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MI’s Fazila Seker and Elizabeth Monier-Williams, campaign co-directors for WaveCheck, were featured in a MedCity News article about successfully crowdfunding in the healthcare field.

MaRS Innovation’s Dr. Fazila Seker and Elizabeth Monier-Williams spoke with Deanna Pogorelc of MedCity News about how to define success for campaigns crowdfunding for technologies and research related to the medical field.

The article, in MedCity News‘ Hot Topics section, questions whether a crowdfunding campaign needs to reach its funding goal to be deemed successful.

Seker and Monier-Williams completed an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign in December for WaveCheck, a clinical technique developed to let women and men know if their breast cancer chemotherapy is working within weeks of beginning treatment instead of months later when treatment has already ended.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Fazila Seker, the director of technology and venture development at commercialization agency MaRS Innovation, said that one of the trickiest things about the crowdfunding industry is the notion that these platforms have an established crowd that’s lurking around looking for the next best thing.

“You can’t rely entirely on that,” she said. “You need to go out there and do your research and create your own following.”

Seker helped run an Indiegogo campaign last winter for WaveCheck, a clinical technique for monitoring chemotherapy in breast tumors developed at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Ryerson University, which was looking for $97,000 to get a clinical trial site up and running.

The campaign didn’t hit its fundraising mark; it made it a bit more than halfway to the goal. But Elizabeth Monier-Williams, who runs marketing and communications for MaRS [Innvation] and was also involved with the campaign, said the momentum, dialogue and potential partnerships sparked by the campaign make up for that.

Although they said they didn’t have the ideal amount of time to prepare for the campaign, the pair attributed some of the campaign’s success to a certain emotional appeal that’s inherent in what WaveCheck is doing. The technique was invented by a physician to monitor whether chemotherapy is actually working on a breast cancer patient’s tumor, and some of the donor rewards involved funding patients’ participation in a clinical trial.

“We see a lot of technologies; I think it’s about one in 100 that would be eligible for crowdfunding,” Monier-Williams said.

WaveCheck’s Indiegogo campaign raised $53,390 from 508 supporters worldwide.

Posted by Kailee Travis, writer and communications assistant. 

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