Just a year ago, TEC Edmonton launched its TEC Health Accelerator program (located within TEC Edmonton’s Business Development Group) with the then-ambitious goal of assisting in the creation or growth of at least 50 health-related companies in the province of Alberta by 2020.
It wasn’t so much about creating companies. Alberta, and in particular Edmonton, has long been a centre of bio and medical technology, thanks to research from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and research hospitals in the region. Plenty of companies have been set up over the years to commercialize health-related research and new products.
What was missing was a dynamic and complete provincial ecosystem for health product commercialization.
There were just too many gaps: Missing was life sciences business expertise; access to capital and financing; an understanding of health market needs and opportunities; liaison with the R&D divisions of global medical/biotech corporations.
On top of all of this was an oft-repeated comment from local technology companies – that the Alberta Health system, focused on cost containment, had no pathways to support medical innovation created in its own backyard.
That was one year ago.
As TEC Edmonton celebrates the program’s first anniversary with its TEC Edmonton Health Summit and Health Venture Forum on November 24, 2015, much has changed.
The goal of 50 companies in five years has already been surpassed. In its first year, the Health Accelerator program had signed contracts with 47 young companies, and been in discussions with 124 more. The TEC Health Accelerator is also working closely with post-secondary institutions, including the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary, to commercialize promising medical research.
Thanks to funding from the federal government’s Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP), TEC Edmonton has been able to expand its expert services to life science technology clients. Staff additions include specialists in medical/bio intellectual property services, a medical-specialty Executive-in-Residence based in Calgary, a biomedical engineer, two software developers, two regulatory experts and two product-pull specialists.
On the investment side, nine health-related companies raised $2.2 million from the TEC Venture Angels investment network. Bloom Burton & Co., Canada’s largest health care investment banking firm, has extended several financing offers to TEC Health Accelerator program clients. Two other venture capital funds are working with TEC to identify health investment opportunities
Industry collaboration has taken a mighty leap forward. Executives from industry partners Genzyme, Johnson & Johnson and Merck Canada will have all made three visits to Edmonton and Calgary before the upcoming Health Summit. They are all looking at collaboration opportunities with companies and researchers in the province.
Alberta Health Services is working with Alberta’s small-to-medium-sized health-product companies through its specialized and effective Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs). Within SCNs, Alberta’s medical professionals work together in specific areas, such as diabetes or joint replacement, to improve patient outcomes and “bend down the cost curve” through innovation such as TEC Health Accelerator program clients are offering. Funding for pilot projects between SCNs and several Alberta health-related companies has been made available.
“We’ve made great progress,” says TEC Edmonton Executive Vice President of Business Development, Dr. Randy Yatscoff. “There’s a long way to go, but the TEC Health Accelerator program is working as intended.”
TEC Edmonton Health Summit & Health Venture Forum
November 24, 2015, 10:30 am – 2:00 pm
Fairmont Hotel MacDonald
TEC Edmonton invites you to join us on November 24th for back-to-back events for entrepreneurs and innovators. When registering online, you will be prompted to indicate which events you would like to attend. https://www.tecedmonton.com/event/tec-edmonton-health-summit-health-venture-forum/
A light lunch will be provided
TEC Edmonton Health Summit: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Since its launch in 2014, the TEC Health Accelerator has helped speed the growth of Alberta health technology companies.
On November 24, join leaders from the Alberta health care system, the medical research and business communities to hear the latest stats, successes and future plans of the TEC Health Accelerator program.
Speakers will include:
Keynote: Chirfi Guindo (President & Managing Director, Merck Canada Inc.)
Robin Nichol (General Manager, Gilead Alberta ULC)
Breanne Everett (CEO, Orpyx Medical Technologies Inc.)
Michael Palmer (Executive Vice President, Pace Wellness Inc.)
Health Venture Public Forum: 12:45 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Hosted by TEC Venture Angels, five of Alberta’s emerging health product companies, Leaderboard, Salu, VibeDx, Metabolomic Technologies Inc. and Canbiocin, will present to investors.
TEC Venture Angels combines two of Canada’s largest angel investor networks (TEC Edmonton and VA Angels).
You may also be interested in the BioAlberta AGM & Awards Gala being held that same evening at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald, 4:00pm – 9:00pm
Register Online for BioAlberta’s AGM & Awards Gala
TEC Edmonton Health Summit and Health Venture Forum Event Sponsors:
TEC Health Accelerator program sponsors
Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions
Bloom Burton & Co.
CTI Life Sciences Fund/Fonds CTI Sciences De La Vie
Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
TEC Edmonton Sponsors
Alberta Innovates Technology Futures
Edmonton Economic Development
University of Alberta
Alberta Women Entrepreneurs