Angels Den 2021


When COVID-19 struck last year, we turned a live event into a virtual show, and we never anticipated how successful it would be.

Nearly 7,000 viewers tuned in. More than 3,500 voted in the People's Choice Award. And we garnered 35 million media impressions.

This fall, we're doing it again. 

Six teams will compete for two research prizes: The Odette Award for Health System Innovation and The Keenan Award for Medical Discovery.

Each team will pitch to three celebrity judges who, along with our panel of jurors, will vote for the winners. Retail guru Joe Mimran and tech entrepreneur Michele Romanow will be back in their judges’ chairs. And this year, they’ll be joined by Samantha Yammine, the neuroscientist also known as Science Sam.

The show will air online on November 18. 

Stay tuned for more details and contact Farrah Hasan to learn more about Angels Den 2021 sponsorship and jury opportunities.

Thank You To Our Sponsors

Top Prize Sponsors

People's Choice Award Sponsor

Team Biographies Sponsor

Team Award Sponsors

Corporate Jurors

Angels Den Jurors


The Arrell Family Foundation
John Barford
Greg & Susan Belton
John Cassaday
Tony Cesta
Jennifer DeCaria
Richard Downe
Senator the Honourable Nicole Eaton, PC
Michael Flux
Bev Godden
Timothy K. Griffin
Colleen Johnston
Pat Lace
John MacIntyre
Joe Mazzocco

John McCartney
Shawn McReynolds & Elaine Kierans
Lisa Melchior
Patrick Meneley
Marilyn Millar
Robert Millar
Terry Mocherniak
Mary Mullen
David Peterson
Timothy Price
Antonio Rodrigues
Harcharan (Harry) Singh
Kate Stevenson
Daniel Sullivan
Frank Techar

Meet our Judges and Emcee


Joe Mimran

Joe Mimran is a retail, fashion and business pioneer who has helped build some of Canada’s most recognized apparel and lifestyle brands such as Joe Fresh, Club Monaco, Gry Mattr, Pink Tartan, Alfred Sung and Caban. Joe is also chairman of Gibraltar & Co., a venture capital firm, is on the board of Canopy Rivers and LXR, and through his consulting firms, JM+A and NYBS, provides design and consulting services to major retailers in the U.S. such as Kroger and Staples.

From 2015 to 2018 Joe starred as a Dragon on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den. Joe was the honorary chairman of the inaugural Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards, and the recipient of the Canadian Style Award. He has been recognized with The Design Exchange award along with his wife, Kimberley Newport-Mimran, the co-founder of Pink Tartan. Joe has recently been inducted into Canada’s Marketing Legends Hall of Fame. 

He’s been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, and The Globe and Mail. A patron of the arts, Mimran’s philanthropic activities include support of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and is a Luminaire for Luminato Arts Festival. He also supports Reena, a non-profit organization which promotes independence and community inclusion for people with developmental disabilities.


Michele Romanow

Michele Romanow is an engineer and a serial entrepreneur who started five companies before her 33rd birthday. The youngest ever entrepreneur to join CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den, Michele is the co-founder of e-commerce platforms Buytopia.ca and SnapSaves (acquired by Groupon). Her current venture Clearbanc has invested over $1B in more than 2,500 e-commerce companies. Ranked in WXN’s “100 Most Powerful in Canada,” Michele is the only Canadian on Forbes’ “Millennial on a Mission” list.

Buytopia ranked #3 on the Profit Hot 50 list of fastest-growing companies and Romanow was included in Chatelaine's W100 list of Canada's top female entrepreneurs. She has won the Canadian Innovation Awards’ Angel Investor of the Year and was a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award.

She was also recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. 

Michele was previously the Director of Strategy for Sears. Michele earned her engineering degree and MBA from Queen’s University, where she also received the Queen’s Tricolour Award. She is a director on the board of Vail Resorts, Freshii and League of Innovators.


Samantha Yammine

Samantha Yammine is a neuroscientist and popular Science Communicator better known as Science Sam. She earned her PhD from the University of Toronto studying how stem cells build and maintain the brain, and then went on to found Science Sam Media, a science-based digital production agency.

She is passionate about empowering people to explore science by making it more familiar, accessible, and inclusive. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she's been sharing the science behind the headlines as @science.sam on Instagram  and Tik Tok, garnering millions of views every month to better help people assess risk, spot misinformation, and have informed discussions with their friends and family.

She has been a guest Science Correspondent for a variety of shows on Netflix, TVO Kids, CBC GEM, Discovery UK, CBC Radio, and AsapSCIENCE. She sits on the Board of Trustees for RCIScience and the Editorial Board of the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers. 


Maureen Holloway - Emcee

Toronto radio fan favourite Maureen Holloway is one half of Darren and Mo, the top-rated morning show on 98.1 CHFI. She is also familiar to listeners across the country as host of the popular entertainment feature Other People’s Business. In 2018, she was given the Rosalie Award, honouring Canadian women in broadcasting who have blazed new trails. She is a vocal advocate for women’s health and social issues.

Watch Angels Den 2020

If you missed Angels Den 2020, and you want to see some innovative medical research, watch the full show here . 

