October 26, 2016

BioNova Announces MacKenzie Healthcare Technologies as the Winner of the BioInnovation Challenge

(Halifax, NS – October 26, 2016) — They invented, they pitched, and they conquered. MacKenzie Healthcare Technologies from Nova Scotia was named winner of the sixth annual BioInnovation Challenge at BioPort 2016. The company’s ParaGlide technology, was deemed the most attractive for investment by a panel of judges dubbed The Commercialization Council and the conference audience. The ParaGlide device revolutionizes the way people are repositioned in wheelchairs in homes, hospitals and care facilities around the world. With ParaGlide, a wheelchair user can move freely from a slouched position to an upright position with the touch of a button – safely, independently and with dignity – while eliminating risk of injury to caregivers.

“Winning the BioInnovation has validated that we have a product that is meeting an unmet need in the market. We are happy that the judges and conference audience saw as much value in our product as we do. The prize package will be a tremendous help in tying up loose ends and answering our unanswered questions in the next few months as we get ready for market in 2017,” said Matthew MacKenzie, CEO of MacKenzie Healthcare Technologies.

MacKenzie Healthcare Technologies will receive a prize package that includes $15,000 in seed funding and an advisory services package worth more than $30,000 including services provided by Cox & Palmer, Jennifer Cameron PR, JLT Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sandler Training and Grant Thornton. MacKenzie Healthcare Technologies was up against NovaResp Technologies Inc. of Nova Scotia and SomaDetect Inc. of New Brunswick

With evaluation criteria, such as adaptability, market pull and consumer readiness, MacKenzie Healthcare Technologies’ edged the competition with higher marks from the judges and conference audience.

“We received a record number of applications this year for the BioInnovation Challenge and the quality was superb, there is a lot of exciting innovation happening in the sector right now,” said Scott Moffitt, managing director of BioNova. “All three companies deserve the win, but there can only be one and MacKenzie Healthcare Technologies came out on top and I wish them every success moving forward.”

The BioInnovation Challenge was created by BioNova, Nova Scotia’s life sciences industry association and several partners to help ease the transition from research laboratory to market. BioNova has worked with its sister organizations BioNB and PEI BioAlliance for the last number of years to open the competition to companies from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

This year, Daniel Boyd, the inaugural winner of BIC in 2011 sat on the Commercialization Council, “it’s exciting to be sitting on the other side of the table.  The BioInnovation Challenge was a great help in the early stages of ABK Biomedical and I wish MacKenzie Healthcare Technologies every success as they move forward.”

The Commercialization Council:

Jennifer Hamilton – Senior Director, Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Daniel Boyd – Associate Professor, Dalhousie University
Chris Cowper-Smith – CEO, Spring Loaded Technology
Bill Power – R & D and Government Incentives Practice Leader, Grant Thornton

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Media Contact:

Jessica Gillis, Communications Officer
(902) 237-8608
jgillis@bionova.ca

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