Life Sciences Investment Summit aims to provide more than $1M to growing companies


Health innovators and entrepreneurs across Alberta have two more weeks to apply for the inaugural Startup TNT Life Sciences Investment Summit in March.

Startup TNT has partnered with Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API) to organize the event, which will be the province's largest investment summit focused on life sciences — with a goal of investing over $1 million into participating seed-stage companies.

"This summit will fill a critical gap needed by companies as they move beyond initial non-dilutive grants and friends-and-family funding, giving companies the ability to scale," API CEO Andrew MacIsaac told Taproot.

"The added criteria that companies do their development work here in Alberta is aimed at ensuring that every dollar raised goes back to jobs and economic growth in the province."

To participate, companies must have or intend to have economic ties to Alberta, whether they are headquartered here, employ full-time staff here, or engage in ongoing research contracts with Alberta-based entities.

By making the application open, MacIsaac is hoping that the summit will show innovators both across the country and internationally that Alberta is an attractive province in which to establish operations and grow their companies.

Nir Katchinskiy pitches PulseMedica

Nir Katchinskiy of PulseMedica pitches at Investment Summit IV in November 2021, where the company secured more than $400,000 to help develop its device to treat retinal eye diseases. (Steven Csorba)

The summit is also an opportunity to support local startups in the health innovation ecosystem, as well as to educate and grow the investor base for life sciences companies.

"Investments in the life sciences are different than in many other sectors as due diligence on the complex regulatory and scientific pathway of companies needs specific expertise, plus most companies grow in size to hundreds of employees and can have up to a billion dollars invested before they even sell their first product," MacIsaac explained.

"There are many exit points along the way for investors as companies hit milestones along the way, and the returns can be phenomenal, but it's very different from investing in a company that is a few months away from revenue generation."

As part of the process, companies will take part in an eight-week due diligence process with investors.

Applications close on Jan. 18, with the Top 20 pitch night scheduled for Feb. 3 and the summit finale on March 17.