Getting ready for the holidays? MaRS Health has had an incredible year in 2015. From hosting Canada’s largest health venture showcase to new MaRS EXCITE announcements, we’ve been busy all year helping Canadian health startups build and grow their companies. Before we get to the recap, here’s a quick and easy homemade “recipe” to wow your friends with as you head off to this season’s holiday parties.

MaRSipan “recipe”

(Inspired by Canadian Living’s marzipan recipe with some substitutions in case you don’t have almond extract on hand.)

marsblog-MaRSipanRecipe

Yield: Makes about 300 health startups

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/3 cups sweet and fresh technology
  • 1 cup capital, diced over a few years (public or private will do)
  • 1/4 cup quality market opportunity
  • 1 tsp pure talent*

*Talent gives a startup its distinctive flavour, which you can adjust up or down depending on your preference.

Directions: In a garage, lab, accelerator or similar container, pulse together technology and capital until a minimum viable product forms. Add customers and talent until mixture starts to resemble a startup. (Tip: Your mixture is ready if it takes two to three tries before clumping together easily into revenue.) Roll into log and wrap tightly with competitive barriers. Incubate at room temperature for a few months.

Conversation topics

While that recipe isn’t exactly real in the food world, it is in the startup world! MaRS Health works with many health ventures that combine great talent and innovative technologies that are helping to save and improve patient lives.

Last year, according to our annual survey, MaRS’ health ventures raised $193 million in capital, generated $36 million in revenue, and created and retained 1,064 jobs. Here are some examples of what MaRS’ health startups accomplished throughout 2015 and why making MaRSipan can be so rewarding. (Check out 2014’s Advent calendar of highlights, too.)

  • Scaling fast: Synaptive Medical acquired fellow MaRS startup ClearCanvas to improve its medical imaging offering. The company also received clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration, landed American partners in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and in Lafayette, Louisiana, and closed another $2.1 million in financing. Synaptive is moving its growing team into the MaRS West Tower in 2016, along with fellow health startup LEAGUE.
Armen Baktziran, CEO of Intellijoint Surgical, demonstrates the company's HIP technology at HealthKick 2015
Armen Bakirtzian, CEO of Intellijoint Surgical, demonstrates the company’s HIP technology at HealthKick 2015
  • Public and private financing: Perimeter Medical Imaging received government and private funding upward of $5 million to advance the development and commercialization of its microscopic tissue margin assessment solution.
  • Crowdfunding: Three MaRS health ventures completed successful crowdfunding campaigns.
  • Dealmaker: Antibe Therapeutics raised almost $1.25 million for the further development of its non-steroidal anti-inflammatory disorder therapeutic. The company also completed a Phase 1 clinical trial, expanded its product pipeline, acquired regenerative medicine company Citagenix, and licensed and signed a distribution agreement with Canadian pharmaceutical company Knight Therapeutics.
  • Government partnership: Social Change Rewards launched the National Healthy Living Platform: Carrot Rewards app in collaboration with the Government of Canada (which invested $5 million), the Government of British Columbia (which invested $2.5 million), the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Diabetes Association and YMCA Canada. The company also closed an additional $2 million in private financing.
  • Inventor and entrepreneur: Milos Popovic, the co-founder, director and chief technology officer of MyndTec, and senior scientist at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, received University Health Network’s Inventor of the Year Award for MyndMove, which treats arm and hand paralysis caused by stroke or spinal cord injury.
MyndTec demonstrates MyndMove on one of its patient ambassadors during an announcement that Ontario will invest $20 million in health innovation. Pictured is Diana Pliura, CEO of MyndTec, and the Honourable Eric Hoskins, Ontario minister of health and long-term care.
MyndTec demonstrates MyndMove on one of its patient ambassadors during an announcement that Ontario will invest $20 million in health innovation. Pictured is Diana Pliura, CEO of MyndTec, and the Honourable Eric Hoskins, Ontario minister of health and long-term care.
  • Setting up for procurement: HTX announced the recipients of the first round of REACH funding. The recipients include:
    • BrainFx, which will use the funds to validate its sensitive to mild brain impairment assessment tool with Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington Dufferin; and
    • CellAegis Devices, which will use the funds to evaluate its point-of-care remote ischemic conditioning device with William Osler Health System.

