Innovation Factory’s Synapse Competition is Ontario’s premier life science pitch competition. Designed to help move your innovative life science products and services out of the lab and into the market, the competition pairs innovators with business and entrepreneurship students, and provides the training, mentorship, and resources to be successful.
Delivered by Innovation Factory, in collaboration with the Synapse Consortium, this competition assists innovators, scientists, and researchers to bring their ideas to market, increase revenues, leverage intellectual property, attract investment and create jobs.
Innovator finalists receive training, mentorship, a $5,000 grant and a chance to pitch and compete for OVER $100,000 cash prizes!
COMPETITION STATS SINCE 2013
$850K+ PRIZES AWARDED
$100M+ FUNDS RAISED
10+ GLOBAL MARKETS ACCESSED
The competition is separated into four phases, outlined below.
Interested participants will complete a short application and finalists will be notified in December of their acceptance into the competition. Innovators and students will form teams at our Meet & Greet in January 2024.
Teams will receive training and mentorship in order to submit a
Commercialization Plan, outlining detailed steps needed to commercialize their innovation, and a timeline to market in February, 2024.
Teams will attend training to develop and deliver a 5-minute investor
pitch, including the components of a pitch, delivery methods, and
addressing questions in March 2024.
FINAL PITCH & SHOWCASE
The top-ranked teams will deliver a business pitch, competing for cash and in-kind services from our generous partners. All finalists will present a poster and have the opportunity to network with top industry leaders in the life science sector on March 20, 2024.
September 29, 2023: Applications open
November 12, 2023: Applications Close
December 2023: Finalists Notified
January 4, 2024: Networking & Team Formation
January 11, 2024: Commercialization Plan Training
January 18, 2024: Regulatory Training
Jan & Feb, 2024: Business Advisory Meetings
February 6, 2024: Commercialization Plan Due
February 15 2024: Investor Pitch Training
February 29, 2024: Elevator Pitch & Poster Due
March 20, 2024: SYNAPSE PITCH COMPETITION SHOWCASE
*Dates subject to change
There are two participant categories that individuals can apply to. The first are Innovators, who must be working on an idea, product, or service in the Life Science field and have the individual capacity to continue developing the product and/or service after the competition. The second are Students, who must be either a current student or recent graduate (having graduated no more than 36 months prior to January 2024) from a recognized post-secondary institution. All participants must 1) submit applications prior to the due date
online and 2) certify that they abide by all guidelines of the Competition.
Participants must be residents and business owners in Ontario, Canada. Innovation Factory clients, and/or members of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce are eligible to participate in the Competition. Any corporation or enterprise with revenues in excess of $1 million are not eligible for the Competition. Applicants who have previously participated in both, LiONS LAIR and the Synapse Competition, or either competition more than once; and/or who placed in the top ten at a previous LiONS LAIR, and/or placed in the top three at
a previous Synapse Competition shall be precluded from participating in this Competition.