The program strives to invest in high potential projects and people. The ideal candidate:
Digital Health is a priority area for this competition. High-ranking applications that engage in any of the following will be prioritized:
Life sciences applications/startups that do not have an obvious digital health focus (e.g., in healthcare, veterinary medicine, agriculture or wellness) are also encouraged to apply.
Successful startups are eligible for:
Fellowship positions are up to two years, provided that sufficient technology and business milestones are met.
To be eligible for the program, startups must:
To be eligible for the program, fellows must:
We will begin accepting Expressions of Interest for the Life Sciences Fellowship on October 1. The deadline to submit your EOI is November 15, 2021. Successful expressions of interest will be notified and invited to apply with next steps. Further details are below. Register for our info session on November 9 to learn more about the application process and how to craft a successful application.
Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:
Fellowships are up to two years, provided that sufficient technology and business milestones are met. The fellowship may be terminated if: the fellow can no longer participate full-time; the startup is acquired without the fellow continuing in a leadership role; the activity of the fellow or company diverges from the program objectives, or the fellow decides to terminate. Funding ceases when the fellowship is terminated.
Business and Technology expense funds will reimburse most business development expenses, including: operational expenses such as personnel; intellectual property costs; prototyping equipment, supplies and other costs; and market development costs. However, some exclusions include capital purchases, journal fees, degree, or certification costs.
Applicants do not need to be affiliated with the University of Calgary. We strongly encourage applicants from abroad to apply.
The fellow must be a founding member of the startup and will own at least 25% or a simple majority (whichever is greater) of the shares outstanding in the venture.
Life Sciences Fellows will have access to up to 100 hours per year of consulting and mentorship from an Expert Advisors group. These advisors have extensive business experience and connections within the life sciences sector, with expertise in regulatory, finance, marketing, governance, business strategy, communications, and more.
Review our Expert Advisor list here.
Participation in the Fellowship program itself does not have any equity, royalty, or repayment obligations to Innovate Calgary or the University of Calgary.
However, it is common to transfer intellectual property into the startup company. If the intellectual property originates at the University of Calgary, then the startup must meet the revenue-sharing obligations as stated in the University of Calgary’s Intellectual Property Policy. Similarly, if the Life Sciences startup company acquires intellectual property from another institution, it will have to comply with that institute’s policy. The company must meet any revenue sharing obligations within 90 days of signing the Participation Agreement unless otherwise agreed to by Innovate Calgary.
The Life Sciences Startup Fellowship is made possible in part through the support from Calgary Economic Development's Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund, Alberta Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Western Economic Diversification, and Alberta Innovates.
In recognition of their ongoing support of the Life Science Fellowship, we wish to acknowledge those life science community members who generously gave their time and expertise to help accelerate technology and business development of fellowship companies.
Souzan Armstrong, Gary Bantle, Elliot Gatt, Rohit Joshi, Scott Kraft (W21C), Pierre Lemire, Dennis Niebergal, Darrell Petras, Sandra Spencer, and Brad Thompson.