FACIT Announces Six Finalists for 2021 Falcons' Fortunes Pitch Competition

This year's virtual 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 2021 competition is extra special as it will take place on the morning of Thursday, February 4th, 2021, which is World Cancer Day. On a day that promotes the global fight against cancer among >100 countries, Falcons’ Fortunes will shine a spotlight on Ontario as a world-leading jurisdiction for cancer research translation

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 Ontario entrepenurs in the oncology space, 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:

  • Saumik Biswas (University of Western Ontario) - Battling Cancer: One Lymph Node at a Time
  • Guillem Dayer (Lakehead University) - Treating cervical cancer using innovative molecules and approach 
  • Natalie Galant (Paradox Immunotherapeutics) - Developing immunotherapies for the treatment of Light Chain (AL) Amyloidosis associated with Multiple Myeloma
  • Run Ze Gao (Air Microfluidic Systems Inc.) – Air Microfluidics-enabled Active Compression Sleeve for Treating Breast Cancer-related Lymphedema
  • Hon Leong (Sunnybrook Research Institute) - The At-Home Prostate Cancer Screening Kit: A Cancer Moonshot Device with Transformative Clinical Impact
  • Ghadeer Shubassi (Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization) - 18F-CD8-targeting agent: A novel radiolabeled diagnostic agent for the prognosis of immunotherapy in cancer patients.

This year’s event will feature Dr. Khaled El Eman (Co-founder and Director, Replica Analytics) as the keynote speaker. Dr. El Eman has founded or co-founded six companies involved with data management and data analytics, including FACIT-portfolio company Privacy Analytics (acquired by IQVIA in 2016). The judging panel will be comprised of:

  • Mr. Jung-Kay Chiu (Partner, National Practice Chair - Intellectual Property, Norton Rose Fulbright),
  • Mr. Har Grover (FACIT Board, Private & Public Company Director, Entrepreneur, Investor & Senior Executive),
  • 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 Newport (FACIT Board, BioCanRx Board, Life Science Entrepreneur).

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, including how to register to attend, please visit the Falcons' Fortunes webpage.