Author Archives: micah


The Techna Institute, the Baxter Corporation, the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering affiliated with the Faculties of Dentistry, Engineering and Applied Science and Medicine at the University of Toronto, and the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation are excited to announce the appointment of Dr. J. Paul Santerre to the Baxter Chair of Health Technology & Commercialization.

“The timing of the Baxter Chair could not be more strategically aligned with the success and momentum that has been building towards accelerating health technology and its commercialization out of the phenomenally successful programs that many of us have been contributing towards integrating in recent years, including the Techna Institute at UHN, the Health Innovation Hub (H2i) at UofT, and specialty discovery and translation programs like Medicine by Design, the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, the Centre for Collaborative Drug Research and others,” Dr. Santerre says. “The Baxter Chair will be pivotal in engaging these partners to synergize all of our commercialization efforts in Health matters.”

The Baxter Corporation invested $2.5M to create the chair, which will not only enable Dr. Santerre to advance his research, but is also designed to allow him to spend time developing commercialization and entrepreneurship expertise at UHN and the University of Toronto. As the Baxter Chair, Dr. Santerre will lead courses on commercialization and entrepreneurship for students and trainees from UHN and the University of Toronto. He will also mentor trainees in commercialization practices through H2i, an accelerator out of the University of Toronto. The Chair will also position Dr. Santerre to build relationships between start-up companies focused on health and medical technologies and UHN—Techna in particular—to help develop their products and businesses…Continue reading

U of T startups take home prizes at health challenge event

Braze Mobility uses sensors to help motorized wheelchair users avoid collisions with the obstacles that surround them. Now, with its latest product, Braze hopes to one day help eliminate the obstacles themselves.

Pooja Viswanathan, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Toronto and the CEO and co-founder of Braze, says she’s hoping to use the data collected by her startup’s sensors, which can be attached to motorized wheelchairs, to create a sophisticated data analytics platform.

The crunched data could then be used by clinicians, insurance companies and even city planners when making decisions that could impact wheelchair users.

“This could collect data on where collisions are actually happening in the environment,” Viswanathan told attendees at a recent health-care pitch competition.

Braze was one of four startups to take home $7,000 in prize money at H2i’s HealthEdge Challenge. The competition is organized by three U of T accelerators – Health Innovation Hub (H2i), The Hatchery and the Department of Computer Science Innovation Lab (DCSIL) – and is designed to encourage innovation to address real-world health-care problems. Continue reading

How a Toronto startup is helping Canadian athletes in Pyeongchang cope with jet lag

For Canada’s freestyle ski team, a split-second decision in Pyeongchang could have life-altering consequences.

The Olympians need to be at their sharpest to tackle jumps at dizzying heights or descents at lightning speeds, and getting a good night’s sleep is crucial.

That’s why a Toronto-based startup called Somnitude has provided the elite athletes with special glasses that block out blue light before bed. The goal is to help them sleep better and adjust to jet lag in an Olympic village 14 hours ahead of Toronto.

“If they’re going down a hill or a mogul and you misjudge something slightly and your response is a bit delayed, it could really affect the way you perform,” said Amol Rao, a University of Toronto industrial engineering master’s student who founded the company in 2016. Continue reading

Cleantech & AI: Next-Gen Applications for Energy, Agriculture & Mining

Can machine intelligence reduce the impact of our growing human footprint?

Join us on March 8 as we explore how artificial intelligence is breathing life into the way we manage our natural resources — from feeding the world more sustainably to reducing the environmental impacts of mining, energy production and power generation.

This is an opportunity to learn about new research areas and job opportunities with technology startups and industry incumbents that have embraced the transformational potential of big data and AI. For these companies, it’s also an opportunity to convey how AI fits into their future, the challenges they face, and the difficulties of finding the talent they need to succeed. Find more information here

Toronto Digifest 2018

We are pleased to announce that UTE will be sponsoring this year’s DigifestTO tech festival and startup event. DigifestTO is a three-day conference that will take place April 26-28 and brings together thought leaders, entrepreneurs, designers, students to share compelling digital content in the tech, interactive, gaming and design industries.

This year’s theme, Hello Tomorrow: Our Creative Cities is about improving our quality of life and making creative cities of the future better through design, innovation, and technology. As the world’s population soars to almost 10 billion people by 2050, up from today’s 7.5 billion, challenges around urban spaces, food priorities, health, education, mobility and work will make us look at how innovative thinking today will shape our world tomorrow. Digifest will feature emerging technology and highlight stories from around the globe using tech to tackle challenges in cities.

As part of the Digifest Conference there is also a Startup Competition called IT’S A START with $10k in prizes. The application form is very simple and the deadline for applying is February 2nd. Start-ups can apply here:

There is also a student showcase section where students can showcase their Technologies:  and a Food Tech Pop up section that our start-ups are welcome to be part of:

The days of the event UTE will have a booth that will be managed by ICUBE and we welcome all CLAs to bring collateral. If you are interested in helping managing the booth, please email Ignacio Mongrell:

As part of the sponsorship package UTE gets 25 student passes for the full 3-day conference. Please share this opportunity with your teams and students and ask them to send an email to with their name and email address if they are interested in attending.



Do you have an exciting oncology research idea that needs just a little extra fuel to drive a lot more value?
Could $50,000 in funding help accelerate or demonstrate the value of your research to potential partners?

If your answer is yes, then we have a fun, exciting and real opportunity for you!

On Wednesday, April 11th, 2018, Falcons’ Fortunes invites you to pitch your idea to a panel of sharp-eyed yet friendly investors. Hosted by the commercially savvy FACIT Falcons, this event will see entrepreneurial researchers vie for the $50,000 Ernsting Entrepreneurship Award to invest in the most promising oncology research idea. Any new innovative idea in the oncology space developed in Ontario is a candidate pitch!

Send an email to Lisa Milestone by Friday, February 2nd, 2018 if you are interested in participating

What is this event?   Falcons’ Fortunes is a pitch competition (friendly version of Dragons’ Den)

When: Wednesday, April 11th, 2018, 3:00-5:30 pm with a reception from 5:30-7:30 pm

Where: Vantage Venues, Toronto

What’s at stake?  $50,000 to the best pitch

What’s a pitch?  10 minute presentations that tell convincing stories on the value of a novel big or small idea and describe how $50,000 would impact and further advance the idea

We are looking for you to demonstrate the value of your research idea (e.g. accelerate to point of demonstrating POC, potential, patient benefit and/or economic impacts such as job creation or capital gain) and show how the investment will move you closer to achieving the big picture goal

Eligible research ideas – any new innovative idea in the oncology space and developed in Ontario

Who can participate?  Any entrepreneurial researcher in Ontario working in the oncology space!

Why are we doing this?  In the spirit of enhancing the culture of innovation, embracing entrepreneurship, and cultivating the next generation of risk takers and idea generators!

For more details (including how to participate and the associated requirements) click here to visit the event website


Remember, email Lisa by February 2nd if you’re interested in participating (why wouldn’t you be – it’s $50,000)!

LSO Breakfast

Online Webinar Option Available
LSO continues our live webinar of the Breakfast meeting. Register here and select the “Online Webinar” ticket to join in.

Speakers & Topic: National Support for Innovation

  • Robert Verhagen, CEO, Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics
  • Gordon McCauley, President & CEO, Centre for Drug Research and Development
  • Nicole Forgione, Business Development Lead, Strategic Partnerships, CCRM