MetaOptima Technology Inc, a health technology company created by Simon Fraser University researcher Maryam Sadeghi, has won a top prize in the 2013 BCIC New Ventures Competition.
The company will receive a $40,000 Wavefront Wireless prize package, finishing one of 10 companies shortlisted from nearly 150 applicants in this year's competition.
MetaOptima's product, Molescope, is an innovative app that helps users detect the onset of skin cancer. It provides a professional self-screening imaging device that comes with educational software, online consulting and local referrals to bring peace of mind for users and save lives.
The company is a resident client at SFU’s Venture Connection incubator offices at SFU-Surrey. Venture Connection, in partnership with Coast Capital Savings, provides entrepreneurship training services and opportunities for SFU students and recent alumni.
"SFU and Venture Connection, the university's world class entrepreneurship, mentoring and new venture development program, congratulate the MetaOptima team and their Venture Connection mentor, Hugh MacNaught, in achieving this award, and for the recognition of their innovative approaches to enabling early detection and treatment of melanoma and other skin cancers," says Ian Hand of the SFU Innovation Office.
The BCIC-New Ventures competition has helped to encourage new technology leaders and entrepreneurs for more than a decade and this year’s finalists “were the strongest and most promising set of companies we’ve seen over the 13-year history of the competition,” says Angie Schick, BCIC-New Ventures Competition program manager.
The top prize went to Vonigo, a cloud-based business management system while second and third prizes went to AbCeller, a biotech company, and messaging specialists SmartPagerSystems.
MetaOptima's recognition follows in the footsteps of Venture Connection Alumni client HiretheWorld, which took first place at BCIC New Ventures in 2010.
In addition to running her company, Sadeghi, who recently earned her PhD at SFU, is currently working with SFU professor Ryan D’Arcy in establishing a new health technology ‘hub’ at SFU to support health technology innovation as part of SFU's partnership with the Fraser Health Authority, City of Surrey, Kwantlen Polytechnic University and many other organizations engaged in Surrey’s emerging Innovation Boulevard.
Since 2008 Venture Connection has engaged over 3,100 participants in its programs, benefited from the support of over 150 volunteers, provided mentorship to over 200 student teams and business development services to over 120 early-stage startups.