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About the HealthKick Challenge

What is the HealthKick Challenge?

MaRS HealthKick provided a chance for Canada’s top early-stage and emerging growth ventures in medical devices, pharma & biotech and digital health to pitch to global investors for the chance to win one of three CAD $20,000 cash prizes.

HealthKick 2017 Winners

Eve Medical

Eve Medical is a medical device company dedicated to improving women’s health. Our products make it easy for women to collect their own samples to test for the infections that cause cervical cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. This saves time, provides privacy and minimizes invasiveness for the one third of women who are underscreened.

ExCellThera Inc

ExCellThera is a clinical stage company focused on developing novel stem cell therapies for blood-related diseases and cancers. Our lead solution combines our pharmaceutical and engineering technologies to rapidly expand blood stem cells in shorter manufacturing times, smaller culture volumes, and from less source material. Phase I/II testing is ongoing and is expected to complete in 2017.

GeneYouIn Inc.

Employers/health plan sponsors are heavily burdened by the rising cost of health benefits plans. Pillcheck, GeneYouIn’s flagship SaaS platform, helps ensure a safe and effective match between individuals’ genetics and 100+ commonly prescribed medications, based on pharmacogenetic guidelines. This improves treatment efficacy and reduces side-effects, disability duration, and health benefits costs.

HealthKick 2017 Finalists

Pharma & Biotech Finalists

Realist Pharma

Realist Pharma is an immunotherapy company focused on bringing to market conventional (off-the-shelf) vaccines against cancer, as well as a complementary cell therapy program. Its innovative therapies act against existing cancers, through active immune strategies which utilize the patient’s own immune defenses to target widespread tumor markers present in a large number of cancers.

Biotagenics Inc.

Biotagenics is commercializing platforms for analysis of the microbiome and its interaction with the host. We have analyzed intestinal microbiome and host genes and proteins from IBD patients and created a proprietary database that has helped us identify novel druggable pathways associated with IBD. We are screening for biologics and nutritional therapies to target these disease pathways.


Cyclica has patented a unique drug-centric, proteome wide screening platform, Ligand Express™, that determines the off-target interactions of a drug. By understanding a drug’s polypharmacology, scientists can evaluate opportunities for therapeutic efficacy as well as flags potential toxicological properties prior to clinical studies saving significant time and money.

Zucara Therapeutics

Zucara is developing the first once-daily therapeutic to prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in patients with diabetes. This pre-clinical therapeutic technology is directed at regulating a hormone in the pancreas called somatostatin which in Type 1 diabetes is not properly controlled. This method offers a clear advantage as a preventative measure and is planned to enter clinical trials in 2019.

Medical Device Finalists


At AceAge, we have created a device to make medication management as simple as possible. Our beautiful hardware & software solution completely automates the organization and scheduling of medication.


PhotoDynamic is using its light-activated antimicrobial technology, to revolutionize how we treat OTC conditions caused by viral fungal and bacterial infections.

Starting in 2017, PhotoDynamic will launch its first anti–bacterial product, targeting dental plaque and creating an entirely new oral hygiene product category.


Pathcore aims to transform cancer diagnostics into an automated, efficient, and cost-effective process for improved patient outcomes. Our innovative software solutions for digital pathology, include Powerful Data Management Software, that streamlines archival and retrieval of imaging data, and Image Analysis Apps, that provide robust and quantitative metrics of disease for personalized medicine.

Tevosol Inc.

Tevosol is a medical device company developing the Ex-Vivo Organ Support System (EVOSS™) with the goal of increasing the number of organs available for transplantation. EVOSS™ is a portable warm perfusion device intended to achieve better recovery of organs, better resuscitation of dysfunctional organs, and longer preservation of function with the opportunity for ex-vivo treatment and evaluation.

Digital Health Finalists


MedChart serves thousands of individuals and organizations with medical records online from any Canadian healthcare provider in just a few clicks. Health data is delivered to users securely on our cloud-based Portal with tools to manage and share critical information. Deep learning algorithms generate intelligence from our high-fidelity database to advance population health and precision medicine.

Neutun Labs

Neutun Labs is building the real time picture of human health through mobile/wearable software and machine learning. Our goal is improving health outcomes, reducing pain and increasing efficiencies within the healthcare system. Neutun empowers those people and families suffering with chronic conditions to free themselves from stigma, lack of solutions and the pain of their health struggles.

Comfable Inc.

With QTemp, Comfable provides a simple solution to the worldwide problem of UV overexposure by promoting sun safety. It aims to help people protect themselves from dangerous UV rays. QTemp, the sun safety wearable tracks sun exposure and the companion app notifies users when it’s time to seek sun protection. The QTemp team aims to reduce skin cancer rates by promoting sun safety.


BiogeniQ specializes in the implementation of personalized medical information that can provide actionable solutions. The information is available to the general public prior to a consultation with a healthcare professional and is integrated in a useful ecosystem. The technology of BiogeniQ is available to all the different health systems.

Previous Winners

2014 Winners

PlantForm Corporation (Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals)

Profound Medical (Medical Devices & Diagnostics)

Newtopia (Health IT)

2015 Winners

EMERpharma (Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals)

Mindful Scientific (Medical Devices & Diagnostics)

QoC Health (Health IT)