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2021 Winners

ToeFX Synapse 2021 Synapse life science competition winners conducting research
Innovation Factory awards $80,000 in cash and in-kind prizes at the eighth annual Synapse Life Science Competition

ToeFX is this year’s big winner!

Hamilton, ON – On March 24, Hamilton’s thriving life science ecosystem gathered virtually for Innovation Factory’s eighth annual Synapse Competition, Ontario’s premier life science pitch competition.

This year’s top three finalists, ToeFX, Synmedix and Pharmassess Diagnostics each delivered their pitch to the judging panel, competing for their share of 80,000 in cash and in-kind prizes, while the remaining finalists competed in a “Quick Pitch” – a pre-recorded, short pitch presentation.

Nine Ontario life science innovators were selected as finalists and formed teams with post-secondary students, the industry’s future professionals. Together, these teams participated in three months of intensive training, where they produced commercialization plans for their ventures and prepared for the showcase.

ToeFX was named the grand prize winner, taking home a prize of $38,000 in cash, an in-kind legal package from Ridout & Maybee LLP, and a one-year membership with Life Sciences Ontario and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

Synmedix took second place receiving $15,000 in cash, an in-kind legal prize from Gowling WLG as well as a one-year membership with Life Sciences Ontario and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

PharmAssess Diagnostics came in third place receiving an in-kind Legal package from Bereskin & Parr, and in-kind prize package courtesy of Shift Health, as well as a one-year membership with Life Sciences Ontario as and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

Pathlogix won the “Quick Pitch” prize of $2,500 cash.

"The ToeFX team is delighted and proud to have been selected as the winner of the Synapse Life Science Competition 2021. This recognition will propel us forward as we strive to become the global standard of care for the treatment of onychomycosis (toenail fungus) and help patients in Canada and around the world live a life without fungal infection. We are grateful for the incredible support from the Hamilton life sciences ecosystem - the Innovation Factory team, the Synapse judges and mentors and The Forge at McMaster University. Thank you!" said Dr. Monika Yazdanian CEO of ToeFX


This year’s Synapse Competition judges included Alex Ross, Counsel at Gowling WLG, Dr. Jennifer Hamilton, Senior Director, New Ventures (Canada) for Johnson & Johnson Innovation, and John Hands, Director with Bay Area Health Trust.

Since the inaugural Synapse Life Science Pitch Competition in 2014, Innovation Factory has worked with more than 90 companies and awarded over $500,000 in cash and in-kind resources though the support of its sponsors.  The competition is delivered in collaboration with the Synapse Life Science Consortium and made possible through the support of the competition’s Title Partner, Gowling WLG and Innovation Partners,  Bereskin & Parr and Ridout & Maybee.

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