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Why Ontario health tech startups may finally be able to find financing at home

Why Ontario health tech startups may finally be able to find financing at home

Posted by PanamericanWorld on June 08, 2015

To say that it’s been a busy 12 months for one-year old Limestone Labs is an understatement. The founders came up with the idea for CleanSlate, a device that sanitizes portable electronics and tracks when they’ve been cleaned by scanning the item’s RFID sticker, while taking part in an accelerator program at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.

“We recognized that cellphones and tablets are incredibly dirty and not a lot of technologies can clean them effectively,” Taylor Mann, president and chief executive of Limestone Labs said. “After a month of customer validation, we realized healthcare was an area that was under-served in this respect and they have a strong reason to want to make sure their devices are clean and sanitized.

“In the average hospital today, one in four portable electronics — thermometer, smartphone — has some form of pathogenic bacteria on it that can lead to hospital wide infections. No one was creating a technology that would allow hospitals to safely use these technologies.” The company filed its provisional patent this April and will pilot CleanSlate in three Ontario hospitals.

Limestone Labs is one of hundreds of health tech startups popping up in Ontario, where a synergy is taking place in pockets such as Toronto, York region and Windsor, as engaged academic partners, municipalities and large multinationals come together to create an ecosystem for health technology startups.

The province is entering the picture, too. In its 2015 budget, the Ontario government earmarked $20 million for made-in-Ontario health technologies. It also promised to help innovators connect to resources and open the door to procurement opportunities for startups.

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