How to build your invitation list and throw a good event

  • We expanded our team! Dianne Carmichael joined us as managing director to lead strategy on client-driven value-added services in alignment with the MaRS ventures strategy. Karol Kamecka joined us as coordinator and editor of the MaRS Health Venture Digest.
The Rockstar speakers from HealthKick left to right: Lucien Engelen, Director, REShape Innovation Center, Leslee Thompson, CEO & President, Kingston General Hospital, Doc Mike Evans, Evans Health Lab, Melinda Richter, Head Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS, and Dave deBronkart, e-Patient Dave. (if you can incorporate it near the bullet point, might not need to repeat all the names again, just use the order in the photo, left to right).
HealthKick’s rock-star speakers. From left to right: Lucien Engelen, Leslee Thompson, Dr. Mike Evans, Melinda Richter and Dave deBronkart
  • HealthKick is evolving! We’ve partnered with Life Science Nation to host Redefining Early Stage Investing at MaRS on June 23, 2016, in order to attract more global early-stage investors to Canada. Johnson and Johnson Innovation JLABs is our key sponsor. Stay tuned here!
  • MaRS EXCITE announced a new US-based participant: Assurex Health is a precision medicine company that helps Canadians suffering from schizophrenia and depression. EXCITE also welcomed William Charnetski, the chief health innovation strategist for Ontario, to its management board. In other EXCITE news, two of the program’s participants, MyndTec and BresoTec, received greater public attention as rehab revolutionaries.
Hacking Health Accelerator Launch at MaRS. From left to right: Hadi Salah, Manager, Health Ecosystem Partnerships, Michael Mahon, Director, Strategic Investments & Partnerships, BDC Capital, Erika Kurczyn, Manager, Strategic Investments, BDC Capital, Luc Sirois, Co-founder of Hacking Health and Managing Director of the Accelerator, Dianne Carmichael, Managing Director, MaRS Health Ventures, Zayna Khayat, MaRS Health Systems Lead, and Janet Bannister, General Partner, Real Ventures.
The Hacking Health Accelerator launch at MaRS. From left to right: Hadi Salah, Manager, Health Ecosystem Partnerships, Michael Mahon, Director, Strategic Investments & Partnerships, BDC Capital, Erika Kurczyn, Manager, Strategic Investments, BDC Capital, Luc Sirois, Co-founder of Hacking Health and Managing Director of the Accelerator, Dianne Carmichael, Managing Director, MaRS Health Ventures, Zayna Khayat, MaRS Health Systems Lead, and Janet Bannister, General Partner, Real Ventures.
  • We partnered with REshape Center at Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands to collaborate on joint programs to advance health and healthcare innovation globally.
  • Mike Serbinis, the founder and CEO of LEAGUE, and Stefan Larson, entrepreneur-in-residence at Versant Ventures and the CEO of Northern Biologics, joined the MaRS Board of Directors, adding to our health and entrepreneur representation.
The Startup Tech Fair at the Innovation Learning Network's InPerson Meeting
The Startup Tech Fair at The Innovation Learning Network’s InPerson Meeting

Thank you as always to our amazing support team of volunteer advisors who dedicate their time and expertise to MaRS Health ventures and staff day in and day out.

For more news like this, follow our MaRS Health Pressly page, where you’ll find up-to-date curated content on the health industry and startup community.

Happy holidays from MaRS Health—and a happy new year full of MaRSipan!

Katrin Altosaar

Katrin was a Senior Associate for MaRS Health Venture Services. She worked with both life sciences clients and advisors to ensure the best experience for MaRS clients. See more…