101 College Street
Interested in rubbing elbows with some of Toronto’s hottest Life Sciences and Healthcare start-ups?
Come hear successful entrepreneurs discuss the challenges and opportunities faced in launching their organizations. This is part of a series of “Meet the Entrepreneurs” events which present panels of start-up entrepreneurs in different sectors discussing the challenges and opportunities they are facing. Followed by a networking reception.
Come learn from and meet others in your sector.
Jon Rogers, Volunteer Advisor, Life sciences and healthcare practice
Jon is currently Partner and Life Science Practice Leader at SPG Management Consulting. He has built a well-rounded career in the life sciences industry and has extensive experience in strategy and marketing, as well as in sales, business development, finance and operations. Jon has held a number of general management roles around the world. He has worked for several top life science and consumer packaged goods companies, including Jamieson Vitamins, Procter & Gamble, Bausch & Lomb and Medtronic.
During his time in the life sciences industry, Jon has helped small and large businesses develop and execute robust strategic plans and build high-performance teams. He has also developed and launched multiple brands and products, delivering winning results in highly competitive markets.
Don Waugh, Founder & Chairman, Applied Recognition
Don has over 15 years of experience in the high-tech sector, most recently as the founder and co-CEO of Applied Recognition. Previously, he was CEO and Founder of PCAS Patient Care Automation Services, a company revolutionizing the dispensing and management of prescription medicine. Prior to PCAS, Don founded Echoworx Corporation, an encryption security software company specializing in Internet-based applications. Don also founded of CoolWater/CIMtegration, an internet development firm, and DataVation, a data storage company. Don was a CMA before becoming an entrepreneur nearly 20 years ago. He holds multiple patents for encryption technologies, drug dispensing systems and face recognition applications.
Applied Recognition was incorporated in 2005 to bring advanced face recognition technology to consumer products. Its flagship product is Fotobounce. Fotobounce provides consumers with an easy way to manage and share digital photos. Applied Recognition is one of only a few companies worldwide that specializes in face recognition for consumer photo management and photo sharing. The company has developed a suite of proprietary algorithms and software. Using this core capability, it has developed cloud, desktop and mobile products.
Chia Chia Sun, Founder & CEO, Damiva Inc.
Chia Chia Sun’s business card reads: “Hi, I’m Chia Chia Sun. I’m the woman on top at Damiva. Technically, I’m the CEO but I consider myself a health and satisfaction strategist, a champion of women’s needs, and a taboo abolisher.” Trained as a scientist, management consultant and pharmaceutical executive in cancer drug development, Chia Chia debuted her 100% natural vaginal lubricant prototype on CBC’s Dragons’ Den in April 2013. Since then, her new career as founder and CEO of Damiva has been an entrepreneurial roller coaster.
Damiva Inc. is a company founded by women for women that develops all-natural, over-the-counter products for women’s health and personal care. Its mission is to empower women’s health through an educated approach to aging, health needs and beauty, from the inside out. With its cheeky humorous messaging—“feeling drier than a British comedy?”—the brand is savvy and sophisticated and challenging the status quo. Its first product, Mae by Damiva, is a natural vaginal lubricant for menopausal women. Mae is now selling across Canada in major pharmacy chains.
Joanna Griffiths, Founder & CEO, Knix Wear
Joanna Griffiths is Chief Knixpert (a.k.a. Founder & CEO) of Knix Wear, a high-tech women’s underwear brand. Joanna has over seven years of marketing and public relations experience. She has worked for Universal Music, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Joanna holds an MBA with distinction from INSEAD, where she won both the Women’s Award for Entrepreneurship and the Business Venture Competition for Knix Wear, securing $20,000 to begin the business. Joanna launched Knix Wear via a crowdfunding campaign in May 2013 where she sold over $60,000 in high-tech knickers, becoming the most-funded Canadian fashion project of all time.
Based in Toronto, Knix Wear is a revolutionary women’s underwear brand that pairs high-performance fabrics and stylish designs. Offering three distinct lines (Knix, Knixy and FitKnix), each pair features patented Fresh Fix Technology, a thin yet super-absorbent gusset that wicks away moisture and eliminates odour. In 2013, the company made crowdfunding and retail history when the Hudson’s Bay Company placed an 18-store pre-order, marking the first time a brand has been picked up by a major retailer via crowdfunding.
Part of the Entrepreneurship 101 Series