Innovators and inventors wanted for YORKbiotech competition

Do you have an invention with applications for the healthcare industry? Not sure how to develop a business plan or access investors or partners?

YORKbiotech is calling for scientists and innovators at York University to participate in the sanofi pasteur Healthcare & Biotechnology Venture Challenge. Faculty, research associates, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, technicians, healthcare providers and independent inventors with an original product or service idea for the healthcare industry are invited to register for the competition. For more information and a complete guide to how to register, visit the sanofi pasteur Healthcare & Biotechnology Web site.  

Eligible areas include (but are not limited to) healthcare IT, diagnostics, therapeutics, medical devices, bioinformatics, artificial intelligence and nutraceuticals. Ideas that involve buy-outs, expansions of existing companies or technology that is already partnered or licensed to industry are ineligible.

Registrants will be matched with MBA students from York’s Schulich School of Business to work on developing a commercialization plan for the venture. Teams will attend a seminar co-taught by Schulich faculty and industry executives, and will receive mentoring throughout the process.

The top three finalists will present a summary of their plan to a panel of executive judges at the fourth annual Convergent Medical Technologies (CMT2008) conference to be held on Nov. 6. They may also attend the event with over 150 conference attendees from industry, academia, hospitals, financial institutions and government organizations.

Perks and prizes

The competition’s top prizes include $7,500 for the first-place team, $5,000 for the second-place team, and $2,500 for the third-place team. The finalists will receive free entry to CMT2008 and the winner’s profile will be published in YORKbiotech’s quarterly newsletter. In addition, five scientists/researchers/inventors who register before the early-bird deadline of Aug. 6th will be eligible to receive free passes to CMT2008.

Robert Foldes, executive director of YORKbiotech, stresses that all participants stand to gain from the experience. “We designed the competition to help scientists assess the commercial feasibility of their inventions for patent applications and licensing opportunities,” says Foldes. “Business proposals written for the competition could be used as a basis for applying for future funding and granting competitions, such as CIHR, NSERC, other proof of principle funding opportunities and other entrepreneurial business plan competitions.”

The contest is also intended to give entrepreneurial business students the chance to work with inventors in real-world business scenarios. “CMT2008 will provide the teams with great industry exposure and networking opportunities,” Foldes says. “We’re excited to be encouraging collaboration between the scientific and business communities while fostering entrepreneurial spirit.”

Visit the YORKbiotech Web site for additional contest details.

YORKbiotech is a growing cluster of public- and private-sector members that promotes convergence and commercialization of research in information & communications technologies (ICT) and biomedical technologies. Its members include biotechnology-related companies from Toronto through York Region, along with service providers, industry associations, research and educational institutions, municipalities, hospitals and government organizations. It is one of 12 active clusters in Ontario’s Regional Innovation Network Program, which supports partnerships among business, institutions and local governments to promote innovation. York University is a founding member of YORKbiotech.