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Life Science Innovators networking at McMaster Innovation Park atrium

Ontario’s Premier Life Science Competition Celebrates 10 Years of Health Innovation

Applications are now open for this year’s cohort of innovative startups

Hamilton – October 12, 2022 – Fresh off the heels of celebrating innovation at the recent LiONS LAIR pitch competition and gala event, Innovation Factory has turned its attention to the 2023 Synapse Life Science Pitch Competition, now in its 10th year.  Applications are open until November 6, 2022.

A hotbed for life science and health research and innovation, the Hamilton region has plenty to offer startups looking to bring their ideas to market. The Synapse Competition offers a unique format, pairing innovators such as entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers with post-secondary students to form teams.

Over several months, the finalist teams will receive training, mentorship, and financial support to help them develop their business plans and craft successful investor pitches. Ultimately, the finalists are vying for a spot at the showcase event in the spring, and a chance to not only feature their innovative product or service but win thousands in cash and in-kind prizes.

2020 Synapse Competition winner, Bisep Inc., has a patented medical device that attaches a wheelchair to a walker, improving safety and confidence for patients requiring assistance with mobility. When asked to reflect on their experience, company founder and CEO, Daniel Bordenave noted, “This competition helped us move from the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) stage to commercialization and supported us tremendously with a network of partners and mentors, plus access to funding to bring us to where we are today.”

Epineuron Technologies, the 2019 competition winner echoed a similar sentiment. Sergio Aguirre, CEO and Co-Founder explained, “Winning the Synapse competition was an inflexion point for our company. We received notoriety which helped us raise awareness of our company and provided introductions to help us build. If other companies have an experience similar to ours [in the competition], then the sky is the limit.” The company has patented an electroceutical device designed to boost the body’s natural processes and accelerate regeneration, helping patients who have sustained nerve injuries.

Since 2013, the competition has supported more than 100 start-ups and awarded over $650,000 in prizes and resources through its partners. Participating companies have collectively raised more than $50 million in financing. This year’s competition will see the return of an in-person showcase event, back after two years of taking place virtually.

Innovation Factory’s David Carter, Executive Director explained, “Hamilton is a dynamic and growing hub for life science innovation with globally recognized research hospitals, academic institutions, and the Synapse Life Sciences Consortium. Collectively, they attract ongoing investment and promote economic growth, providing a perfect location for emerging companies in the health sector. Through the Synapse Competition, Innovation Factory facilitates the collaboration required to evolve a potentially game-changing medical innovation into a viable business.”

About Innovation Factory

Innovation Factory is a not-for-profit business accelerator, serving as the catalyst for technology innovation in the greater Hamilton area since 2011. From ideation to commercialization and scale-up; Innovation Factory provides business services, training, mentorship, and strategic connections to drive market adoption, leverage intellectual property, and increase revenues, investment, and jobs. Innovators can also access sector-specific resources including exclusive smart transportation test environments and data; and a formal life science and health innovation ecosystem.

For additional media inquiries:

Jennifer Gauvreau
Senior Manager, Marketing & Events
Innovation Factory


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