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Synapse Competition Showcase
March 22, 2023

Thank You for Joining us at the 10th annual Synapse Life Science Competition Pitch Showcase!

The Innovation Factory’s Synapse Competition is Ontario’s premier life science pitch competition. Designed to help move 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.


Over 150 attendees from the  Hamilton's life science community helped us celebrate the innovators as we awarded OVER $100,000 in cash and prizes!


Gowling WLG Logo

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.




Mike Daniels

Co- Founder of Logic Healthcare Solutions, and

President & General Manager of Mariner Endosurgery

Keynote: Introducing New Technology in the Life Sciences Industry

Mike Daniels offers industry perspectives and key business considerations for the successful introduction and commerclization of new technology in Healthcare.

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Don't miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in one of the largest growing sectors in Hamilton!

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Derek Sheppard

Gowling WLG

Derek Sheppard is an associate in Gowling WLG's Hamilton office, practising in the Intellectual Property Group. Derek's practice focuses on drafting and prosecution of applications for patents before the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. He advises on patentability, patent validity, freedom-to-operate, and patent infringement issues. Derek also drafts and reviews IP related aspects of agreements (e.g., non-disclosure, employment, consulting, joint venture, purchase, license, and assignment), and performs due diligence on IP assets in support of transactions. Derek completed his JD at Western University, with a concentration in intellectual property, information, and technology. During law school, Derek was an active member of the Western Intellectual Property Association and served as vice-president, finance, during his second year.

Prior to law school, Derek completed a MSc at the University of Ottawa, where his research focused on joint cell regeneration. During his undergraduate studies, Derek was a research assistant at the Ottawa General Hospital, where his work concentrated on retinal regeneration in both in vivo and in vitro models. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals. In his spare time, Derek enjoys hockey, golf, and reading.


Suman Rao

Lumira Ventures

Suman comes from a strong life science background, with special expertise in oncology and developing multi-targeted strategies to treat advanced cancers. Suman joined Lumira in 2021 as an Associate and focuses on conducting scientific and technical diligence of investment opportunities. She remains extremely passionate about understanding drivers of complex diseases and through her work at Lumira Ventures, hopes to bring novel therapies to patients by promoting cutting-edge technologies and medicines.

Prior to joining Lumira Ventures, Suman worked in healthcare consulting at L.E.K. Consulting in Boston as a Life Sciences Specialist. During her time at L.E.K., she provided strategic advice on growth opportunities, pipeline expansion, potential M&A partnerships and financial modeling. Her clients included start-ups, biotech and pharma companies developing cell & gene therapies, protein degraders, small molecules and RNA-based therapies within oncology, neurology, rare diseases and ophthalmology.


Jonathan Bramson

Triumvira Immunologics

Jonathan Bramson, PhD, is the Vice Dean, Research for the Faculty of Health Sciences and a Professor in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University. He holds the John Bienenstock Chair in Molecular Medicine. His research is focused on the use of cells as drugs. Specifically, his lab is developing methods to manufacture white blood cell “drugs” that attack cancer. To optimize the anti-tumor activity of these white blood cell drugs, his research team is using a combination of genetic engineering, synthetic biology, and chemical biology approaches to re-wire relevant signaling pathways within white blood cells to bolster their anti-tumor potency. Together with Dr. Christopher Helsen, Dr. Bramson developed the T cell antigen coupler (TAC) receptor in 2014 and founded Triumvira Immunologics in 2015. Dr. Bramson served as the CSO for Triumvira from 2015 – 2020 and currently serves as the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee.


Along with being on the Board of Directors for the Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence, Jonathan is the Vice-Dean for Research at the McMaster Faculty of Health Science.



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