Advisor Series: Andrew Haller - Empower Locally to Accelerate Globally

Kai Luk
June 7, 2023

Meet Andrew Haller, a seasoned advisor at ventureLAB who's shaking things up in the Canadian medtech startup scene.

With his impressive background in Molecular Pharmacology and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University Health Network (UHN), Andrew's journey into the medtech world was driven by his passion to help people live better lives.

But it doesn't stop there. Andrew also serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence for the University of Toronto's Medicine By Design program, where he actively helps bring cutting-edge technologies from the university and affiliated hospitals to the market. In addition to his illustrative background, Andrew took on an influential role at Clinical Trials Ontario before he became one of the advisors here at ventureLAB, where he actively shared his knowledge and expertise in medical science with a strong network of over 400 clinical sites across Canada, connecting biotech, medical device, and digital health companies and enabling them to conduct trials and pilots. 

These valuable experiences give Andrew a comprehensive understanding of the clinical and regulatory aspects crucial to medtech startup success. As an experienced entrepreneur and investor looking to bridge the gap between healthcare innovation and commercialization, Andrew's passion for innovative medical technology and supporting startups in North America underscores his commitment to nurturing the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs in the medtech field.

Looking to the future of the healthcare industry in Canada, Andrew believes that transforming healthcare innovations into an economic driver holds immense potential. Turning healthcare innovations into an economic driver holds immense potential for Canada's future, Andrew says. He firmly believes that the remarkable healthcare innovations emerging from Canada can propel Canadian companies to become tech giants, creating a significant economic impact. 

To transform healthcare innovations into an economic driver, Andrew stresses the need for strategic investments and support for early-stage companies are especially crucial. By doing so, Canada can foster the growth of its companies, improve healthcare outcomes, and establish itself as a global leader in healthcare innovation. Through these efforts, both the economy and the well-being of Canadian citizens will thrive.

A prominent example of a company prioritizing local community investment is Stryker, a leading supplier of orthopaedic, neurotechnology, and surgical devices. Stryker has chosen to stay in Canada, specifically in Hamilton, recognizing the benefits of this location. 

Hamilton's proximity to the 401 highway offers strategic advantages for establishing Stryker as a nationwide distribution center. Additionally, the city provides access to a local workforce of 400,000 people, fostering partnerships with institutions like McMaster University and Mohawk College to develop a new generation of medtech experts. Retaining their workforce was also a significant factor for Stryker, as a majority of their employees are located within a 20km radius of Hamilton, as well as Stryker’s connection with local hospitals, which is especially important when it comes to introducing new medtech products to the Canadian healthcare market. 

Recognizing the numerous advantages of investing in Hamilton, Stryker made a significant commitment to building a thriving community within the city. This included the establishment of a state-of-the-art facility designed to serve as a central hub for their business operations. By strategically basing themselves in Hamilton, Stryker aims to maximize the benefits offered by the city, solidifying their position and fostering growth in their operations.

Stryker’s connection in the city of Hamilton, exemplified by Styker’s investment, sets the stage for future healthcare companies to thrive by capitalizing on the city's skilled workforce, extensive hospital networks, research and education cluster. As a result, the number of medical device entities in the area has tripled since 2016, with Stryker’s investment laying the foundation for future medtech companies to flourish in the city.

In line with the commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration within the healthcare industry, ventureLAB has invested $3.3 million to expand their Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI), Canada’s only hardware and semiconductor-focused lab and incubator, to help drive forward the development and commercialization of transformative hardware medical products on a global scale. Through this initiative, ventureLAB enables local MedTech companies to leverage their services and facilities and accelerate the commercialization of their products. 

This initiative not only underscores the increasing significance of hardware and semiconductors in healthcare and life sciences but also propels economic recovery and growth by cultivating a new wave of IP-rich tech companies. The investment from Ontario showcases a dedicated commitment to bolstering medical product development in the region, while solidifying ventureLAB's position as a driving force behind healthcare and medtech advancements in Ontario, and beyond.

Andrew's vision is clear: he sees Canada as a global leader in health technology, fueled by local talent and a supportive startup ecosystem. By fostering entrepreneurship and accelerating cutting-edge advancements, Canada can position itself at the forefront of the global health technology industry, benefiting both individuals and the country as a whole.

About Hardware Catalyst Initiative

ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative is Canada’s only lab and incubator for founders building hardware and semiconductor-focused products, enabling the creation of transformative technologies that will power our products of tomorrow. Funded in part by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Hardware Catalyst helps tech companies accelerate their time to market in a sector that normally incurs lengthy entry and scale times, enabling Canadian hardware and semiconductor companies to grow and scale locally, and compete globally.

About ventureLAB

ventureLAB is a leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada. Located at the heart of Ontario’s innovation corridor in York Region, ventureLAB is part of one of the biggest and most diverse tech communities in Canada. Our initiatives focused on raising capital, talent retention, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition have enabled thousands of companies to create over 5,000 jobs and raise more than $340 million in investment capital. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada, for global markets.

Related News

Orange hexagon graphic.