Two McMaster startups – Syndemix and Insight Medbotics – have received a combined $735,000 to move their innovations closer to reality in the first round of investments of the McMaster Seed Fund.
Synmedix — a biotechnology company founded by Eric Brown, Distinguished University Professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences — received $300,000 to further its novel antibiotic platform. The technology, developed in Brown’s lab, enhances the efficacy and spectrum of many antibiotics through the action of bicarbonate and can be broadly applied to antibacterial drug discovery.
Insight Medbotics Inc (IMI) — a medical devices company co-founded by Mehran Anvari, professor of surgery — received $435,000. The company aims to establish itself as the pre-eminent company in MRI surgical robotic imaging and diagnostics for breast cancer.
Karen Mossman, vice-president, research, says the first call for McMaster’s Seed Fund was met with great enthusiasm: 18 proposals were submitted from a variety of disciplines within the faculties of Engineering, Science and Health Sciences; 12 were invited to pitch to the investment committee; and four were invited for additional due diligence.
“The MSF was designed to foster our culture of commercialization and social innovation across the university in an effort to positively impact society and it’s certainly living up to its mandate,” says Mossman.
Damian Lamb, co-founder and managing director at Genesys Capital, serves on the 11-member investment committee. The Mac grad says he’s not only impressed with the commercial potential and breadth of McMaster’s research, but also the university’s focus on commercialization and its commitment to the Seed Fund.
“McMaster, over the last decade, has made exceptional efforts to develop an ecosystem for commercialization and the Seed Fund is an integral part of that,” he says. “Seed funding is fundamentally different than grant funding and is critical to get inventors to their next port of call in bringing their ideas to market.”
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