Health Innovation Week. These handpicked companies represent the key sectors of the healthcare space including therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics and digital health, and were selected based on their scientific/technical merit and commercial viability.

The Innovation Challenge companies will compete for each attendee’s RESI Cash tokens throughout the day, which serves as a vote of their potential. The top 3 companies will win additional RESI tickets to events of their choosing and a feature in the LSN newsletter (20,000 readership), giving them access to hundreds of additional investors and ultimately enhancing their likelihood of securing an investment. Make sure to visit the exhibition hall to meet the RESI innovators and “invest” in your favorites!


MedTech Device


Digital Health

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