H|T: The Healthtech Times – Where Amazon’s healthcare bets are headed next

The MedStack team at Collision Conference 2023 in Toronto.
The MedStack team at Collision Conference 2023 in Toronto.
Plus: MedStack gears up to help digital health startups in Europe navigate GDPR.

The Healthtech Times is a weekly newsletter covering healthtech news from Canada and around the globe.

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MedStack gears up to help digital health startups in Europe navigate GDPR compliance (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based healthtech startup MedStack has announced that it is compliant with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and able to help customers meet GDPR standards.

First rolled out in 2018, the European Union (EU) GDPR is widely regarded as the most stringent data privacy law in the world. GDPR aims to unify rules for how companies handle European citizens’ data.

Thoma Bravo Agrees to Acquire Health-Care Software Firm NextGen (BNN BLOOMBERG)

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo agreed to acquire health-records software company NextGen Healthcare Inc.

NextGen, which provides cloud-based technology services that health-care providers use to manage patients’ electronic health records, is now valued at about $1.8 billion including debt, according to a spokesperson for Thoma Bravo.


Addressing Canada’s talent gap in the tech industry boils down to removing the barriers for equity-deserving groups.

The Advanced Digital and Professional Training (ADaPT) program is a cost-free digital and professional skills development initiative that bridges the employment gap. It equips students in their final semester and post-secondary graduates with in-demand skills for entry-level tech roles.

ADaPT supports a diverse group of talent from varied educational backgrounds, with 81% of participants identifying as belonging to at least one equity-deserving group. Backed by 70+ hours of intensive training, the program exposes participants to tech career pathways.    

The ADaPT program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre and led by Toronto Metropolitan University’s Diversity Institute in collaboration with TECHNATION Canada. 

To support future talent in thriving tech careers within Canada’s changing job market and become an ADaPT employer, find out more here.

VentureLab appoints semiconductor industry leader Hugh Chow as CEO (BETAKIT)

Following the departures of Melissa Chee and Matt Skynner this summer, hardware and semiconductor-focused Markham, Ont. tech hub VentureLab has found its next leader in Hugh Chow.

Former Google AI expert raises $100mn for biotech start-up (FINANCIAL TIMES)

A biotech start-up founded by a former Google artificial intelligence expert has raised $100 million from Silicon Valley heavyweights as the market for generative AI applications expands into pharmaceuticals.

Palo Alto-based Inceptive plans to use the funds to develop new types of vaccines and drugs. It is designing “biological software” using the latest AI technology that was pioneered by the company’s founder Jakob Uszkoreit.

Software programs code executable instructions on a computer, he said. “We want to do that but with cells in your body.”

Meet the Y Combinator Summer 2023 cohort startups with Canadian connections (BETAKIT)

Learn more about the seven Canadian-affiliated tech startups participating in Y Combinator’s Summer 2023 Demo Day.

Among them are two healthtech startups in Decoda Health, which is developing an autonomous medical coding and billing solution, and LifestyleRX, which facilitates virtual care for Type 2 Diabetes.

Fertility services are booming—with help from venture capital (THE LOGIC)

VC firms, including Rhino Ventures and Whitecap Venture Partners, are increasingly investing in fertility technology—and even in fertility clinics. Canadian femtech firms, which include fertility services, raised a record $21.5 million in 2021, per PitchBook. This group includes Future Fertility and Twig Fertility.

Nulogy CFO offers tips for fundraising in a chaotic environment (BETAKIT)

Founders looking for growth capital are having a harder time than ever amidst record lows in VC funding. However, trading equity for VC cash is not the only path forward.

Nulogy is taking advantage of different financing paths, and its CFO, Sanjay Dhawan, shared details about his company’s $20 million raise in March 2023 while offering advice for founders fundraising in turbulent times.

B.C.-founded biologics developer Tentarix raises US$35-million after securing Gilead deal (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Antibody-based drug development startup co-founded by veteran B.C. life sciences entrepreneurs, Tentarix Biotherapeutics, has raised US$35-million from investors weeks after inking a development deal with pharma giant Gilead Sciences Inc.

Tentarix is developing biologic therapies called “conditional drugs” that target specific cells in the body by binding with multiple proteins on their surfaces.

Future workforce: where Gen Z wants to work and how startups can support them (BETAKIT)

The Work-Learn Institute (WxL) at the University of Waterloo asked Gen Z what they look for in a company or career path and recently released a full data report on its findings.

Speaking with BetaKit, Ross Johnston, Executive Director for the University of Waterloo’s Co-operative Education, shared his thoughts on WxL’s data and how startups can support and cultivate Gen Z talent.

How Pitango VC Is Planning to Invest Its New $175M Health Tech Fund (MEDCITY NEWS)

Pitango Venture Capital, one of the largest venture capital firms in Israel, announced the first closing of a new $175 million healthcare technology fund. With the new fund, the firm plans to build a portfolio of approximately 15 new companies over a period of three to four years.

Cultivator’s incubated startups surpass $100 million in private funding (BETAKIT)

Cultivator was launched in 2019 to help buttress the region’s visibility on the national tech stage by addressing the gaps and barriers in Saskatchewan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

This week, it hit a new benchmark: the companies nurtured through Cultivator have collectively raised more than $100 million in private capital since 2019.

Amazon’s chief medical officers on where the company’s health care bets are headed next (STAT)

The graveyard is littered with Amazon’s bets in health care: wearables, Care, the ill-fated Haven. Out of their ashes, a new health strategy has emerged at the tech goliath. And while its leaders insist that Amazon has no grand plan for health care, a flurry of moves in the last year offer a glimpse into its ambitions at a time when they seem more cohesive than ever.

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Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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