TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - MaRS HealthKick 2015, Canada's largest health venture showcase, is expanding its business pitch competition beyond Ontario to include health startups from across the country. Building on the success of last year, HealthKick 2015 will give up to 45 health ventures the chance to pitch cutting-edge health technologies and products to a 300-person audience of leading Canadian and U.S. venture capitalists, investors, entrepreneurs, c-suite leaders and industry partners. Canadian health ventures interested in participating in the pitch competition should visit www.healthkick.marsdd.com. The application period opens today, with entries due by November 24, 2014. HealthKick 2015 takes place on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at MaRS Discovery District in downtown Toronto.
"HealthKick 2015 provides a unique opportunity for Canada's most promising health ventures to get their businesses in front of leading investors and industry partners," said Dr. Zayna Khayat, MaRS Health Venture Services Lead. "These companies are critical agents transforming our health systems, improving citizen health and creating the knowledge economy jobs of the future. The Canadian health startup sector is highly under-capitalized, and product development can be time-consuming and costly. Connecting young companies with investors and partners is crucial, so they can scale not only in Canada but also globally."
Now in its second year, HealthKick offers participants exposure, networking, investment and partnering opportunities as well as the potential to win one of three $20,000 cash prizes. This funding recognizes startups with the greatest impact potential, while also providing financial support to ventures bringing their innovations to market. In addition to attending HealthKick, all selected ventures are paired with mentors and undergo a coaching program to hone their pitch presentations in the weeks leading up to the showcase. Winners from the inaugural event in 2014 include: PlantForm Corporation (Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals); Profound Medical (Medical Devices & Diagnostics); and Newtopia (Healthcare IT).
"HealthKick recognition was an important validation of our technology and business model," said Dr. Don Stewart, PlantForm President and CEO. "I would absolutely recommend the opportunity to other healthcare ventures looking to make new strategic partnerships."
Through the theme of Patient Empowerment, HealthKick 2015 will explore how innovative technologies are empowering patients to become the "CEO of their own health." Speakers, judges and participating health ventures will be announced in early 2015.
- October 23, 2014: Application window opens
- November 24, 2014: Application window closes
- January 30, 2015: Selected ventures notified
- May 7, 2015: HealthKick 2015 pitch competition
- Applications must be submitted by November 24, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. (EST)
- Companies must be Canadian-based and must fall within one of the three showcase tracks: Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals; Medical Devices & Diagnostics; or Healthcare IT.
- A maximum of 45 ventures will be chosen to present at HealthKick 2015.
- For more information on the application process and eligibility criteria, visit www.healthkick.marsdd.com.
About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is one of the world's largest urban innovation hubs. MaRS cultivates high-impact ventures and equips innovators to drive economic and societal prosperity. MaRS provides expert advice and market research, and makes connections to talent, customers and capital. MaRS startup clients have created 6,500 jobs and, in the last three years alone, they have raised $1 billion in capital and generated $500 million in revenue.
About MaRS Health
MaRS Health works closely with high-impact, growth-oriented ventures to commercialize their breakthrough innovations and get them adopted in health systems and markets in Canada and globally. These ventures offer a range of solutions that improve patient outcomes and health system performance — from more effective prevention techniques and faster, more accessible diagnosis, to shorter wait times, better interaction with healthcare providers and more individualized treatments. MaRS Health's team of accomplished founders, entrepreneurs and experienced business leaders supports these ventures with mentorship and strategic advice, as well as connections to a robust network of investors, industry specialists, potential partners, policy-makers, customers and talent.
SOURCE: MaRS Discovery District
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