Canada’s best health startups compete at MaRS HealthKick 2015

TORONTO, Feb. 23, 2015 – MaRS HealthKick 2015, Canada’s largest showcase of health startups, today announced its lineup of new ventures competing for three $20,000 cash prizes at the annual pitch competition on May 7, 2015.

HealthKick 2015 features 39 of Canada’s top early-stage healthcare ventures covering all sectors of the health industry — including medical devices, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and health information technology. These ventures will present their businesses to a 300-person audience of leading Canadian and U.S. venture capitalists, investors, entrepreneurs, c-suite leaders and industry partners. To view the full list of participating startups, visit:

“It is a carefully curated program that brings the best startups in this country to the most discriminating investors,” said Dr. Zayna Khayat, lead of MaRS Health and Director of MaRS EXCITE. “After the huge success of last year’s inaugural showcase, HealthKick saw an increase in the number of entries from other provinces.”

Almost one-third of the 39 companies selected to compete fall into the category of patient empowerment, the theme of this year’s showcase. Consumer-led demand for patient self-care is driving a new generation of innovative technologies. For example, Cogniciti, a novel diagnostic tool, offers a scientifically and clinically validated website to self-assess brain health. Also featured this year is the disruptive innovation Medella Health, a smart contact lens that continuously measures glucose levels.

“The relationship between citizens and health providers is evolving,” said Dr. Khayat. “The era of passive consumers of health services has been overtaken by a new paradigm of people-powered healthcare.”

Canada’s technology startups are at the forefront of the disruption in healthcare. Entrepreneurs are delivering services that give citizens access to their health records, and designing devices and platforms that enable people to manage their own treatments.

The featured startups at HealthKick 2015 will hone their presentations to a nine-minute “Dragons’ Den-style” pitch. An experienced panel of judges includes Dr. Jacki Jenuth, partner at Lumira Capital, one of Canada’s largest health venture capital firms; and Dr. Shafiq Qaadri, Member of Provincial Parliament for Etobicoke North and healthcare contributor to The Medical Post and The Globe and Mail.

HealthKick 2015 is organized by MaRS Health, a division of MaRS Discovery District, an urban innovation hub that supports the development and adoption of transformative technologies. MaRS Health assists entrepreneurs in their quest to find investors and industry partners to gain traction in the marketplace.

Learn more about HealthKick 2015 at:
See a list of participating health startups:

About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs. MaRS cultivates high-impact ventures and equips innovators to drive economic and societal prosperity. MaRS provides expert advice and market research, and makes connections to talent, customers and capital. MaRS startup ventures have created 6,500 jobs and, in the last three years alone, they have raised $1 billion in capital and generated $500 million in revenue. MaRS Health supports over 250 Ontario-grown health technology startups with connections to capital and help navigating the regulatory and procurement systems in Canada and abroad.


For more information, please contact:

Lara Torvi
Manager, Media & Community
MaRS Discovery District