Atlantic Canada focuses on healthtech, with pitch challenge, recent investments

life sciences

Four Atlantic Canada organizations have formed a strategic partnership to present the Health Challenge, a series of five pitch events focusing on specific health care priorities for Nova Scotians.

Innovation hub Volta, the Nova Scotia Health Authority, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the QEII Foundation, and BioNova, a life sciences industry association, are all partnering on the initiative.

”[The initiative] gives our companies a first customer while keeping patient outcomes and healthcare realities a priority.”

Each pitch event will focus on a different healthcare priority identified by the Nova Scotia Health Authority. Interested biotech or healthtech companies must be based in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador. The winner of each pitch will receive $100,000, and their technology will be considered for adoption by the Nova Scotia Health Authority.

“Nova Scotia is home to some of the most exciting medtech companies in Canada, who continue to drive innovation on a global scale,” said Jesse Rodgers, CEO of Volta. “We are excited and proud to partner with the Nova Scotia Health Authority, QEII Foundation, BioNova, and ACOA to provide a platform for these innovators and leaders to elevate health care locally.”

News of the initiative comes as the ACOA today announced loans totalling $1.7 million to help four life sciences companies commercialize their healthtech solutions. The companies receiving investment include Motryx, Nxtgen Care, IR Scientific, and Skinfix.

Motryx, based in Halifax, which aims to protect and monitor blood samples moving between hospitals and laboratories, is receiving $500,000. Dartmouth-based Nxtgen Care, which provides smart business intelligence and data analytics for senior care facilities, is also receiving $500,000.

RELATED: Atlantic Canada startups raised record $166.6 million in 2018

Halifax-based IR Scientific, receiving $496,000, has developed a solution that relieves pain in sensitive teeth. Skinfix, also based in Halifax specializes in clean and clinically active skincare, and is receiving $250,000.

Atlantic Canada made Startup Genome‘s 2019 list of ecosystems to watch in the life sciences category. Andy Fillmore, an MP for Halifax, said the economic potential of the life sciences sector in Atlantic Canada is “incredible,” and that the innovation ecosystem now has the talent and resources to compete on a global scale.

The first Health Challenge pitch event will focus on medical technologies supporting cancer care and will take place on April 8 in Volta’s main event space. To participate, companies must first apply by email, then be invited to pitch at the Health Challenge pitch events.

“As the leadership organization for the health and life sciences sector in Nova Scotia we strive to build a collaborative ecosystem to realize our full potential,” said Scott Moffitt, executive director of BioNova. “This partnership reflects that and the local adoption of health innovation is a win for our sector, it gives our companies a first customer while keeping patient outcomes and healthcare realities a priority.”

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Science in HD.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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