FACIT Announces Six Finalists for 2019 Falcons' Fortunes Pitch Competition

The pitch competition showcases six Ontario-based entrepreneurial researchers working in the oncology space to pitch their innovative research ideas to a panel of judges.

The 6th annual Falcons’ Fortunes competition will be held in Toronto on Thursday, April 4, 2019. FACIT’s event coincides with Health Innovation Week, which will feature more than 30 events bringing together investors, partners and ventures.

FACIT offers the $50,000 Ernsting Entrepreneurship Award from its Prospects Oncology Fund for the pitch presentation that best convinces the judging panel on the value of the idea and how $50,000 would improve and/or better illustrate the potential, and if possible commercial, value of the innovative idea itself. The pitch competition is open to all of Ontario, and accordingly, significant interest from across the province was received, from academics and industry alike.

FACIT is pleased to announce the six finalists who will be pitching at this year’s event, reflecting the rich diversity of technology assets being developed in Ontario, one of the most dynamic locations for life science technology innovation in North America:

  • Zaid Atto (Xpan Inc, University of Toronto) - Developing a less invasive access port to maximize the potential of minimally invasive surgical oncology
  • Jeffrey Carson (Lawson Health Research Institute) - Improving breast conserving surgery with a hand-held surgical probe
  • Katarzyna Jerzak (Currently at University of Toronto; IP owned by McMaster University) - Re-purposing Dronedarone as an anti-cancer agent in breast cancer: generating a new class of cancer therapeutics
  • Karen Mossman (McMaster University) – Oncolytic BHV-1: a potent, broad-spectrum cancer immunotherapy agent
  • Lincoln Stein (Ontario Institute for Cancer Research) - DeepTumourTM: automated, online tumour typing
  • Eric Zimmerman (Enhanced Medical Nutrition) - Advances in surgical immunonutrition: prepare better and recover faster

This year’s event will feature Mike Wise, Anchor of CBC Toronto News at 11, as the emcee, as well as Dr. John Bell (Scientific Co-Founder, Turnstone Biologics & Senior Scientist, Cancer Therapeutics Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute) as the keynote speaker. The judging panel will be comprised of:

  • Mr. Jung-Kay Chiu (Partner, Patent Agent, and Lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright),
  • Dr. Jennifer Hamilton (Senior Director, New Ventures, J&J Innovation – Canada),
  • Dr. Shana Kelley (FACIT Board, Entrepreneur and Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chemistry & Biomedical Engineering at University of Toronto) and
  • Mr. Ken Lawless (FACIT Board, President & CEO of Epitope Capital).

Falcons’ Fortunes endeavors to enhance, support and celebrate a culture of commercialization in Ontario, such as the cultivation of skill sets that enable ideas to be successfully pitched to investors and promotion of entrepreneurial spirit.

Join us and learn more about these emerging breakthrough innovations and network with the Ontario cancer research community.

For more information, please visit the event website here.