The Ontario Brain Institute Announces a New Class of ONtrepreneurs in Partnership with the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation

OBI’s ONtrepreneurs Program celebrates a decade of innovation in brain health

In its tenth year, the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) announced a new class of ONtrepreneurs in partnership with Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), powered by Baycrest at the CABHI Summit. The global virtual event offered a combined funding of more than $1.5M to the best Canadian agetech, healthtech, and neurotech companies.

Launched in 2012, the OBI ONtrepreneurs Program is Canada’s single largest award for early-stage neurotech entrepreneurs, providing an investment of $50,000, 12 months of training opportunities, one-on-one mentorship and support in order to help kick-start and grow promising neurotech ventures.

Through the OBI ONtrepreneurs Program, innovative ideas are taken from the lab and brought to life to help people with brain disorders live better lives. OBI has provided over $3M in funding over the last ten years, supported a total of 61 ONtrepreneurs, and delivered 20 products to market. These neurotech products support the treatment, care, and diagnoses of brain disorders like depression, autism and dementia. Leveraging the OBI network of partners and collaborators, OBI ONtrepreneurs were able to secure $106M in follow-on investments which is nearly 35x the return on investment made by OBI.

Welcoming the 2021 ONtrepreneurs:

1. Ahmad Al-Kabbany, VRapeutic - A software house specializing in the development of rehabilitation solutions for children and young adults, with a current focus on virtual reality for learning, mental, and developmental disorders

2. Andre Bertram, HelpWear - HeartWatch is an ECG monitor worn on a patient’s bicep to detect minor and major heart condition and contacts healthcare professionals when needed.

3. Michael Lee, MINT Memory Clinic - Improving the lives of people living with dementia through delivery of complete compassionate healthcare close to home.

4. Amanda Manget, XpanA proprietary expandable port technology for maximizing the safety and efficacy of minimally invasive neurosurgery.

“Ontario has established itself as a global leader in producing remarkable neurotech innovations – and these innovations are directly supporting people living with brain disorders,” says Tom Mikkelsen, President & Scientific Director at OBI. “The OBI ONtrepreneurs Program is a perfect example of what can be achieved - and how many people can benefit - in a relatively short time when good ideas are recognized, and talent is fostered.”

Ontario ranks in the top five globally for science productivity and is home to over 800 neuroscientists – one of the highest concentrations of professionals in the world. The program has played a key role in further advancing the province’s standing as a leader in neurotech development by building an integrated system where research, commercialization and care are all connected.

“With the hard work, dedication and commitment of Ontario’s researchers, innovators and organizations such as the Ontario Brain Institute and the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation, our province has successfully built and amplified the world-class brain health and neurotech sector we have today,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Our government is committed to investing in knowledge-based companies to support brain health research, innovation and technological advances that help to deliver a better quality of life for Ontarians living with brain disorders, their families and caregivers.”

The winners of this year’s OBI ONtrepreneurs Program will be joining the existing 81 OBI Portfolio Companies helping to grow the province’s neurotech cluster and in supporting brain health. More information on OBI ONtrepreneurs Program can be found here.

Please note that all the 2021 OBI ONtrepreneurs are available for interview.

For interview requests or more information, contact:

Fatima Khan

Senior Lead – Communications


Allison Garber

Consultant - Ontario Brain Institute

(902) 221-5254

About the Ontario Brain Institute

The Ontario Brain Institute is a not-for-profit organization that accelerates discovery and innovation, benefiting both patients and the economy. Our collaborative ‘team science’ approach promotes brain research, commercialization and care by connecting researchers, clinicians, industry, patients, and their advocates to improve the lives of those living with brain disorders. Welcome to Brain Central. Funding provided, in part, by the Government of Ontario. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter (@OntarioBrain).

OBI currently has 81 neurotech companies in its growing portfolio through ONtrepreneurs and NERD Programs with the ultimate goal of making clinically validated products and services accessible to the community. The OBI ONtrepreneurs Program is Canada's single largest award that catalyzes early-stage entrepreneurs to commercialize brain-related technologies. The NERD (Neurotech Early Research & Development) program de-risks follow-on investments in neurotech by providing milestone-based funding to support product development.