Key Takeaways From Toronto’s “Medical Device Playbook 2019” Conference

On Thursday, May 9th, 2019, Toronto’s Medtech Ecosystem was provided a full day of inspirational talks and panel discussions aimed at aspiring Medtech start-up entrepreneurs and support services.

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The one-day conference, entitled Medical Device Playbook 2019, was held at MaRS Discovery District – one of Canada’s foremost startup accelerators. In attendance were an estimated 250 Medtech start-up stakeholders.

On the agenda, I was invited by the Organizer, Scott Philipps, CEO of StarFish Medical, to give a talk on “Success Factors for Selecting Technologies and Building High-Value Startups”. I went over my learning experiences derived from the three cardiovascular start-ups I helped grow in value, CryoCath, CardioInsight and SoundBite.

If you’re interested, here is a link to the presentation itself.

As I am witnessing in Montreal, there is a surge in interest in the Medtech start-up world in Canada and throughout the U.S. Robotics, personalized medicine, and digital health are among the main technology drivers.

In the Toronto ecosystem, there are a reported 100 or so Medtech initiatives at various stages of development. At the meeting, it was also reported that the greater Boston area ecosystem has approximately 300 Medtech initiatives. From my perspective here in Montreal, there are over 60 start-up initiatives, and this number is growing rapidly!

Here are my key takeaways from the conference:

1.    MaRS is a formidable player in the Medtech start-up space

2.    Centech is gaining momentum and critical mass

3.    Interest in Medtech start-ups is common across our healthcare ecosystems across Canada

4.    Montreal can compete and can potentially lead in the subsectors of Healthcare AI, personalized medicine and robotics

5.    There is room for better collaboration amongst Medtech accelerators in both Canada and the Northeastern USA

Let’s all continue to learn from these Medtech workshops, seminars and conferences across Canada.  There is a long way to go - but we are getting there!