Class of 2015

In the the fourth year of the OBI Entrepreneurs Program, OBI has provided funding for seven outstanding candidates.  In addition, all selected entrepreneurs will receive advice and support from our external network of experts and mentors, as well as a rich variety of training and networking opportunities.  Watch the highlights from their pitches here.
Please see below for the short description of each entrepreneur and their project.

Hossein Kassiri

Hossein is currently completing his PhD at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto. Over the past 3 years, he and his colleague has developed a cutting-edge wireless brain implant for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. Hossein has the special background and skills for designing neural signal acquisition front-end circuits. His company, Braincom, is developing an all-wireless implantable system for detection and closed-loop treatment of epileptic seizures. The detection and treatment method has proven accurate by over 90% success rate in seizure detection and abortion on both animal and human subjects. Both data communication and power delivery are done wireless which makes the system wire-free and battery-independent.  

Jonathan Lung

Jonathan is currently completing his PhD in human decision making. His company, Sojourn Labs, is developing an electric bicycle with the form factor of a car with a unique design: the pedals are not connected to the wheels; the wheels are computer-controlled. This gives great flexibility for control systems that can handle irregular movements such as bradykinesia, spastic motions, and freezing. This lets people with neurological conditions affecting motor skills (such as Parkinson’s Disease or post-stroke individuals) drive safely and independently.

Shayna Parker

Shayna received her Master of Health Sciences, specializing in Gerontology at Lakehead University. She has worked closely with Dr. Jane Lawrence-Dewar at the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute (TBRRI) co-developing and programming a prototype software for a video game intended to help post-stroke patients rehabilitate their visuomotor adaptation skills. This became the core of her technology and led to the creation of her company, BrainShift. 

Mark Tucci

Mark has a PhD in Neuroscience from McMaster University through the McMaster Integrative Neuroscience Discovery and Study (MINDS) Programme. He developed a deep understanding of the brain and behaviour through my research which used pre-clinical models to understand the neurobiological components of psychiatric afflictions. His company, Neurovox, provides the ability to assess the mental functioning of patients when traditional behavioural assessments alone are unreliable due to limitations in the patient's ability to communicate, as a result of, for example, a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Pooja Viswanathan

Pooja has completed an interdisciplinary PhD thesis on an intelligent wheelchair for older adults with dementia at the University of British Columbia, where she employed machine learning, computer vision, human-computer interaction, robotics, and mixed-methods research to build and test the system. Her company, Braze Mobility, proposes to build a low-cost, after-market navigation assistance system that can be installed on any commercial powered wheelchair (PW). The initial feature of this system prevents collisions and provides feedback to the driver. It can not only offer safe and independent mobility to drivers who are at risk of losing their PW due to safety concerns (e.g., those with cognitive impairments), but can also be used to train individuals who are unable to learn how to drive safely and are denied PW use. 

Kiyanoosh Shapoori

Kiyanoosh received his PhD in 2014 in Biomedical Engineering from University of Toronto. His high-level educational background in Physics and Biomedical Engineering has given him a deep understanding, professional expertise and opened a perspective vision in the area of medical imaging. He proposes to develop a novel portable ultrasonic transcranial imaging system for immediate and on-site diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in civilian emergency settings. 


Vera Nenadovic

Vera has a PhD in neuroscience from the University of Toronto and 15 years of clinical experience in neurology and critical care. She has developed expertise in applying complexity theory and nonlinear dynamics to brain function in brain injury, epilepsy and autism. Her company, BrainsView, is an EEG-based software system with the real-time capacity to monitor brain function and predict outcome after injury.