Congratulations to the 2020 Winners


Keenan Covid-19 Research Award

Lung Life After COVID-19

Dr. Darren Yuen
Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, and Nephrologist, St. Michael's Hospital

Dr. Kieran McIntyre
Respirologist, St. Michael’s Hospital

THE CHALLENGE: COVID-19 survivors, even those who’ve had only a mild case, may develop permanent lung scarring that leads to long-term breathing complications.

THE SOLUTION: Rapidly diagnose lung scarring in COVID-19 survivors using a new, bedside ultrasound tool. At the same time, test a new drug to treat COVID-19-induced lung damage.


Odette Innovative Health Award

SkIP TECH: Preventing Pressure Wounds

Dr. Karen Cross

Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon, St. Michael’s Hospital

THE CHALLENGE: Canada has among the highest rates of patients with pressure injuries, or bed sores, in the world. Yet this painful and life-threatening condition is completely preventable.

THE SOLUTION: Design SkIP (Skin Imaging for Pressure Injuries) technology that enables non-specialist healthcare practitioners, for the first time ever, to monitor patients at risk of developing pressure injuries.


People's Choice Award, Presented by Canada Life

Smart Garments: AI Therapy For Your Muscles

Dr. Jane Batt 
Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, and Respirologist, St. Michael's Hospital

THE CHALLENGE: People who are critically ill often see their muscles waste, for good. While the condition might just be prevented with neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), the current technology is practically and economically unfeasible. 

THE SOLUTION: Invent “smart textile” garments, like leg stockings and arm sleeves that automate NMES stimulation through the power of AI.

Keenan Covid-19 Research Award

Pioneering solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic that optimize hospital flow, improve treatment and stem the spread of the virus.


Gemini: Digital Tools to Prepare for the Second Wave

Dr. Amol Verma
Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and Internist, St Michael’s Hospital

Dr. Fahad Razak
Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and Internist, St Michael’s Hospital

THE CHALLENGE: When it comes to treating COVID-19, healthcare data can help us understand what works and what doesn’t. But right now it’s scattered across Ontario’s hospitals.

THE SOLUTION: Combine data from over 30 Ontario hospitals that treat 70 per cent of patients in the province. Then use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze it. The upside? With all that data, scientists and doctors can improve diagnosis, treatments, and health policies.


The T-Cell Vaccine vs. COVID-19

Dr. Mario Ostrowski

Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, and Infectious Disease Clinician, St. Michael’s Hospital

THE CHALLENGE: The COVID-19 vaccines currently being developed are using only antibodies to fight the virus, which may mean multiple vaccine doses. And none of the them is being created in Canada.

THE SOLUTION: Create a Canadian-made vaccine, and the first in the world to use both antibodies and T-cells to create immunity.


Lung Life after COVID-19

Dr. Darren Yuen
Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, and Nephrologist, St. Michael's Hospital

Dr. Kieran McIntyre
Respirologist, St. Michael’s Hospital

THE CHALLENGE: COVID-19 survivors, even those who’ve had only a mild case, may develop permanent lung scarring that leads to long-term breathing complications.

THE SOLUTION: Rapidly diagnose lung scarring in COVID-19 survivors using a new, bedside ultrasound tool. At the same time, test a new drug to treat COVID-19-induced lung damage.

Odette Innovative Health Award

Unconventional solutions to health problems that make access to health care easier and more inclusive, effective and affordable.


Smart Garments: AI Therapy For Your Muscles

Dr. Jane Batt 
Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, and Respirologist, St. Michael's Hospital

THE CHALLENGE: People who are critically ill often see their muscles waste, for good. While the condition might just be prevented with neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), the current technology is practically and economically unfeasible. 

THE SOLUTION: Invent “smart textile” garments, like leg stockings and arm sleeves, that automate NMES stimulation through the power of AI.


Laughing Gas: A Serious Way To Fight Depression

Dr. Karim Ladha
Investigator, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, and Anesthesiologist, St. Michael’s Hospital

Dr. Sid Kennedy
Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, and Psychiatrist, St. Michael’s Hospital

THE CHALLENGE: While there are many medications that treat major depression — a devastating disorder which affects millions of Canadians — they don’t work in nearly one-third of patients.

THE SOLUTION: Study whether nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” will work in patients with depression, based on data that shows anesthetic drugs and gases have antidepressant effects.


SkIP TECH: Preventing Pressure Wounds

Dr. Karen Cross
Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon, St. Michael’s Hospital

THE CHALLENGE: Canada has among the highest rates of patients with pressure injuries, or bed sores, in the world. Yet this painful and life-threatening condition is completely preventable.

THE SOLUTION: Design SkIP (Skin Imaging for Pressure Injuries) technology that enables non-specialist healthcare practitioners, for the first time ever, to monitor patients at risk of developing pressure injuries.

Thank You To Our Cabinet


Gwen Harvey, Co-Chair
Melissa Martin, Co-Chair
Nancy Abbey
Catherine Bradley
Jill Burgin

Dr. Erica Conte
Jennifer DeCaria
John McCartney
Wes McComb
James McPhedran

Mary Mullen
Sherri Neldner
Dr. Ori Rotstein

Contact Us