Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Researchers

Wednesday, October 18, 2023 13:30to19:00
McGill Engine Centre, 3450 Rue University, Room 5 (Ground Frlo, Montreal, QC, H3A 2A7, CA

We are happy to announce that Neurosphere's Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Researchers event will be held in Montreal on October 18, 2023!
This event has been organized with the support of our partners the Desjardins Centre for Advanced Training (DCAT).

Most research findings never leave the lab, and 25% of articles are never even cited. Come learn how you can translate your research into practical solutions to the world’s pressing problems by turning them into social organizations, start-ups, or initiating industry partnerships.

Through panel sessions, keynote speakers, and a networking component, you will:

  • Explore different ways scientists can commercialize research including traditional company routes (start-ups) and many other alternatives (licensing, non-profits, social enterprises, b-corps)

  • Learn from other researchers at McGill and beyond who have successfully combined research and entrepreneurship in the lab

  • Discover the many types of traditional and alternative funding available for startup creation and/or social innovation.


Introducing our speakers for the event:

Photo of Robert NasonRobert Nason is a William Dawson Scholar, associate professor of Strategy and Organization and the Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management. A prolific and highly decorated researcher and educator, Robert will host a session exploring non-academic paths to maximize impact in entrepreneurship, highlighting both their opportunities and challenges.

Photo of Cynthia Goh

Cynthia Goh is a Professor of Chemistry and the Director of the Impact Centre at the University of Toronto and is a true leader in translating scientific discoveries into practical applications. Her innovative technologies and pioneering work in scientist-entrepreneur training programs have led to numerous successful tech-based startups.

Photo of Sherin Al-SafadiSherin Al-Safadi brings over 15 years of valuable experience in oncology drug development to her role as Vice President of Medical & Corporate Affairs (Oncology) at Radiopharm Theranostics. A McGill alumna, Sherin’s academic achievements include an MBA in Entrepreneurship & Management and a PhD in Neurobiology. She is particularly passionate about philanthropy, mentoring, and promoting gender diversity in STEM and healthcare.

Photo of Manuel Cruz

Manuel Cruz is a seasoned industry veteran and Partner/Chief Scientist at Innovobot, with over 25 years of pioneering work in haptic technology and innovation. With an impressive portfolio of over 300 patents, Manuel has a track record of translating research into real-world solutions. The McGill Engineering alumnus has developed haptic technologies for the medical, automotive, gaming, XR, and mobility industries.

Photo of Jean-Philippe DelisleJean-Philippe Delisle is an investment analyst at Axelys, a tech transfer organization dedicated to leveraging public research for societal benefits. Jean-Philippe is an engineer by training, holding a degree in industrial engineering from Université Laval, but his true passion lies in entrepreneurship. He has founded two startups in the realms of Industry 4.0 and played a pivotal role in launching a sustainable mobility accelerator. He is devoted about solving today’s most pressing issues through deep tech and entrepreneurship.


Join us to gain insights from these speakers on bridging the worlds of academia and entrepreneurship for meaningful innovation.

Romain Lortille Bruel is a Senior Innovation Advisor at Conseil de l'innovation du Québec, guiding innovative companies in accessing support and financing services in Quebec. Formerly the director at CTS/Le Catalyseur en technologies de la santé, he supported entrepreneurs in commercializing medical technology innovations and securing startup financing. With diverse experience in venture capital, public finance research and public service, he also played key roles in youth advisory committees, advocacy organizations and national ethics committees. He has also been President of Association France-Canada for several years.

Jean-Philippe Taillon is the Managing Director of Fonds d’Investissement Eurêka, a Quebec government-funded initiative managed by Investissement Québec. He is also a member of several advisory committees for Quebec-based venture capitalist funds focusing on life sciences, deep tech and clean tech. His career includes experience in commercial lending, alternative investments due diligence and founding an algorithmic investment firm in the American electricity markets. Along his degree in Finance and Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario, he holds CFA and Energy Risk Professional certifications. An advocate for governance and technology, he is enthusiastic about economic growth through science and tech startups.

headshotAlexandra Ferland is Account Manager at MEDTEQ+, where she instigates and supports collaborative projects between industrial and research partners, expediting the validation of new medical technologies. She has been navigating innovative projects between research and practice since the beginning of her career, with a special interest for the startup ecosystem and mental health. She worked as a special consultant at the Centre de Recherche de l’Institut en Santé Mentale de Montréal to help researchers develop digital solutions to mental health issues. Prior to that, she held the role of a project manager at the Mouvement des Accelerateurs d’Innovation du Québec.

headshotMark Weber is the Director of Innovation and Partnerships at McGill University, joining in 2012 in technology transfer. He is a McGill alumnus, obtaining his undergraduate, Masters, and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering. His career includes extensive experience at the intersection of corporate research and development and university innovation, as well as developing his expertise in engineering consulting and startups in energy and cleantech. His achievements include inventing multiple patents, negotiating licenses with companies of all sizes and contributing extensively to university technology transfer in Canada.

headshotJeffrey Blum is a multidisciplinary professional with expertise in mobile computing and application development. His experience spans from academia and research to startups, and at tech giants like Microsoft. A technical project manager and PhD Candidate at McGill University, he is also an entrepreneur, having founded a platform for quantitative investment ratings. He's made significant strides in accessibility technology as the technical project manager for the IMAGE project at McGill, using audio-haptic experiences to make web graphics more accessible to people with vision impairments.


Join us to gain insights from these speakers on bridging the worlds of academia and entrepreneurship for meaningful innovation.


Event Agenda:

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Welcome & Introduction

1:30 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.: ‘Different Paths to Maximize Impact,’ talk by Robert Nason

2:15 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.: ‘Experience from the field – successful researchers and entrepreneurs,’ panel with Cynthia Goh, Sherin Al-Safadi, and Manuel Cruz

3:20 p.m. – 4:20 p.m.: ‘Novel sources of funding for research innovation,’ keynotes with Romain Lortille Bruel, Jean-Philippe Taillon, Jean-Philippe Delisle and Alexandra Ferland, moderated by Mark Weber

4:25 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.: Keynote by Jeffrey Blum, accelerators & entrepreneurs’ session

4:50 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.: Networking



Registration is now open. Reserve your spot today!

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