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Accelerator Centre and Grand River Hospital Collaborate to Drive the Development and Adoption of Canadian-Made Health Innovation

The Accelerator Centre (AC) and Grand River Hospital (GRH) are pleased to announce the launch of a new, collaborative program aimed at improving patient care, and helping Canadian-made medical solutions test and enhance their technologies in partnership with the health system.

July 6, 2021

The SYNAPSE Program is now known as the PLEXUS Medtech Program.  Learn more:

July 6, 2021 — Waterloo, Ontario — The Accelerator Centre (AC) and Grand River Hospital (GRH) are pleased to announce the launch of a new, collaborative program aimed at improving patient care, and helping Canadian-made medical solutions test and enhance their technologies in partnership with the health system. 

The new initiative, called the Synapse Program, will support companies who are ready to scale, meaning those who have solutions that have been successfully adopted in a medical environment, as well as those who are near-scale and require additional support of the innovation community in their final push to get their solutions into the Canadian market. This partnership will also help to ensure that new technologies and solutions to enhance patient care are supported to benefit local patients sooner.

The program will combine the expertise of the hospital’s Office of Innovation and Research with the AC’s deep startup support system to provide researchers and clinicians the opportunity to work with entrepreneurs on ground-breaking studies that advance exceptional care, with the ultimate goal of connecting high-potential startups into the federally funded CAN Health Network’s innovative procurement program. 

Entrepreneurs within the program will work the AC and GRH on a customized, short-term roadmap to build their team, navigate regulatory requirements, and prepare for consideration as a CAN Health Network project where they will gain access to staff, data, clinicians, and other resources through 3-12 month pilot projects. Startups can then move into CAN Health’s innovative procurement processes with the health system to get innovative solutions adopted into the health system faster and support startups as they scale their company across Canada and globally. 

“Med tech and health tech companies face a number of unique barriers to success, many of which are tied to connections and access to the talent and data from the industry itself,” says AC CEO, Jay Krishnan. 

In neuroscience, a synapse is the space between neurons that carries electrical impulses from one area of the brain to another. In a post pandemic new normal, we, at the AC are excited in taking a similar role in helping founders navigate challenges and bridging that space to get connected with a marquee healthcare provider like GRH. We’re excited to launch Synapse with Grand River Hospital. Together we hope to deliver top notch Canadian-born innovation to our health system.”

Grand River Hospital is thrilled to partner with the Accelerator Centre for the Synapse Program and its innovative approach to med tech procurement,” says Ron Gagnon, GRH President and CEO. “The AC is a world class startup accelerator and GRH is a steadfast test site for products and projects that can greatly transform health care delivery for our patients of today and tomorrow.”

About the Accelerator Centre

The Accelerator Centre (AC) is an award-winning startup accelerator dedicated to building and scaling globally competitive companies. The AC is ranked the #1 private business accelerator in Canada and is among the top 5 such organizations in the world due to their reputation for meaningful, one-to-one mentorship and helping entrepreneurs go from the idea stage to high-growth enterprises.

The AC has worked with over 650 startups, including Ontario’s most successful medtech and healthtech companies such as Intellijoint, Nicoya LifesciencesNERv TechnologyCloud DxCuriato, and Kenota Health

About Grand River Hospital

Grand River Hospital (GRH) is one of Ontario’s largest community hospitals and provides innovative, quality care to more than 840,000 residents of Waterloo Region and Guelph Wellington. GRH is a leading healthcare organization, offering cancer and renal (kidney) services; care for the most seriously ill and injured adults; services for mothers, newborns and children; emergency care; mental health and addictions; and care for older adults including rehabilitation. The Hospital is privileged to be a key partner in health sciences learning and has a rapidly growing role in teaching, innovation and research through the Office of Innovation & Research which has partnered with over 50 organizations on more than 150 innovation and research activities since 2011. 


Tabatha Laverty

Director, Marketing and Communications

Accelerator Centre

[email protected]

Cheryl Evans

Manager, Communications and Engagement

Grand River Hospital

[email protected]