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UTEST company Nvest listed in Omers’ Canadian #FinTech Infographic

Nvest Logo“Over the past few weeks, a few members of our investment team took the seopportunity to map out FinTech companies from coast-to-coast, focusing on those that are developing next generation technologies or technology enabled services,” wrote the OMERS Venture team in a blog post accompanying a new #fintech infographic that lists 89 Canadian businesses operating in the financial start-up sector.

Nvest, part of the third UTEST cohort, in included in the graphic (see below). The infographic’s release was also covered in BetaKit in a story by Doug Soltys noting the sector’s growth in just six months:

What a difference six months makes. Today, Canadian VC giant OMERS Ventures released a similar infographic, tracking 89 different Canadian FinTech startups from Vancouver to St. John’s, essentially a 40 per cent increase. OMERS also noted that these 89 companies have attracted over $1 billion in capital since 2010.

Here’s where OMERS Ventures’ take on where the sector going:

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My Virtual Dream publishes PLOS study on Nuit Blanche results

“My Virtual Dream” is an innovative and interactive live performance experience of the Virtual Brain technology developed by researchers at Baycrest Health Sciences Centre in partnership with neuroscience experts around the world.

Baycrest Heath Sciences’ “My Virtual Dream,” an innovative and interactive live performance experience at the intersection of science, art and music, is currently touring the installation with appearances in Amsterdam in May and more scheduled for Irvine, CA in October.

MaRS Innovation is working with the Baycrest team to commercialize the technology behind the demonstration, known as the virtual brain.

My Virtual Dream was featured in TechVibes on July 8 and in a PLOS blog published on August 14, 2015.

“The Virtual Dream tour is a ‘living lab’ that engages the public, fuels science, creates art and educates while it entertains,” says Richard Tavener, executive producer of the Virtual Dream tour.

The exhibition and research project was originally mounted in partnership with the University of Toronto, Nuit Blanche 2013, and InteraXon and also made a January 2015 appearance at the Ontario Science Centre.

Participants wear the Muse, a brain-computer interface headset provided by InteraXon, and use focus and mental relaxation states to complete a science game and create a stunning array of visuals and music.

The brain data collected at Nuit Blanche has yielded insights about how the brain learns and a science paper about this massive, one-night neuroscience experiment. The paper, which appeared in the July issue of PLOS One, found that:

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LegWorks takes top spot at Parapan Am accessibility tech pitch contest

BresoTec, formerly known as ApneaDx, also among top five finalists

LegWorks LogoTORONTO, August 11, 2015 – Legworks‘ next-generation prosthetic knee took first place in Ontario Centres of Excellence’s (OCE’s) Parapan Am Games-affiliated Accessibility Tech Pitch competition. The company immediately said it would use the $20,000 award to fit 200 amputees in developing countries with its device.

Legworks was selected from 18 participants in a two-day elimination pitch competition – one of the features of the Government of Ontario’s Accessibility Innovation Showcase held at MaRS Discovery District from August 8 to 10, 2015.

TechVibes and Metro News covered this announcement.

Legworks was one of five companies to make it to the final round of the competition.

BresoTec company logoOther finalists were Eightfold Technologies, MyndTec, BresoTec Inc., and Komodo OpenLabs. BresoTec Inc., formerly known as ApneaDx Inc., is a MaRS Innovation start-up company spun-off in partnership with the University Health Network’s Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and is developing a medical device to allow patients to determine whether they have sleep apnea without having to visit a sleep clinic.

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Law firm partners with UTEST program to offer legal advice to early-stage startups

TORONTO, ON (August 10, 2015) — Toronto-based law firm Aird & Berlis LLP (A&B) has become the sponsoring legal partner to the University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology Program (UTEST).

This partnership was covered in TechVibes, Law Times and the Financial Post‘s Legal Post blog.

Welcome to the table: Aird & Berlis are joining MaRS Innovation and the University of Toronto in supporting UTEST, an early-stage incubator for start-up companies that has graduated 17 companies and counting.
Welcome to the table: Aird & Berlis are joining MaRS Innovation and the University of Toronto in supporting UTEST, an early-stage incubator for start-up companies that has graduated 17 companies and counting.

UTEST is a 12-month incubation and acceleration program co-managed by the University of Toronto (U of T) and MaRS Innovation that allows selected U of T-affiliated early-stage startup companies to incorporate, use office space, receive mentorship and access $30,000 in funding, with opportunities for follow-on funding from MaRS Innovation.

In 2014, UTEST was named one of Canada’s most promising start-up accelerators in an online series by BetaKit, a digital publication that covers Canadian technology.

“We are thrilled to partner with A&B and leverage their legal expertise for our startups and emerging companies,” said Kurtis Scissions, who co-directs UTEST with MI’s Mike Betts. “To date, 17 companies, including Granata Decision Systems, Whirlscape, Crowdmark, eQOL and TrendMD, have successfully graduated from our program. We look forward to adding A&B’s Startups Team of lawyers to our mentorship group for the UTEST program, beginning in 2015.”

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MaRS Innovation featured in International Innovation magazine

International Innovation feature on MIMaRS Innovation and its member institutions are is profiled in International Innovation‘s July issue (#191) in a feature interview with Dr. Rafi Hofstein, MI’s president and CEO, written by Rosemary Peters.

