Canada’s largest health investor conference spotlights Toronto’s booming health industry

TORONTO, March 28, 2017 — On the heels of a record-breaking year for investment in Canadian life science companies, over 200 international investors will descend on Toronto to scout startup innovations at RESI on MaRS, Canada’s largest health investor conference.

On April 4, 2017 MaRS is collaborating with Life Science Nation and Johnson & Johnson Innovation JLABS to bring the RESI (Redefining Early Stage Investments) Conference to Toronto for the second year in a row. The keystone event of Toronto’s Health Innovation Week, RESI brings together fundraising CEOs and early-stage investors from around the globe.

Recent data on venture capital investments in Canada’s life sciences sector point to increased momentum. According to Thomson Reuters, VCs invested over $1.1 billion in Canadian life-sciences companies in 2016, the most on record in a single year and double the amount of VC funding in 2015.

MaRS will also host its annual HealthKick Innovation Challenge on April 5, highlighting 15 high-potential medical technology companies that will compete for three $20,000 cash prizes in a full-day exhibition. The HealthKick program will feature talks by leading health venture executives, including a keynote on how to take Toronto’s life sciences sector to the next level of medical research commercialization. The full list of HealthKick finalists can be found here.

“Investors are beginning to take note of Toronto as an under-tapped market for cutting-edge biotech and life sciences startups. RESI and HealthKick will give international investors an opportunity to meet with founders and scout the region’s most promising emerging health technology,” says Ying Tam, acting managing director of health venture services at MaRS.

Reflecting the growing interest in Canada’s healthcare scene, last year RESI on MaRS resulted in more than 875 meetings between emerging Canadian tech companies and potential investors and partners. Past RESI events across North America have seen as many as 50% of innovation challenge contestants go on to receive funding or significant partnerships, according to Life Science Nation.

“Toronto’s life sciences sector is experiencing incredible momentum and investors are eager to capitalize on that. The first RESI on MaRS was a phenomenal success, drawing US-based investors to Toronto, many for the first time, resulting in numerous valuable startup introductions. We expect this year’s event will exceed the strong benchmark that was established last year,” said Dennis Ford, CEO at LSN and creator of the RESI Conference Series.

About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs. Our purpose is to help innovators change the world. MaRS supports promising ventures tackling key challenges in the health, cleantech, finance & commerce, as well as work & learning sectors as they start, grow and scale. In addition, the MaRS community fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration to drive breakthrough discoveries and new solutions to be adopted in Canada and beyond, growing our economy and delivering societal impact at scale.

About Life Science Nation
Life Science Nation (LSN) accelerates the funding of early stage life science firms through its sourcing platform for private investment and enables CEOs to be more efficient in their capital-raising efforts. LSN owns and operates the Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) conference series.

For more information, contact:
Danielle Klassen
MaRS Discovery District