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BDC, Real Ventures and MaRS launch Hacking Health startup accelerator

mars_torontoHacking Health, BDC Capital, Real Ventures and the MaRS Discover District have launched the Hacking Health Accelerator, a platform for digital health innovation aimed at startups who will help to develop the next wave of healthcare technology on a national and global stage.

The boot camp, followed by an accelerator phase, will take place in Montreal and is also supported by Anges Québec, Cossette, Agile MV, Fasken Martineau, GCI Canada, MMA Group and several other investors.

“MaRS brings together key stakeholders to drive development in strategic sectors,” said MaRS Managing Director of Health Ventures Dianne Carmichael. “This Accelerator demonstrates how joining forces can bolster the growth of a critical industry for Canadians. This creates new business opportunities and job growth, while improving healthcare for everyone.”

The deadline for the January five-week Winter 2016 boot camp, which precedes the accelerator phase, closes on November 30.

The deadline for the 12-week Winter 2016 accelerator, which begins at the end of February, is December 4.

The accelerator will select a dozen startups that it will support with $200,000 each, combined with mentorship and access to clinical market trials to bring their product to market.

In addition to the dozen startups, the accelerator will provide intensive training to 40 entrepreneurs.

The accelerator is preceded by a mandatory boot camp, consisting of four-hour evening sessions that focus on customer development, market analysis, product and market fit, metrics, and funding.

During the accelerator the $200,000 is disbursed initially as $50,000 financing in exchange for a 7% stake in the company, followed by the opportunity to be eligible for an additional $150,000 through a convertible note from BDC Venture Capital.

The 12-week program is followed by a six-month commercialization support program.

“When thinking of digital health, we are talking about all the mobile and web apps, about software and systems targeted at healthcare professionals and their institutions, but also at patients and consumers who aspire to adopt a healthier lifestyle,” said co-founder of Hacking Health and Managing Director of the Accelerator Luc Sirois. “We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to possibilities in this area.”

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