OBI announces winners of start-up awards
October 3, 2018
TORONTO – Canada’s most prestigious early-stage neurotechnology entrepreneur awards were announced by the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI). The ONtrepreneurs program, the single largest funder of early-stage neurotech entrepreneurs in Canada, is investing in six early-stage ventures this year to help accelerate their path to commercialization through access to funding, resources, and mentorship.
Now in its seventh year, the ONtrepreneurs program awards $50,000 to each winning venture and assists them through tailored training and industry mentorship. The program, which has successfully supported 51 entrepreneurs since its inception in 2012, has helped generate more than $36 million in follow-on investment for the program’s alumni.
“The ONtrepreneurs program is at the heart of OBI’s mandate to unlock the huge commercial and medical potential from one of the largest communities of brain scientists in the world, right here in Ontario,” said Dr. Tom Mikkelsen (pictured), OBI’s president and scientific director. “This year’s winners are offering groundbreaking technologies to tackle some of the most pressing challenges for patients, families and caregivers living with brain disorders.”
As part of the ONtrepreneurs program, OBI provides award winners with mentorship from experts, training opportunities to hone their business skills, and access to OBI’s community of research and industry partners.
Entrepreneur: Morgan Rosenberg
Venture: Supports Health
About: Support Health is an app that empowers family caregivers with psychoeducation, digital therapeutics, and peer support. The app will be available in 2019 through a monthly subscription, and institutionally to hospitals, care centres, family health practitioners, universities and insurers.
Entrepreneur: Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau
About: Welbi’s software helps retirement communities reduce social isolation by providing a rich and personalized experience to their residents and families. Welbi acts as a personal assistant automating administrative tasks, providing alerts and making recommendations so the staff can focus on building a unique community and meaningful relationships.
Entrepreneur: Mohammad Ali Amini
Venture: Nanology Labs
About: Nanology Labs has developed a revolutionary non-toxic MRI contrast agent which circumvents efficacy limitations of other agents currently available. The agent, Manganescan™, uses the element manganese to illuminate early stage tumors, specifically in the brain. Early stage detection provides clinicians advance knowledge for diagnosis, better treatment options and patient outcome.
Entrepreneur: Shea Balish
About: Using monocular video, Curv transforms the camera on any mobile device into a diagnostic tool, using machine learning analysis of body movements to predict, diagnose, and monitor brain disorders.
Entrepreneur: Kareem Ayyad
About: Cerebian has developed a BrainOS, a Brain-Computer Interface based operating system that enables incapacitated patients to fully control electronic devices with their brainwaves.
Entrepreneur: Jeff Perron
About: TruReach is a self-help app for people with mild-to-moderate depression and anxiety. It allows users to complete step-by-step exercises and track symptoms to monitor their condition until they can meet with a psychologist. The app is available in the app store and has 25,000 downloads.
About the Ontario Brain Institute
The Ontario Brain Institute is a provincially funded, not-for-profit research centre seeking to maximize the impact of neuroscience and establish Ontario as a world leader in brain research, commercialization and care. OBI creates convergent partnerships between researchers, clinicians, industry, patients, and their advocates to foster discovery and deliver innovative products and services that improve the lives of those living with brain disorders. For more information please visit www.braininstitute.ca.
About the ONtrepreneurs Program
The Ontario Neurotech Entrepreneurs program (ONtrepreneurs) catalyzes early stage entrepreneurs to commercialize brain-related technologies by accessing funding and support to launch or grow their neurotechnology ventures. The program provides $50,000 to help with their start-ups. Each ONtrepreneur also receives mentorship from experts in the sector, training opportunities to hone their business skills, and access to OBI’s community of research and industry partners.