The Health and Life Sciences Showcase brought an action-packed day of learning, connecting and collaboration for the region’s health and life sciences community. From the breakfast fireside chat with Dentons to the BioAlberta gala and awards, the day was full of eye-opening moments.

Although Dr. Verna Yiu could not join us to give the lunch keynote address, Dr. Kathryn Todd, Alberta Health Services Vice President, Research, Innovation & Analytics, gave an engaging speech on the role of innovation in Alberta’s Health system.

Here are some more highlights from the day:

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Dentons helped us kick off the morning with a fireside chat on the future of clinical research with Marlon Rajakaruna (left), Tom Sides (centre) and Dr. Lawrence Richer (right).

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Image courtesy of BioAlberta

The morning pitch session was a packed house, with 10 companies pitching in front of a panel and room full of investors.

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With the pitch session happening in the next room, the education seminars included a presentation from VA Angels Edmonton Chapter President Randy Thompson on raising funds for biotech companies, and a panel discussion on digital innovation in healthcare.

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TEC Edmonton Vice President of Business Development, Randy Yatscoff, and Health Accelerator Program Director, Aggie Mikulski, gave an overview of the TEC Health Accelerator using real-life examples of Alberta companies accessing the health system through a community of innovation service providers. “It takes a village,” she said, to harness health innovations and improve health delivery in the province.

Don Iveson

Image courtesy of BioAlberta

The afternoon was full of panel and roundtable discussions on health analytics, natural health products, and industrial biotechnology policy. Mayor Don Iveson even made an appearance at the reception and vendor showcase to show the City of Edmonton’s support for local biotechnology companies.

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Image courtesy of BioAlberta

The 18th BioAlberta gala and awards was the perfect finale for the day, with Calgary-based company Botaneco receiving the Company of the Year award.

Thank you to all attendees, volunteers, and partners who helped make this year’s Health and Life Sciences Showcase a success!

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Great things happen when organizations across the province and beyond come together. That was the sentiment on display last week at the breaking ground of our newest accelerator for health technology companies.

With representatives from Merck, all levels of government, Alberta Innovates, the University of Alberta, EEDC, and the University Hospital Foundation, the event truly showcased the community partnerships involved with the launch of the accelerator.

So what makes this accelerator different? First of all, it’s been developed especially for the needs of emerging health and life sciences companies in partnership with Merck Canada – meaning that companies have access to Merck’s expert mentors as well as TEC Edmonton’s.

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The accelerator will become an entry point for health technology startups (in Alberta and beyond) to connect with industry and Alberta’s healthcare system. Emerging health and life sciences companies will access expertise while utilizing the TEC Edmonton work and wet lab spaces.

Once renovated, the accelerator will also include dedicated space for spinoffs from the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, which has played a lead role in putting this new space and programming in place.

“When innovations get to market faster, we improve patient outcomes, reduce the burden on the health care system, and strengthen Alberta’s research ecosystem,” said University of Alberta President Dr. David Turpin.

“Successful innovation comes from the support of the community,” stated TEC Edmonton CEO Chris Lumb, stressing that companies who seek out assistance with their innovations have an advantage.

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The goal of the accelerator is to attract world-class talent in Alberta, leverage existing partnerships to help grow new life sciences companies here, and become a signature part of Edmonton’s Health City.

Learn more about the Merck Accelerator here.

Accelerator to create new opportunities for young health technology companies

Edmonton, AB (September 5, 2017) – TEC Edmonton broke ground on a new business accelerator for technology companies on Tuesday.

The accelerator, a partnership with pharmaceutical company Merck Canada Inc., will connect emerging Alberta-based health-focused companies with the health research expertise of Merck to bring innovative health technologies to the market.

“Working in partnership with TEC Edmonton to provide both scientific expertise and funding to this new business incubator will help propel Alberta-based, health-focused startups to new heights, all the while fostering the innovation, entrepreneurship and competitiveness of the region,” said Mr. Chirfi Guindo, President and Managing Director of Merck Canada Inc. “This type of collaboration with promising, key players is essential to the future of the health sector, as we work together to provide meaningful benefit to patients.”

“It’s a great time to be a startup company operating in Alberta’s health innovation space,” said TEC Edmonton CEO Chris Lumb, “Merck Canada will provide important connections and expertise that young companies otherwise would not have access to.”

Companies accepted into the program will access new growth opportunities through linkages with defined market needs and experienced mentors.

The accelerator is made possible by funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Alberta Merck Innovation (AMI) Health Fund, a larger collaboration between Merck Canada, the University Hospital Foundation and the Government of Alberta Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. The space will be shared with the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

“Partnerships like this one—partnerships that connect industry, government and researchers—bring tremendous capacity to the university’s work. The new health-technology incubator will help to magnify the impact of health research at the U of A—it’s a key part of how we can serve the public good. We’re fortunate to draw on the expertise and support that Merck, the provincial government, and the University Hospital Foundation have to offer,” says David Turpin, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Alberta.

To learn more about the program or to apply, please contact Randy Yatscoff, Executive Vice President of Business Development at randy.yatscoff@tecedmonton.com.

About TEC Edmonton
TEC Edmonton is a business accelerator that helps emerging technology companies grow successfully. As a joint venture of the University of Alberta and Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, TEC Edmonton operates the Edmonton region’s largest accelerator for early-stage technology companies, and also manages commercialization of University of Alberta technologies. TEC Edmonton delivers services in four areas: Business Development, Funding and Finance, Technology Management, and Entrepreneur Development. Since 2011, TEC clients have generated $915M in revenue, raised $442M in financing and funding, invested $245M in R&D, grown both revenue and employment by 25 per cent per year and now employ over 2,200 people in the region. In addition, TEC has assisted in the creation of 26 spinoff companies from the University of Alberta in the last five years. For more information, visit www.tecedmonton.com.

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