2017 Life Sciences Start-Up Competition

brought to you by the Life Sciences Institute and e@UBC

On February 23, 2017 we held the 2nd annual UBC Life Sciences Startup Competition.

The competition was announced in September, and was open to teams of UBC students, post docs and research associates interested to explore commercialization of ideas in life sciences, biotech and other areas of human health. Out of 19 teams that registered in fall, 14 started working on business plans, 11 completed them and pitched their projects at the final event, and 3 winners were chosen and awarded $10,000 in cash prizes.

1st Place:

Curos Labs seeks to help chronic pain sufferers improve their quality of life by helping them track, analyze, and report their symptoms more effectively. The team has designed a wearable device, CheckPoint, which replaces tedious manual pain journal ling with a one-click process for capturing contextualized pain episodes. An accompanying app helps the user tease out patterns in their pain history to inform future behaviours.

The team remarked that “being in an environment where we could improve our business plan through the feedback of our competition mentor, Rob Fuller, was invaluable. Presenting our pitch was ultimately an exceptional networking opportunity for our venture.” Curos Labs intends to use their prize money to complete their first hardware and software prototypes. Following this, they will begin to test their technology with patients in local clinics until completion of their go-to-market product.

2nd Place:

TheraTrix is a new company that develops innovative technologies to control pathological tissue repair. Their main product is a disease modifying drug for heart failure, a major chronic disease that lacks treatment.

3rd Place:

Tesseract Technologies are developing a new material for treating brain aneurysms. Brain aneurysms are bulges of weak blood vessels in the brain which can have fatal consequences if untreated. By using a soft material based on bio-compatible polymer instead of platinum wires, they provide safer, cheaper and faster treatment.

 

Read more in a press release

This competition was made possible thanks to the generous donation of Dr. Tolcher and the contributions of our sponsors:

 

We are very grateful to our judges, workshop presenters, and mentors for their time and for sharing their invaluable expertise (in alphabetical order):

Andrew Booth, Stemcell
Angie Schick, New Ventures BC
Angel Chan, KPMG
Barend van der Vorm, CentreCourt
Bojana Turic, XPCP
Cam Melvin, BC Provincial Renal Agency
Carl Hansen, AbCellera
Cynthia Shippam, NRC
Dana Nohynek, HIV Trials Network
David Charest, Genome BC
David Midgley, KPMG
Elana Guslitser, UBC LSI
Elayne Wandler, Accel-Rx
Eric Atkinson, NRC IRAP
Eric Zhao, KPMG
Evelina Rubinchik
Gabe Kalmar, Pacific Autism Family Network
Gail Murphy, UBC
George Aliphtiras, Leap Frog Innovators
Ivan Gu, KPMG
Janelle Goulard, Pangaea Ventures
Jon Conlin, Fasken Martineau
Karen Boodram, BioManna Consulting
Katja Mjos, UBC UILO
Laurence Meadows, MITACS
Ling Wong, Fasken Martineau
Lynsey Huxham, UBC UILO
Martin Schechter, Michael Smith Foundation
Michael Lincoln, Accel-Rx
Pam Giberson, NSERC
Pamela Fayerman, Vancouver Sun
Peter Payne, Surey Innovation Boulevard
Rachel Fernandez, UBC
Rob Fuller
Roger Kuypers, Fasken Martineau
Sean Lumb, e@UBC
Sherry Zhao, MITACS
Susan Tees, Tees IP
Tim Vitalis
Tony Mayer, Extreme CCTV
Uwe-Martin Wiesler, Evonik
Valery Rubinchik, DTG Partners

Full list of teams:

Curos Labs seeks to help chronic pain sufferers improve their quality of life by helping them track, analyze, and report their symptoms more effectively. The team has designed a wearable device, CheckPoint, which replaces tedious manual pain journal ling with a one-click process for capturing contextualized pain episodes. An accompanying app helps the user tease out patterns in their pain history to inform future behaviours.

EEGlewave aims to provide a biomarker data management platform for concussion assessment and other sports health/performance metrics for sports organizations, athletes, and parents.

Epilab is a preclinical-stage drug discovery company, developing a novel anti-epileptic drug and neuropathic pain medication screen. They aim to provide a high-throughput screen against a therapeutically relevant calcium channel to speed up drug discovery against epilepsy and neuropathy.  Epilab’s ultimate goal is to commercialize their own drugs for larger market indications while partnering with global pharmaceutical industry leaders.

Jooles is a mood and symptom tracker for young women aged 11-15. The aim of this tool is to educate women to understand their bodies, to encourage users to identify patterns that could explain their health concerns, and to engage youth in overcoming the taboos and discomfort that persist around discussing women’s cycles.

MIT (Medical Information Technology) Healthcare develops point of care diagnostics using multi parametric measures and focuses on simple, reliable, accessible and easy-to-use portable devices that offer better quality of care at a reduced cost.

NeuraGap offers services and consultations for pre-clinical validations in rodent stroke models. They will assess whether your therapeutic agents can protect brain cells. Their goal is to meet industrial standard powered by academic knowledge.

Okussa Medical aims to develop a low cost device to improve the quality of care and respiratory rate monitoring of pediatric patients in low resource settings, particularly health care centers in Uganda and Kenya. Their monitor will provide constant readings of the patient’s respiratory rate, as well as the capabilities to alert a nearby physician of concerning changes in the patient’s condition.

Rejuvagen is a preliminary start up idea focused on providing consumers with personalized sleep solutions based on their genetic background. Using a saliva sample, a panel of pre-selected sleep related genes and a proprietary algorithm, they aim to identify best sleep behaviours and practices for optimizing sleep health.

Tesseract Technologies are developing a new material for treating brain aneurysms. Brain aneurysms are bulges of weak blood vessels in the brain which can have fatal consequences if untreated. By using a soft material based on bio-compatible polymer instead of platinum wires, they provide safer, cheaper and faster treatment.

TheraTrix is a new company that develops innovative technologies to control pathological tissue repair. Their main product is a disease modifying drug for heart failure, a major chronic disease that lacks treatment.

Torq has developed a new tourniquet that meets the demanding needs of low-resource hospitals in developing countries around the world. Their device has the potential to make a positive impact by contributing to safer, more reliable orthopaedic surgeries.

More details about the competition, including the workshops that were held in preparation, can be found here

Program Partner:

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