May 3, 2018

TENET i2c competition May 8 offers UCalgary inventors the chance to win $100K

Last year’s winners have grown their business, signed with global partners

Author

Carina Kwok, for the Cumming School of Medicine

Big smiles all around when Vivametrica took home first place in the 2017 TENET i2c competition. From left: Gerald Zamponi, senior associate dean, research, Cumming School of Medicine; Dr. Rick Hu, CEO and founder of Vivametrica; and Ken Moore, event sponsor and former president of TENET Medical Engineering.

Big smiles all around when Vivametrica took home first place in the 2017 TENET i2c competition.

Don Molyneaux, for the Cumming School of Medicine

Even with an innovative idea, launching a new product can be daunting. The TENET i2c competition gives University of Calgary inventors an edge. Competitors receive pitch and business training for months prior to the Dragon's Den-style competition. The winning team is awarded up to $100,000 to make their product commercially viable, and receives in-kind legal and management support.

In May, seven teams will compete for the top prize — with innovations ranging from surgical tools to wearable technology devices to improve recovery for stroke patients and prevention of running injuries.

The winners of last year's competition, Vivametrica, have grown their business significantly, thanks to TENET i2c. Vivametrica is pictured above at the 2017 TENET i2c competition, from left: Gerald Zamponi, senior associate dean, research, Cumming School of Medicine; Dr. Rick Hu, CEO and founder of Vivametrica; and Ken Moore, event sponsor and former president of TENET Medical Engineering.

The Calgary-based health analytics company attracted an international partner, SCOR, as well as engaged in a collaboration with Munich RE — a reinsurance company with offices around the world.

"As a local company, it is quite big to sign with these global partners," says Rosabel Bong, communications manager for Vivametrica. The collaborations with these two companies, along with other insurance companies, has provided proof of concept for Vivametrica's data collection and analysis model/solutions.

"In addition, winning the competition allowed us to move quite a bit further along with security and privacy," adds Bong.

Since Vivametrica informs and supports insurance, health and wellness industries, one of their major goals was to build iOS and Android applications (apps). Before building the apps, Vivametrica needed to be sure that their customers' personal data was secure and well-protected. An initial security audit resulted in a complete rebuild of their platform, which took three months. After successful testing, they built and introduced a new iOS app. The Android app is almost ready. 

Vivametrica's business side expanded with the addition of a project manager and a software developer, to pursue the goal of getting their business ready to target larger clients. Additionally, the TENET i2c funding allowed the company to engage in a sales and marketing audit, enhancing their reputation as they move forward with business expansion. Currently, Vivametrica is undergoing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) testing and compliance to qualify for future opportunities within the American health-care insurance system. HIPAA compliance ensures individuals' privacy is protected and security measures are followed, and is required of any business that works in conjunction with the U.S. health-care system.

The TENET i2c competition attracts multidisciplinary teams from across the University of Calgary. Students, faculty, staff and alumni are encouraged to come and see this year’s competition on May 8 at the Cumming School of Medicine.

The TENET i2c competition attracts multidisciplinary teams from across the University of Calgary.

The public is welcome to hear pitches from the 2018 TENET i2c competitors

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Registration opens at 1:30 p.m. in the Libin Theatre, Health Sciences Centre, with a reception to follow in the Health Research Innovation Centre atrium.

Dr. Rick Hu is clinical professor in the Department of Surgery of the Cumming School of Medicine.

Members of the Vivametrica team include Dr. Rick Hu (CEO and founder), Christy Lane, PhD (COO and co-founder), and Dr. Matthew Smuck (chief scientific advisor and co-founder). Other members of the team are UCalgary alumni Cam Schwieder, Sarah Akierman, Qicheng Zhang, Roland Hung and Patrick Czeczko, and UBC and UWO alumni Rosabel Bong and Aliakbar Mohsenipour.

The TENET i2c program is supported by Alberta Innovates, Innovate Calgary, the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, MNP LLP and Gowlings WLG.