The article is posted on the publication’s website and viewable through a digital interface (pages 80 and 81).

Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Hofstein’s comments:

“Canada’s academic research community is internationally highly competitive, but it has been argued that its scientific commercial success tags behind other countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. While this remains a matter of debate, I do agree that we need to continually encourage additional sources of seed capital to join is so as to allow for accelerated advancement of early-stage technologies. Industry needs to become much more engaged in advancing early-stage (and promising!) technologies emerging from the academic sector, which are usually young and in significant attention, navigation, management expertise and seed capital provisions. These are areas of rising importance in Canada, as many innovations fall into the ‘valley of death’ due to a lack of proper funding, or they leave the country and flourish in the U.S. where funding is more abundant.

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Federal government awards the University of Toronto $114-million regenerative medicine grant

University of TorontoOn Tuesday, July 28, 2015, the federal government announced a $114-million grant to cement the University of Toronto‘s position as one of the world’s leading centres for the design and manufacture of cells, tissues and organs to treat degenerative disease.

This announcement was covered in The Globe & Mail and Lab Products News, and by CBC.ca, CTV News and Global TV. MaRS Innovation was specifically mentioned as a commercialization partner in the Toronto Star‘s coverage.

As the university’s commercialization agent, MaRS Innovation welcomes this news and the downstream companies and technology licenses it will create. The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), made the announcement.

The funding will allow U of T, in partnership with its research partners and fellow MI members — The Hospital for Sick Children, the University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital — to conduct transformational research and clinical translation in regenerative medicine, enhance capability in synthetic biology and computational biology and foster translation, commercialization and clinical impacts.

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Onyx Motion signs NBA’s Ben Gordon and launches Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign

Former Orlando Magic player new innovation director for basketball smartwatch app

This article is republished with the kind permission of Brianna Goldberg and our friends at U of T News.

Onyx-Motion-Swish-app-basketball-coach-1024x675UTEST company Onyx Motion has partnered with NBA shooting guard Ben Gordon to raise the calibre of digital basketball coaching offered by the company’s first-of-its-kind technology, a smartwatch app that offers on-court skills guidance. The company announced Gordon’s role in helping to further develop the app, called Swish, on July 8 when launching their Indiegogo campaign.

“We’re hoping to build a motion marketplace — a library of data, moves and audio tips from pro players,” said Onyx Motion co-founder and CEO Marissa Wu.

Onyx Motion’s Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign launch was covered by: TechVibes, Silicon Angle, IT Business.ca, Canadian Reviewer, Network World, GizMag and Sport Techie.

Swish uses smartwatch motion sensors to analyze athlete techniques and offer straightforward tips on how a player can improve.

“The Swish technology is bringing users closer to their favourite basketball player by giving them the opportunity to learn from them,” said Gordon. “I’m excited to work with the team on the further development of this one-of-a-kind experience and help players at any level improve their game.”

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Xagenic announces $15 million financing round with Series B investors

MI_xagenicTORONTO (July 9, 2015) — Xagenic, a molecular diagnostics company developing the lab-free Xagenic X1™ platform for point-of-care use, today announced that it has raised $15 million (CAD). Each of the company’s Series B investors has participated in this financing, including Domain Associates, CTI Life Sciences, BDC Capital and the Ontario Capital Growth Corporation.

PE Hub, Cantech Letter, Genome Web, Fierce Medical Devices and the Wall Street Journal‘s Venture Capital Dispatch blog covered this announcement.

In June, Xagenic also announced it has acquired exclusive rights to a mutation detection technology with potential applications to liquid biopsy testing. The electrochemical clamp assay technology was developed by University of Toronto Professor and Xagenic Founder (now CTO) Dr. Shana Kelley. Genome Web covered the news in June and July 2015.

“This investment round is a testament to the faith our existing investors have in the power of the Xagenic X1™ platform and the promise of our enzyme-free approach to molecular diagnostics,” said Timothy I. Still, Xagenic’s CEO. “This funding will accelerate our development efforts in bringing our point-of-care diagnostic platform to market.”

Xagenic’s rapid, lab-free, molecular diagnostic system affords a large market opportunity created by a significant, unmet medical need for point-of-care diagnostic solutions. Because of its highly scalable, consumables-driven business model, Xagenic is well-positioned to capitalize on this opportunity with a differentiated product offering and unique menu strategy.

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Call for Applications: MSc Proof-of-Principle Program

Ontario Centres of ExcellenceThe Medical Sciences Proof-of-Principle (MSc PoP) program, administered by Ontario Centres of Excellence on behalf of Ontario’s Ministry of Research & Innovation, is a province-wide initiative for which MaRS Innovation accepts applications from our 15 member institutions.

MaRS Innovation is currently recruiting applications for the July 30, 2015 August 27, 2015 (2 pm) deadline; for submissions to be considered via MI, paperwork must be in byAugust 24, 2015 (4 pm).

We’ve also learned there will be a second call for MScPoP applications in January 2016 after the current round has closed. The third and final call for applications is scheduled for September 2016.  All programs will be run using the same criteria (see below).

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