"With massive amounts of cash being pumped into development by Google, Facebook, Microsoft and context-aware startups such as Flybits, the PA in everybody’s pocket could soon be a reality," Nick…
MaRS Innovation and the Ontario Centres of Excellence among the event's sponsors On Tuesday, May 31, 2016, Diane Francis, the first woman editor of a national daily newspaper in Canada…
According to TechVibes, “Companies were selected for their technological innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and growth. Now in its 18th year, Technology Fast 50 celebrated companies with an average four-year growth rate of 1,293%.”
UTEST, the tech accelerator co-directed by MaRS Innovation and the University of Toronto, was named to BlogTO‘s Top 10 list of technology accelerators on November 8, 2015.
The list was published just weeks before the announcement of the fourth UTEST cohort, and included recognition of TrendMD and Whirlscape as notable startups among the graduated UTEST companies.
Here’s the excerpt:
UTEST, a collaboration between U of T and MaRs Innovation, is in its fourth year of operation with 15 teams. The program is one year in length and is only available to current students, recent grads and university faculty. UTest invests $30,000 in its companies in return for 5% equity. Two notable alumni are scholarly content recommendation engine TrendMD and mobile keyboard creator Whirlscape.
The article also mentions Slyce as a breakout company from the INCubes accelerator; the company acquired York University technology through a license deal negotiated by MaRS Innovation prior to their IPO.
Company plans future sports applications for tennis and golf for its Motion Marketplace
Swish by Onyx Motion “takes advantage of motion sensors to provide accurate tips and feedback to improve play,” wrote Robert Liwanag in “App for smartwatches helps users become better basketball players” for the Financial Post‘s “Entrepreneur” section on September 28, 2015.
“Using it is simple — you turn it on, press calibrate and lift your arms and hands as you would to shoot a basket,” wrote Liwanag. “The objective is to bring the circle hovering inside the target on the watch’s screen to go green. When it does, the user is in the right starting position and has the ability to achieve consistency shot after shot.”
Onyx Motion is a graduate of the UTEST program‘s third cohort (and is currently based in Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone). Their basketball app, which is scheduled to launch in November after a successful Indiegogo campaign, is the first of several sports-focused products planned by CEO Marissa Wu.
Prima IP co-sponsoring the Ryerson University and St. Michael’s Hospital event
That’s part of the reason why MaRS Innovation and Prima IP are sponsoring winners of an Angels’ Den competition involving the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology (iBEST).
iBEST is a partnership between Ryerson University and St. Michael’s Hospital that brings together Ryerson’s engineering and science strengths with St. Michael’s biomedical research and clinical expertise. The contest, which took place on June 26, 2015, riffs on the popular Dragon’s Den format.
“As a guest judge for the iBEST trainee competition this year, I reviewed a lot of thought-provoking ideas and MaRS Innovation congratulates all of the 2015 award winners,” says Dr. Fazila Seker, director of physical sciences. “Many of our portfolio technologies have their origins in this type of collaboration between researchers and medical staff, which is why we’re so excited to sponsor this competition. Fostering these types of relationships is vital to Toronto’s commercialization ecosystem.”
For the 2015 award period, MaRS Innovation will provide the competition’s winners with upfront commercialization consultation services to help shorten the time it may take for their ideas to reach the market. These services will be offered in collaboration with the technology transfer offices within St. Michael’s Hospital and the Vice-President of Research and Innovation office at Ryerson University as appropriate. In partnership with Prima IP, MaRS Innovation will also cover the initial patent application preparation and filing for the top two awardees of the iBEST event. Future award winners will receive similar support.
“Canada’s future economy depends on programs that encourage and facilitate innovation allowing Canada to remain competitive in the global marketplace and attract foreign investment,” said Marcelo König Sarkis, principal, founder and senior patent agent at Prima IP. “We are passionate in our support for Canadian inventions from the initial research phase to start-up and beyond.”
Companies to collaborate on creating enhanced personalized mobile experiences for TD customers
TORONTO, Sept. 16, 2015 — TD Bank Group and Flybits today announced an exclusive agreement within the Canadian financial services industry to collaborate on providing TD customers with more personalized mobile banking experiences.
The Flybits cloud-based software program transforms mobile apps to deliver rich, contextual experiences to each user, including personalized financial advice—where and when they need it.
