2019 Finalists

AgeRate is a Hamilton based life sciences start-up company that has developed a novel method of measuring DNA-methylation, a biomarker that can be used to accurately estimate an individuals biological age. Currently, the AgeRate test is being validated in a trial and expect the results to be available by Spring 2019. It is at this time that the AgeRate test will be available for purchase.

AgeRate will be sold through health professionals such as Naturopathic Doctors, Registered Dietitians and Personal Trainers. User’s will purchase an AgeRate DNA-Collection-Kit through the health professional, perform the mouth swab inside and ship the sample to our lab. Once the sample is received, a novel method of measuring DNA-methylation and a machine learning algorithm will be used to determine the patients biological age. Within 4-6 weeks the results of the test will be available through an online dashboard that both the health professional and the patient will have access to. The test can be performed once a year to track progress.

The team envisions a future in which getting your heart rate checked will be as common as getting your AgeRate checked. The company’s mission is to redefine health to inspire improvement.


Rafik El Werfalli

Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization, McMaster University, 2019

Altius Analytics Labs is a health-tech company helping workplaces better identify and prevent expensive repetitive strain joint injuries. Our platform provides users (company health & safety professionals) with a faster, easier to use and higher accuracy solution for conducting industry-mandated ergonomic risk assessments by simply filming video with a smartphone camera.

This can be broken down into three components:

  • Data collection: Proprietary algorithms capture 3D motion capture without using any wearable sensors

  • Ergonomic risk analysis: Computer software performs quantitative injury risk calculations using validated methods (e.g. RULA, NIOSH, 3D static strength)

  • Control strategy: Objective data shows root mechanisms of injury risk allowing the user to develop better preventative strategies (e.g. workstation redesign) and quickly re-assess the efficacy of their solution


This is designed to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of our customers’ existing ergonomic process flows; a traditionally slow and subjective process we automate in a matter of minutes. This can be applied in manufacturing, hospital, military and insurance industries, to name a few.

We are piloting the system with two automotive manufacturers and working in partnership with the Canadian Department of National Defence.


Armando Villanueva 

McMaster University - Masters of Business Administration Expected Completion April 2020  

University of Toronto - Undergraduate Degree Honours Bachelors of Science Completed 2017 


Altius Analytics Labs Inc.

Biosa Technologies

Biosa Technologies is a biochemical company that provides a unique and natural way for stablizing enzymes for Personal Protective Equipment and textiles that could be used by Medical professionals, as radiation shielding textile and for Military purposes. Our technology not only improves flexibility and breathability of currently used fabric but maintains and even improves upon anti-microbial protection.

We strongly believe that the Military due to increasing threats of biological and chemical weapons would benefit tremendously from our unique type of textile which integrates strategic expertise and research efforts in advanced nanomaterials. Through our preliminary testing, we have proven material stability, reusability, substrate, and product specificity.

Biosa's main objective is to develop an environmentally benign and industrially sustainable nanostructured textile that will accommodate for the immobilization of our proprietary blend of enzymes that will form an active and preventative anti-microbial layer to keep our military safe from a variety of microbes, chemical agents and radioactive threats. A downgraded version of our product will be marketed and sold to laboratories, waste management facilities as well as medical/hospital personnel. We're forging partnerships across Canada, and are working on partnerships in the United Kingdom and the United States.


Shawn Wu

Bachelor of Health Sciences, McMaster, 2019  

Web Development Fundamentals, HackerYou, 2018

Vivian Vuong

Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization, McMaster Univeristy, 2019

Brink Bionics is developing bionic arm technology that offers a better user experience for ¼ the cost of the top prosthetic technology. We are striving to develop technology that will break the boundary between human and machine, allowing human beings to redefine the edge of their limitations.

Our Innovations:

  • User Centric Maintenance Strategy: Our patent pending modular design allows the user or clinician to quickly and safely replace any mechanical parts in the hand without the need for any technical skills.

  • Manufacturing Conscious Design: Our bionic hand has been designed with reduced manufacturing costs in mind. Our patent pending design uses very few unique components which allows us to use high quality materials, without using cheap 3D printed parts.

  • Natural and Intuitive Controls: We provide users with an intuitive system that is controlled in a way that mirrors the means with which we move our natural limbs. Our cutting-edge machine learning algorithms allow a user to control our hand similar to how we control our natural limbs by reading the users intentions.


We are currently working with a local clinic in Hamilton, Ontario to fit our first test users with our bionic arm.


Brandon Law

Bachelors of Health sciences-Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization program, McMaster, 2019

Nour Alyousef

Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences - Biomedical Discovery & Commercialization, McMaster University, 2019 

Celladore Skin Health Inc. 

Celladore Skin Health Inc.’s mission is to develop, manufacture and distribute products to consumers that enhance and maintain skin health. Our vision is to be the trusted brand for skin health products that have been developed from rigorous scientific evidence. Our core values are honesty, innovation and respect for the consumer.

Celladore is based on a technology developed by Dr. Eva Turley, an internationally renowned hyaluronan (HA) researcher. HA in its native form is a major extracellular matrix component in young skin that functions to support skin hydration/health. Loss of HA with age is a major factor in skin dysfunction and development of skin cancer but is difficult to replace because it does not penetrate into skin. Dr. Turley designed and patented hyaluronan-phosphatidylethanolamine (HA-PE) specifically to penetrate skin, replace lost HA and restore skin hydration and health.

Daily application of HA-PE to facial skin in over 200 clients improved hydration and visible physician-examined skin health. UV exposure and daily application of the HA-PE formulation to mice skin for 26 weeks completely prevented non-melanoma skin cancer.

Celladore is currently preparing for its initial skin care product launch in the second quarter of 2019.


Nithila Chandran

Masters of Business Administration, McMaster University - DeGroote School of Business, 2020   

Honours Bachelors of Health Sciences (French Immersion), University of Ottawa, 2017

Ahmed Saeed

Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization Level IV, McMaster University, 2019

Epineuron Technologies

Epineuron is an early-stage medical device company developing tomorrow’s gold standard of care for injured peripheral nerves. As a nerve care company, we are developing a suite of surgical solutions for repairing and treating peripheral nerve injuries with the mission of becoming the world leader in bioelectronic nerve care. Our lead product, a temporarily wearable device, will be the world’s first commercial bioelectronic therapy used to supercharge injured nerves and accelerate their regeneration.

Our therapy, which delivers a single 1-hr dose of neuroregenerative therapy, provides significantly better sensory and motor functional outcomes above the standard of care, which is surgery alone. The 1-hr paradigm has been validated in four randomized clinical trials in over 100 patients. Importantly, there are no drugs or devices available today to improve outcomes above what is expected with surgery alone, making our device the first to enhance outcomes after surgery. Our novel device is deployed at the end of a surgical nerve repair procedure and recently has been designated as a Breakthrough Device by the FDA, making Epineuron one of the first Canadian companies to ever receive the designation.



Doug Miller

Master of Business Administration (MBA), DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, 2020 

Master of Science (MSc) in Global Health, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, 2016 

Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, 2015

Rama Al-Atout

Master of Business Administration, DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, 2020   

Bachelor of Science (Honours), McMaster University, 2018

Julian Yabut

Doctor of Philosophy, Medical Sciences - Nutrition & Metabolism, McMaster, 2020 

Honours Bachelor of Science, Biology & Pharmacology, McMaster, 2015

Front Line Medical Technologies 

NERv Technologies Inc. 

From injury on the battlefield to the scene of a motor vehicle accident, internal bleeding needs to be controlled as quickly as possible to give patients their greatest chance of survival. Front Line has developed a life-saving device to stop internal bleeding in exactly these types of emergency situations. Our device is named the COBRA™, which is an acronym for Control Of Bleeding, Resuscitation and Arterial Occlusion. The COBRA™ is fast and small, which means less blood lost and more lives saved.

The COBRA™ is currently undergoing the required regulatory testing to enter the market. With a focus on impacting global health, our team intends on lowering the barriers to hemorrhage control worldwide. We have traction with several end-users and key opinion leaders in both the civilian and military settings and we are actively involved in research to responsibly introduce our technology to the world. At Front Line, we know that time doesn’t stop for anyone but with the COBRA™, bleeding can.


Tessa Tieman

Master of Business Administration, McMaster University, 2020

Honours Bachelor of Science, University of Toronto, 2017 

Caitlyn D'Souza

Masters of Business Administration, DeGroote School of Business McMaster University, 2020

Bachelors of Science (Specialist- Biology, Major- Psychology), University of Toronto, 2017

With every surgery comes a potential risk that a complication could occur post-operatively. NERv is a medical device startup developing an intracutaneous biosensor to detect anastomotic, or gastrointestinal, leaks after abdominal surgical procedures. Our biosensor aims to improve the current standard of care by providing physicians with a tool that provides real-time information about the patient’s health post-operatively. The solution consists of an intracutaneous biosensor connected to a cloud-based platform, where data is constantly uploaded. This provides trends to the physician, informing them if a leak is imminent.

Our solution allows patients to be discharged early from the hospital in order to continue recovery from the comfort of their own homes. If a leak is developing, the physician receives an alarm, allowing them to intervene immediately. The sensor will be utilized for the first few weeks after the surgical procedure and is then removed in an out-patient setting.

We have developed a working prototype, and we are currently performing animal studies under the supervision of the Chief of Surgery and an Acute and Trauma Surgeon at St. Michael’s hospital in Toronto and soon in Houston Methodist in Texas.


Aaron De Jong

Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) in Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization, 2019

Prova Innovations Ltd., is a medical start-up focused on developing smart, at-home wearable therapeutic devices to aid children with mobility restrictions. Our products are for children suffering from neurological conditions, such as cerebral palsy, brain and spinal cord injuries.

Neuroplasticity, the human brain’s ability to grow, reorganize and repair cells is most prevalent in the first few years of life.  A child’s young brain is essentially ‘wiring’ itself, working out which connections(synapses) should be strengthened or pruned. 


Children suffering a neurological injury can take advantage of plasticity to maximize function. Outcomes are best if we encourage corrected muscle movements as early as possible through guided repetitious exercise. Contrarily, the vast majority of learning happens outside a clinical setting.  Whereby children make compensating movements in the best way they can, unknowingly reinforcing poor form. Prova is developing a series of wearable devices that use Haptic/Bio feedback to help guide a child’s movements, strengthening the right synapse connections.     

Our first prototype is a wearable insole that measures the foot’s position and applies forces/vibrations, and audio cues to guide a child’s feet into corrected movements, normalizing aspects of their gait.  We are doing this while collecting a rich dataset to further therapeutic research.


Emily Bradshaw

Master of Business Administration, Health Services Management, DeGroote School of Business, 2019 

Bachelor of Science, Health Sciences, James Madison University, 2017

Kiana Karimpoor

Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization (BDC), McMaster University, 2019. 

Prova Innovations Ltd.

At SannTek, our mission is simply to keep people safe. To do this, we are developing a breathalyzer for cannabis. In 2018, cannabis was legalized for recreational use across Canada. Unfortunately, police still have no effective means of detecting cannabis-use roadside. Using nanotechnology, we’ve developed an easy-to-use, accurate and reliable technology that detects recent cannabis use.

Traditional drug testing such as urine tests and blood tests will detect cannabis from days (or months) prior to the test, offering no insight into whether a person is actively impaired. Our breathalyzer for cannabis is able to detect cannabis that was consumed only shortly before taking the test, up to 6 hours prior. A device like ours is key to enforcing rules that keep people safe because it does not bias users that want to safely consume cannabis outside of work hours. 

At SannTek, we’re sitting at the forefront of a global trend towards legalizing recreational cannabis. While we finish up developing the product, we’re actively communicating with two key customers: Law Enforcement for roadside screening and Drug Testing Companies for workplace testing (you really don’t want your bus drivers being impaired).


Jacob MacKinnon

Master of Biomedical Discovery & Commercialization, McMaster University, 2019

Bachelor of Health Sciences (Biomedical Discovery & Commercialization), McMaster University, 2018  

Ahmed Draiaia

Bachelor of Health Sciences - Biomedical Discovery & Commercialization, McMaster University, 2019

LifeShield Health

LifeShield Health, is dedicated to reducing the incidence of Healthcare Associated Infections, the number 1 adverse event in Hospitals today. Our first product is the recently patented LifeShield Screen Protector. This unique, completely transparent film provides three main benefits: First, it is embedded with an antimicrobial agent which kills 99.99% of all pathogens which land on its surface, for a period of ten years. Second, it is resistant to every major chemical cleaner used in healthcare today, all of which severely damage screens and void warranties. Finally, it protects the screen from massive impacts. It is very easy to custom cut and install on any size screen from smartphones to 60" operating room monitors, and pays for itself within 3 to 6 months.  Several major US hospitals have purchased our product and we are running validation trials with two Toronto hospitals.  Our current priority is to develop and deploy a sales and marketing strategy to begin generating revenue so we can complete development on our next breakthrough infection control product.


Ali Babar

Honours Bachelor of Science [Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour], McMaster University, 2016 

Master of Applied Science, School of Biomedical Engineering, McMaster University,  2019  

SynHiTech Inc. 

Established in 2013, SynHiTech Inc. is an Ontario-based company (headquartered in Thornhill, Ontario) that develops sustainable alternative processes for production of high-value biochemicals. One of the major products in SynHiTech's development pipeline is a novel anti-diabetic supplement, Nettlin. This supplement is based on a plant metabolite that facilitates glucose uptake by muscle cell lines and can be used for the treatment of the Type 2 diabetes for pre-diabetic and diabetic patients. The Synhitech Inc. has proved the effectiveness of the product through the treatment of the diabetic mice with the Nettlin Product. Also through a preliminary human clinical trial study SynHiTech has demonstrated the effectiveness of the supplement formulation in stabilizing blood sugar levels in 6 individuals suffering from Type 2 Diabetics with no side effect. Since this supplement has so far produced in small scale, the company has a plan to scale-up it to larger scale including pilot and industrial scale. The company holds an IP through USPATENT for the Nettlin product.


Jimmy Ma

Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization, McMaster University, 2019 

TBIFinder provides clinical-grade objective assessments on the presence and severity of a Traumatic Brain Injury (concussion) to empower legal counsels and insurance companies to provide victims with the support they need.


It is estimated that 1 in 5 Canadians have experienced a concussion, however current medical diagnosis procedures are providing inaccurate and incomplete results often leaving victims suffering from misunderstood and unidentified brain injuries. The poor industry standards are also perpetuating a lack of clinical evidence of injury often needed within a courtroom setting. TBIFinder therefore revolutionizes the domain of TBI by providing clinical-grade assessments that help legal counsels better represent concussed individuals and win their personal injury cases.


TBIFinder provides clarity to concussion by using an MRI machine that is able to collect brain data and further identify structural and functional abnormalities in injured individuals. MRI data is compiled in a report that also includes a physician’s assessment and a radiological assessment to provide a thorough and complete report personalized for each individual case.


TBIFinder has secured the first customer of the beta-trials phase, and will open its services to the Hamilton and GTA legal communities in March of 2019


Jamie Clark

Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours), Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization, McMaster University, 2019

Bachelor of Science (Honours), Health Sciences with Co-op Option, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2017   

Trexo Robotics aims to redefine mobility solutions for people of all ages and abilities by starting with children. Working with world renowned pediatric and rehabilitation institutes including the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Trexo Robotics is designing novel technology using the state-of-the-art robotics to make walking a reality for thousands of children for the first time in their lives. 


Trexo Robotics has developed the first pediatric lower body wearable, Trexo Plus, to help physiotherapists deliver gait training to children with disabilities. The Trexo Plus is a fully powered robotic gait training platform that helps children with a wide range of conditions including cerebral palsy, brain and spinal cord injury, neuromuscular conditions and other conditions which impair lower body mobility, experience walking independently in a safe and stable way. Trexo Robotics will be launching the Trexo Home in 2019 to help children walk on a daily basis and live happier and healthier lives. 


Emma Yu

Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization, McMaster University, 2019

Up to 50% of all laparoscopic complications and litigation are due to port entry. Excessive force is often used to insert ports into the abdominal wall, especially with 12mm ports, which may cause injury to internal organs. Port upsizing (5mm to 12mm) is needed in 15% of surgeries which introduces an additional entry-based injury risk. Port dislodgement during surgery requires re-entry, introduces injury risk and wastes ~20 mins in every case.

Xpan’s patent-pending expandable port has a 3mm starting diameter that is expandable up to 12mm.

The smaller diameter is less invasive than state-of-art ports (5mm or 12mm) thus requires less insertion force which reduces the injury risk. It offers intraoperative flexibility for surgeons & eliminates the injury risk of port re-entry during upsizing. Our expanding ports create higher fixation in the abdominal wall eliminating dislodgement issues.


Xpan is developing its expandable port in collaboration with pediatric surgeons from the hospital of SickKids and adult surgeons from St. Michael’s hospital in downtown Toronto. To date, we have a working prototype and are gearing towards performing animal studies.  


Aanchal Bajaj

Masters of Business Administration, DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, 2020   

Honors Bachelor's of Science in Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Toronto, Completed - 2016


Xpan Inc. 

Home    |    Finalists    |    Showcase    |    About    |    Sponsors    |    Contact  

Innovation Factory

B21 - 175 Longwood Rd. S.

Hamilton, ON, L9P 0A1

905 667 2611


  • White Twitter Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon