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Synapse Competition Showcase
March 23, 2022

Thank you for joining us at the 10th annual Synapse Life Science Competition Pitch Showcase!

The Synapse Life Science Competition is designed to help move innovative life science products and services out of the lab and into the market, by pairing up life science innovators with business and entrepreneurship students, and providing the training, mentorship and resources to be successful.


Nearly 200 attendees from the life science community helped us celebrate innovators as we awarded BIG cash and prizes - PLUS each finalist received a $5,000 grant to support their commercialization journey.



Watch the 2022 top 3 finalists' pitches, learn about the innovators and find out who won their share of $100,000


Gowling WLG logo large

Gowling WLG is an international law firm located in 19 cities around the world — including Hamilton. Harnessing the broad industry expertise of its 1,400 professionals, far-reaching global platform and forward-thinking partnerships with key local stakeholders, the firm connects Hamilton’s top innovators to a world of opportunity and provides the tools they need to accelerate their success.


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Watch as the top three Synapse Competition finalists, pitch and field tough questions from the expert judges.





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Alex S. Ross, counsel, Gowling WLG


Counsel, Gowling WLG

Alex Ross is a lawyer and registered Canadian patent agent. He gained valuable experience early in his career working as an in-house intellectual property lawyer at IBM Canada. Alex delivers a full range of IP services to a wide variety of clients – from startups to multinational companies – with a focus on the Golden Horseshoe, including Hamilton and the Niagara Region, and he works with both Innovate Niagara and Hamilton's Innovation Factory. His work encompasses all areas of intellectual property law, including patents, copyright, trademarks and industrial designs.

Alex's patent practice includes patent drafting and prosecution, preparation of patent infringement and validity opinions, and advising on patent strategy, with a focus on mechanical devices (including fitness equipment) and computer and information technology. Alex is adept at helping his clients navigate the challenge of obtaining software and computer-related patent protection in a complex legal environment of constantly changing eligibility requirements.


Dr. Jennifer Hamilton, senior director, new ventures, johnson & johnson innovation canada

Dr. Jennifer Hamilton

Senior Director, New Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Innovation (Canada)

Jennifer Hamilton is the cross-sector innovation lead for Johnson & Johnson in Canada.  She has additionally worked with the J&J Global Community Impact team on a new initiative to test Impact Investing in global health where she is seeking healthcare investments worldwide that have social impact and financial return enabling scaling of technology and services in ultra-low resource settings. 
Prior to working with J&J, Jennifer spent 17 years in biotech venture capital at Nomura Phase4 Ventures and Rothschild Asset Management. Jennifer has an MSc and a PhD in Experimental Pathology/Lipid Metabolism from the University of British Columbia and a BSc from the University of Guelph.



Lu Han

PhD, Partner, Lumira Ventures

Lu is science driven investor who is passionate about helping entrepreneurs build truly innovative best/first-in-class life science companies. Having started as an analyst, today Lu is a Partner at Lumira, focused on deal sourcing, due diligence, company building and global partnership initiatives for Lumira portfolio companies. Prior to joining Lumira, Lu was a co-founder at Sound Options Tinnitus Treatment Inc.  Prior to this, Lu was a strategic consultant at a boutique consultancy firm in the healthcare and life sciences sector, covering both Canadian and International markets.

Lu received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Toronto followed by post-doctoral studies at the Hospital for Sick Children. Lu is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese. Lu is a board director or observer of Lumira Ventures portfolio companies, Amacathera, Deka Biosceinces, LQT Therapeutics and Iterion Therapeutics


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