Expert pitch training coach Linda Plano preps participants for BioInnovation Challenge

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Untitled design (76)Semi-finalists in BioNova’s BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) get to hone their pitching skills during one-on-one training with Linda Plano, an expert pitch training coach with over 10 years of experience mentoring entrepreneurs with start-ups in life sciences, cleantech, high tech, web-based applications and more.

Upon earning a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University and a BS in Physics from MIT, Plano held positions at various startup companies including research scientist and CEO, as well as management positions up to Vice President for New Business Development in more established companies. The combination of her high-level education and experience in business has allowed her to help entrepreneurs in many complex fields.

Plano has been coaching entrepreneurs on their pitches and value propositions since 2005. She founded Plano & Simple in 2010 to focus exclusively on coaching, training and mentoring entrepreneurs. This has led her to work with nearly 600 entrepreneurs, who have gone on to raise well over $250M. Plano has worked with a diverse number of clients, from first time entrepreneurs, to serial entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Although she is based in Boston, she has delivered her services to clients all over the world.

BIC Semi-finalists will get one-on-one training with Plano to perfect their pitches before presenting them to the BIC judges during BioPort 2018, Atlantic Canada’s premier health and life sciences event. BioPort is happening on November 7th and 8th at the Halifax Convention Centre. With a top prize of $25,000 in funding and $30,000 in in-kind services, BIC is set to highlight the potential of the many growing Health and Life Sciences start-ups in Atlantic Canada. BIC applications are open until August 10th.

You can learn more about Linda Plano and her work by visiting her website or following her on Twitter @lindaplano.

Ten healthcare problems students can solve using technology and innovation

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What do successful entrepreneurs all have in common? They started by saying, “there has to be a better way.” Whether it be a new innovative product or a tweak to something that already exists, business is about offering solutions to problems. Through BioNova’s BIC Junior business pitch competition (Nov 7-8 at BioPort 2018), Nova Scotia high school and first year post-secondary students are given the opportunity to come up with a health and life science business idea. Below are ten healthcare problems students can solve using technology and innovation.

  1. Disabilities

It’s time to develop some new tools that can be used to improve the lives of people living with disabilities. This may assist with mobility, communication, or a multitude of other things that help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

  1. Health Care

We need sharp minds to find innovative ways to continue to modernize healthcare and improve efficiencies and patient outcomes. Perhaps the use of more digital apps to enable people to take an active role in their own care, medication safety, and recovery time or a technology that can take some of the strain off of caretakers and hospital staff.

  1. Hospitals

A safe, well-functioning hospital is the foundation of exceptional care. To create that environment, we need cutting edge technologies to make hospitals more effective in the future by improving healthcare delivery, wait times and access to care, and finding advanced ways to limit the rate of infections and spread of disease.

  1. Aging and Chronic Disease

With Atlantic Canada’s aging population on the rise, tools that enable better quality of care for seniors is in demand. Developing innovative ways to reduce dependence on nursing homes and promote independent living can reduce strain on the health care system and improve lives. Also providing tools for caretakers to improve the quality of the patients care

  1. Healthier Food

Taking preventative measures with our nutrition to avoid health problems down the road will prevent unnecessary strain on our healthcare system. What are some cutting-edge ways to improve nutritional values of every day foods and cut down on costs? Nutrition and health isn’t just a problem that applies to humans, there’s also a big industry for animals and pet health.

  1. Farming

Did you know that Nova Scotia has over 900,000 acres of farm land? What can we change in our farms to promote safer, healthier farming standards and improve nutrition? Farmers are always looking for cutting-edge ways to improve operations and market functional foods.

  1. Green Products

With an increased demand for greener products, people want to be more aware of what products they are using and how they impact the world around them. What products could be developed without chemicals to prevent people from getting sick?

  1. Population Health

How can we use big data analysis to tackle diseases? Perhaps there are ways to promote the use of natural products to improve global health and create preventative measures.

  1. Oceans

We need big ideas that will help us protect and get the most out of our oceans. These innovations could include new ways to effectively clean up oil spills, or perhaps new ways to use sea plants as sources of food or energy.

  1. Health and Fitness

What are new and innovative ways to empower people to be healthier? Perhaps an app that helps you to understand your genetics or DNA to improve fitness. No matter what it is, tools that make people healthy and fit are in high demand.

There are many yet-to-be discovered solutions to problems within the health and life sciences sector. Any students interested in applying for BioNova’s BIC Junior business pitch competition are encouraged to visit our webpage.

NEWS RELEASE: BioNova Launches BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) In Search of Top New Health and Life Sciences Entrepreneur in Atlantic Canada

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BioNova Launches BioInnovation Challenge (BIC)
In Search of Top New Health and Life Sciences Entrepreneur in Atlantic Canada

July 3, 2018 – Halifax, NOVA SCOTIA – Early stage health and life science companies from Atlantic Canada have a chance to compete for $25,000 in seed funding and a $30,000 advisory services package to develop their business idea during BioPort 2018 on November 7-8, 2018 at the Halifax Convention Centre.

BIC is an Atlantic Canadian business competition that recognizes commercialization potential in health and life sciences.  Since 2011, it has encouraged innovation and the creation of new companies in the sector.

“Every year we are blown away by the potential of the companies in the competition,” said Scott Moffitt, Managing Director at BioNova. “Even a small investment in health innovation can spur business growth, job creation and better health outcomes for Canadians.”

The BioPort 2018 conference is set to be their biggest yet, with CEO of AnthroTronix, Dr. Corinna Lathan, scheduled to give a keynote address. New to this year’s program, the conference will also feature BioInnovation Challenge Junior (BIC Junior), for Nova Scotian high school and first year post-secondary students to create health and life science business ideas. The winner will receive a prize of $2,000.

Past winners of BIC include New Brunswick-based Pfera Inc., along with Spring Loaded Technology and Covina Biomedical from Nova Scotia.  This year’s finalists will be awarded advisory services with the first-place winner receiving $25,000 in seed funding, for a total prize package valued at $55,000. BIC is supported by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Dalhousie University Industry Liaison and Innovation, EmerGence BioIncubator and BioNB with in-kind services provided by Archway Insurance, Bereskin & Parr, Jennifer Cameron PR, PwC, Cox and Palmer, and Grant Thornton.

Applications for BIC must be submitted by August 10, 2018 to BioNova.  For full competition details and to apply, visit

About BioNova 
BioNova leads, accelerates, and advocates for Nova Scotia’s growing health and life sciences sector. Since 1993, BioNova has been accelerating the growth of its member companies. By hosting networking and educational events, and providing connections to potential funders and business resources, BioNova helps companies succeed.  While these companies commercialize life-changing research to improve healthcare, provide healthier food, and develop clean energy solutions, BioNova advocates on behalf of the sector. BioNova champions the sector’s cluster of world-class research facilities, incubator programs, and companies who, together, bring investment and jobs to Nova Scotia.

About BioPort
Since 2002, BioPort has provided a forum to inform and inspire the health and life sciences community to develop their ideas, commercialize their technologies and build links within the region, nationally and abroad.

For Further Information: 
Media Inquiries: 
Shana Cristoferi
Marketing Manager

BIC Application Inquiries: 
Kerri Mannette
Director of Operations