Flybits is a Ryerson University start-up created in partnership with MaRS Innovation. Read more about their growth and development in our news archive.
“A key focus for TD’s digital roadmap is to create more intuitive, personalized experiences that make customers’ lives simpler,” said Rizwan Khalfan, senior vice president and chief digital officer, TD. “Our agreement with Flybits is another example of TD demonstrating its commitment to enriching customers’ lives through innovation. We’re elevating our customer-centric approach by bringing in-the-moment experiences to each individual depending on their situation and needs.”
Co-development agreement, brokered by MaRS Innovation, to advance ultrasound chemotherapy monitoring technology as clinical tool
TORONTO (March 12, 2015) — Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and MaRS Innovation today announced a co-development agreement for WaveCheck, an ultrasound technology that transforms conventional equipment so that physicians can monitor a breast cancer tumour’s response to chemotherapy.
The partnership with GE Healthcare, brokered by MaRS Innovation, seeks to develop WaveCheck as a clinical tool that gives clinicians rapid, improved transparency to determine if breast cancer tumors are responding to chemotherapy.
WaveCheck is a clinical technique invented, refined and tested by Dr. Gregory Czarnota, chief of Radiation Oncology at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre, and Michael C. Kolios, professor of Physics and associate dean, Research and Graduate Studies, in Ryerson University’s Faculty of Science. Their technology uses ultrasound to visually demonstrate whether chemotherapy is destroying a breast cancer tumour at the beginning of chemotherapy treatment in as little as one week. If applied to the clinic, this knowledge has the power to transform patient experience, since existing breast cancer patients typically wait until the end of treatment, anywhere from four to six months, to know if their tumor has responded.
In early clinical testing, WaveCheck’s inexpensive, non-invasive, image-guided technology shows promise as an accurate, efficient way to monitor tumour response, opening the door to tailored treatment.
The agreement leverages GE Healthcare’s extensive ultrasound technology and market expertise in bringing new ultrasound innovations to global hospitals and clinics with Sunnybrook’s leadership in oncology research and cancer care through the Odette Cancer Centre.
MaRS Innovation enjoyed an exceptional year in 2014. Our team continues to collaborate with researchers within our membership to help bridge the commercialization gap between their world-leading research and creating successful start-up companies or licenses.
Here are our picks for the top 10 news stories from MaRS Innovation’s portfolio.
1. Triphase Accelerator Corporation, in which MaRS Innovation is an investor, started the year with a bang by signing a collaboration and option agreement with Celgene Corporation. In October, Triphase initiated a Phase I clinical study to evaluate marizomib in Glioblastoma (GBM) with Celgene, signed an agreement to provide Celgene with an option to acquire a new bi-specific antibody (licensed by Triphase from PharmAbcine) and closed the year by announcing that Triphase’s proteasome inhibitor, marizomib, demonstrates potent synergistic anti-multiple myeloma activity in combination with pomalidomide.
2. Flybits Inc., spun out of Ryerson University, announced a $3.75 million Series A financing with Robert Bosch Venture Capital to advance its context-aware mobile experience platform. The company was also named a Red Herring Top 100 North America winner.
3. XLV Diagnostics Inc., spun out from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute, secured a $3 million Series A investment round with Boston-based Bernard M. Gordon Unitrust. XLV’s product will provide mammography image quality equivalent to top-of-the-line mammography machines currently in use, and will do so at a fraction of the cost of current generation systems. The funding will support continued product development and regulatory approval.
TechVibes gave UTEST, an incubator program jointly run by MaRS Innovation and the University of Toronto, a mention in Laura Leslie‘s “Canada’s Startup Communities Shining Brighter Than the California Sun,” published November 24, 2014, which explores the ecosystem-wide supports in place to encourage entrepreneurship in Canada.
Silicon Valley may be the first place that comes to mind when you think of tech startups, but when considering resources, financial support, and a welcoming atmosphere, Canada has been steadily putting itself on the map. The startup communities in cities such as Vancouver, Waterloo, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal have proven to be a sought after home for some of the world’s most notable tech innovations of the last few years.
In a section on university supports, two of MaRS Innovation’s member institutions, the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, are cited for encouraging technology incubation and entrepreneurship: