Radical digital innovation. Virtual reality. Commercialization, distribution, and scale-up.
These topics were only the tip of the iceberg at What’s Next Canada’s Inaugural Innovation Day, produced by the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) and Mary Furlong & Associates on March 20 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
With over 35 world-class speakers and nearly 300 in attendance, What’s Next Canada brought together a unique blend of thought leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, researchers, healthcare providers, and companies from around the world in discussions and demonstrations of ground-breaking innovations in the longevity sector.
The event was the third day of Baycrest’s 29th Annual Rotman Research Institute Conference, held on March 18-20. What’s Next Canada followed the previous day’s public lecture by Dr. Howard Chertkow (Rotman Research Institute, CCNA) and commercialization workshop with Jay Lefton (Fasken).
Highlights of What’s Next Canada included:
- News anchor Richard Lui (MSNBC, NBC News) hosted the rapid-fire CABHI Pitch Competition, where a roster of nine international companies contended for the 2019 CABHI Innovation Award. The esteemed panel of judges (including Bruce Croxon of Round13 Capital, BNN and CTV’s The Disruptors, and ex-Dragon on CBC’s Dragons’ Den) selected early dementia detection technology Darmiyan as the winner, and Catalyst Healthcare, makers of medication adherence device spencer, won the People’s Choice Award.
- An entertaining and insightful keynote by Dr. Marc Rothman (Director, The Thrive Center KY) on bridging the digital divide for seniors
- An investors’ panel featuring Dr. Dana Plude (National Institute on Aging, NIH), John Hopper (Ziegler LinkAge Longevity Fund), and Alexandra Stewart (Weston Brain Institute) giving honest advice about how innovators can form successful partnerships with investors in the longevity sector
- An inspiring panel about how innovators are using virtual and augmented reality to engage older adults and create empathy in those who care for them, moderated by Carrie Shaw (Embodied Labs)
Other speakers included Ginna Baik (CDW Healthcare), Dr. Ryan D’Arcy (HealthTech Connex), Tom Kamber (Older Adults Technology Services), and David Lindeman (CITRIS Health).
Several international panelists emphasized the strength of Ontario’s innovation ecosystem, remarking that Ontario is an attractive location to launch new products and build networks in aging and brain health.
“This is the first time I’ve held a gathering outside the United States,” said Mary Furlong, CEO of Mary Furlong & Associates. “Ontario was the place to come because there’s so much happening here in aging and brain health innovation.”
Through programs and events like What’s Next Canada, CABHI continues to propel the international longevity sector forward.
What’s Next Canada was directly sponsored by CDW Healthcare, Motitech, and You X Ventures, and supported by Marketing Partners Canadian Healthcare Technology, Dementia Connections, Hospital News, Longwoods, and MediaPlanet.
Photos by Gary Beechey.