Join H2i for the 2024 FemSTEM Pitch Competition!

Register now to attend Tuesday March 26th to hear six incredible women-led ventures as they compete for the chance to win funding for their cutting-edge health innovations!

Each year, H2i holds the FemSTEM Pitch Competition as the culminating event of the FemSTEM event series. The pitch competition, judged by a panel of industry experts and key opinion leaders, gives up-and-coming healthcare innovators the opportunity to present their idea to the public and the chance to win funding and in-kind services to scale their project. With FemSTEM’s mandate to inspire, engage, and celebrate women entrepreneurs, this final event spotlights and accelerates the work of the next generation of women entrepreneurs in the healthcare sector.

This year’s finalists are: Creative Medical Solutions, Epileplon NeuroSolutions, ImaginAble Solutions, NorthMiRs Inc, SilicoLabs, and U CORP.

This year, we welcome Christine Allen, Fadwa Sahly, Liz Munro and Michaela Shaw as our panel of expert judges, and Robyn Blumberg, Partner at Cassels, to present the awards.

The finalists will be competing for cash prizes and in-kind legal services provided by Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP:

Winner: $15,000 cash prize and $5,000 in-kind legal services from Cassels
1st runner up: $5,000 cash prize and $5,000 in-kind legal services from Cassels
2nd runner up: $5,000 cash prize and $5,000 in-kind legal services from Cassels

The FemSTEM Pitch Competition is made possible by the generous support of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP and The Temerty Foundation.

Meet the Judges

Fadwa has over 20 years of experience in the Investment and Banking arenas in North America and more recently in Dubai. She started her career with Deutsche Bank, then joined Moodys’ Investor Services in Toronto.

She has been providing Board / Executive management advice on optimum investment / complex financing constructs / structuring of investment vehicles / equity management for optimum return of investments. She led with deep analytical review of businesses/investments, strategic, commercial and risk implications.

Fadwa advised and led key engagements with major banks, tailoring solutions in areas of risk/return optimization, stress testing / predictive analysis and forecasting. She designed review processes and monitoring, including performance analysis, forward-looking assessments,  identification of early warning and emerging risks.

Fadwa decided to move all of her skill set and life experiences to the service of women entrepreneurs, as Managing Director with urBIZassist in Dubai. She helps them connect, collaborate and strategize, with a focus on investor readiness. She helps them connect, collaborate and strategize, with a focus on investor readiness.

Dr. Christine Allen is a full professor at the University of Toronto and internationally recognized leader in drug formulation and development with more than 160 publications. She has received numerous career awards and is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, Controlled Release Society (CRS), and the Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences (CSPS). She is co-founder and a board member at Nanovista Inc., and co-founder and CEO of a VC-backed, JLABS resident, stealth company that is accelerating pharmaceutical drug development through integration of AI, automation and advanced computing.

She has held leadership positions in several scientific societies, notably as President of CRS (2022-2023) and CSPS (2020-2022). In academia, she served as the inaugural Associate Vice-President and Vice Provost Strategic Initiatives at U of T (2019–2022), and Interim Dean at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy (2018–2019). Furthermore, she took a leave of absence from U of T to contribute to adMare Bioinnovations as their Vice-President of Ecosystem Development (2022-2023).

Christine is committed to promoting and actioning equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in research and innovation.

Liz is a high energy medical device professional with more than a decade of demonstrated success in innovative technology companies. Liz is the Chief Operating Officer at Ironstone Product Development, Canada’s only full-service medical device consulting group, offering turnkey product development, regulatory and clinical strategy, and quality management system services to life science and health businesses. Ironstone was acquired by Avania, a MedTech focused Clinical Research Organization, in September 2023. Liz also serves as a MedTech Growth Coach at Communitech, an innovation hub dedicated to helping founders start, grow and succeed, and is a trusted advisor to various early-stage medical device companies. Previously, Liz co-founded Perimeter Medical Imaging AI, a medical imaging company which went public in 2020 (TSXV:PINK), and served as its President of Canadian Operations. She has led the development and FDA clearance of four products, has overseen clinical studies involving more than 400 patients, and has played a key role in raising nearly $40M in dilutive and non-dilutive capital. Liz holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Physics from McGill University, a Masters of Applied Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Toronto, and an MBA Essentials from the University of Toronto – Rotman School of Management. 

Michaela Shaw is a recently retired regulatory consultant with over 20 years of experience within the medical device industry, leading a variety of start-up companies through the FDA, Health Canada and EU regulatory approval process. Michaela’s experience includes many noteworthy medical device regulatory approvals in the areas of medical imaging, surgical navigation, cardiovascular and respiratory therapy, medical device software, digital health and point-of-care diagnostic devices. She is the founder of Shaw Quality Solutions, guiding clients through certification and management of ISO13485 and FDA compliant Quality Management Systems, and regulatory submissions for market approvals in US, Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Meet the Finalists

Creative Medical Solutions is transforming uroflowmetry testing and addressing the rising patient load with a medical device designed to elevate patient care and streamline provider efficiency. Our device offers greater comfort, facilitates faster testing, and permits higher throughput in clinics. 

Epileplon NeuroSolutions is at the forefront of developing a novel class of antiepileptic drugs aimed at transforming the treatment landscape for epilepsy and exploring potential applications in other neurodevelopmental disorders. Our team comprises dedicated scientists with a wide range of expertise, committed to delivering innovative solutions that promise a new hope for patients around the world. 

ImaginAble Solutions is a women-led company creating assistive technology to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. The company’s lead product is Guided Hands®, an assistive device that enables people with limited hand mobility to write, paint, draw and access technology.  

NorthMiRs is developing nanotechnology-enabled gene therapies to address the underlying immune dysregulation of sepsis. 

SilicoLabs has developed a no-code behavioural analytics platform that allows for the creation of real-world simulations that capture high-quality behavioural data. Due to the flexible nature of the platform, the research applications are vast, including brain health and cognitive assessments. 

U Corp aims to improve global oral hygiene through on-the-go products like Toothpod, a dental smart gum to help improve oral hygiene when there is no access to a toothbrush or toothpaste.