MaRS, Hacking Health, BDC Capital and Real Ventures launch the Hacking Health Accelerator to Drive Healthcare Innovation and Startup Growth Across Canada

TORONTO, October 29, 2015 – Hacking Health, BDC Capital, Real Ventures and MaRS Discovery District today announced the launch of the Hacking Health Accelerator, a digital health innovation platform focused on developing, deploying and investing in healthcare technologies to drive startup creation on a national level and transform healthcare globally.

Over the next 18 months, this unique digital health accelerator will support the growth of a dozen promising new startups, providing up to $200,000 in capital, along with intensive mentorship, support and access to clinical market trials to accelerate their path to commercialization. It will provide an additional 40 entrepreneurs with intensive training in an increasingly complex healthcare sector.

The digital transformation of the health, fitness and wellness sectors is accelerating globally and digital and mobile products are in high demand. “When thinking of digital health, we are talking about all the mobile and web apps, about software and systems targeted at healthcare professionals and their institutions, but also at patients and consumers who aspire to adopt a healthier lifestyle,” said Luc Sirois, Co-founder of Hacking Health and Managing Director of the Accelerator. “We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to possibilities in this area.”

The Hacking Health Accelerator and MaRS are teaming up to better support early-stage startups nationally. The Accelerator will extend MaRS’ world-class resources, services and toolkits, and combine them with Hacking Health’s grassroots outreach, networks and expertise. Startups are invited to apply at

“MaRS brings together key stakeholders to drive development in strategic sectors,” said Dianne Carmichael, Managing Director, Health Ventures, MaRS. “This Accelerator demonstrates how joining forces can bolster the growth of a critical industry for Canadians. This creates new business opportunities and job growth, while improving healthcare for everyone.”

In addition to Hacking Health, BDC Capital, Real Ventures and MaRS Discovery District, this collaborative program involves key networks and investors, including: Anges Québec, Cossette, Agile MV, Fasken Martineau, GCI Canada, MMA Group and several angel investors.

“The Hacking Health Accelerator is brought to life by entrepreneurs, investors and actors deeply motivated to contribute to healthcare innovation, and to catalyzing the whole community to achieve this mission,” said Michael Mahon, Director, Strategic Investments & Partnerships at BDC Capital.

“It illustrates BDC’s efforts as well as those of Real Ventures and MaRS, to bring together various players in the technology and venture capital ecosystem to better support entrepreneurs.”

“Since its beginnings in 2012, Hacking Health aims to break down barriers to innovation in health by facilitating a greater collaboration between technology experts, clinicians and patients to develop creative digital solutions with use in the field,” explains Sirois, “Creating the Hacking Health Accelerator was the obvious next step to give innovators the means to achieve their ambitions.”

“Our hospitals, health centres, research centres and universities are incredible incubators of innovation to meet this demand and create great success, but financing, marketing and the creation of healthy companies remains a challenge,” said Alan MacIntosh, Managing Partner, Real Ventures. “The Hacking Health Accelerator wants to change that.”

About Hacking Health
Hacking Health is a movement designed to improve healthcare by inviting technology creators and healthcare professionals to collaborate on realistic, human-centric solutions to front-line problems. Our events are fun, intense, hands-on gatherings focused on action-taking, where we constantly explore new ways to interface pioneers across diverse fields in real and meaningful interactions for collaborative innovation in healthcare. The Hacking Health Accelerator was launched and is designed to focus on developing, deploying and investing in healthcare technologies to drive startup creation on a national level and transform healthcare globally. Startups are invited to apply at:

About MaRS Discovery District

MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is the one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs. MaRS supports promising young ventures tackling key societal challenges in the health, cleantech and ICT sectors. In the last three years, these ventures have raised $1.3 billion in capital and earned $640 million in revenue. In addition to helping startups launch, grow and scale, the MaRS community is dedicated to cross-disciplinary collaboration, commercialization of discoveries and driving ideas to impact.

About BDC Capital
A subsidiary of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), BDC Capital offers a full spectrum of specialized financing and investment solutions to help Canadian entrepreneurs achieve their full growth potential. With more than $1.6 billion under management, BDC Capital takes a strategic, patient approach to nurture companies’ development over the long term.
From venture capital and equity, to growth and transition capital, our team of over 100 experienced, local professionals partner with entrepreneurs to identify and meet their needs on flexible terms. Some of the sectors in which we specialize include IT, industrial/clean/energy technology, and healthcare. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter at @BDC_Capital.

About Real Ventures
Real Ventures invests in ambitious entrepreneurs that are creating the Internet experiences of the future or embracing the power of the Internet to disrupt existing industries or business models. Investing pre-traction, its team and networks support entrepreneurs and propel their companies forward. The best entrepreneurs do their homework on prospective VCs and the best Canadian entrepreneurs want to be backed by Real Ventures. Visit for more information.

About the Anges Québec Capital Fund
Anges Québec Capital is an investment fund set up to financially support the members of Anges Québec. Sponsored primarily by the Quebec government, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, and Investissement Québec, the fund supports the angels who invest in innovative Quebec businesses in the seed or startup phase. This joint effort by angels and fund sponsors results in $85 million being made available to entrepreneurs, allowing them to benefit from more substantial financial leverage in order to considerably grow their business.

For media enquires, contact:
Lara Torvi
MaRS Discovery District


Amanda Federchuk
Hacking Health Accelerator