Tag Archives: Winner

Interview with Kouris Kalligas, Winner of the Innovation Challenge in RESI Toronto

26 Apr

Kouris Kalligas

An interview with Kouris Kalligas, Founder & CEO, Therachat

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

Greg Mannix

The San Francisco digital health startup Therachat came in 3rd at the RESI on MaRS Innovation Challenge in Toronto. 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!

CEO Kouris Kalligas registered early for the conference and put a lot of time and effort into his partnering strategy. When he was notified they would compete in the IC as finalists, he decided to bring along his colleague Sajid Reshamwala so they could maximize their presence at the conference.

Greg Mannix:  Kouris, how did you prepare for the RESI conference?

Kouris Kalligas:  I actually spent several solid days preparing our company profile on the RESI Partnering Platform and then reaching out to as many investors as possible who looked like a fit for us. The RESI Partnering is the best match-making platform I have seen! I could get a good idea of what each investor was looking for so I could decide who to request a meeting with.

GM: That’s great! How many meetings were you able to book?

KK: I was able to book 16 meetings! And what was really cool is that 10 investors who couldn’t meet with me at RESI gave me their emails through the messaging system, so I was able to contact them afterwards. I have been doing that since I got home. Fantastic!

GM: Wow! That’s impressive. Why do you think you got so much traction with investors?

KK:  I actually used 3 different messages and tried each one out on a handful of investors. I saw right away the one that was getting the most responses, so I focused on that message with the rest of investors I reached out to.

GM:  That is a great approach Kouris! I take it Sajid spent most of his day at the Therachat poster talking to people. How many Ad-Hoc meetings did Sajid have?

KK: I would guess about 20. Also, I sent every investor I spoke to check out our poster and invest their RESI cash in us! That’s so important:  Don’t be shy, just ask them to invest. I guess it was a good strategy!

GM: What would you say is the thing you liked most about RESI?

KK: That’s a tough one because we had a super productive day. But I would have to say it is the Partnering Platform. It really allowed me to identify the target investors I wanted to meet with and I could communicate with them through the messaging system. I probably sent out 200 or 300 messages!

Kouris Kalligas, Founder & CEO, Therachat

CEO & Founder of Therachat. I am passionate about technology & mental health. I have already one product under my belt called Addapp (check addapp.io) which I drove to 100k downloads and 10k daily active users. I believe that mental health is important and underserved. Technology can be a big enabler in the revolution that is coming to improving our mental health!

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 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 www.therachat.io to find out more!

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.

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!

 

 

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