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Angels Den: A Night of I​nnovations

Margret Lo, Student Reporter

Angels Den.JPG 

(photo courtesy of St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation)


On November 21, I was given the opportunity to attend Angels Den, an event sponsored by St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation and held at Koerner Hall. This exciting event showcased eight pairs of doctors, all who developed innovations that focused on either a social or biomedical issue. Each pair of researchers had prepared a four-minute pitch that was delivered to a panel of jurors, which included Joe Mimran, Michael Wekerle and Michele Romanow, judges of the TV show Dragons’ Den.


Prior to the presentations, the beginning of the night focused on networking amongst healthcare professionals and sponsors. Afterwards, a variety of pitches were presented. Each pitch lasted four minutes and innovations were separated into either biomedical or social innovation. For each category, a winning pair was chosen by the judges and jurors to receive $100,000 towards their research. After all innovations were pitched, the audience was given the chance to vote for their favourite. The innovation with the most audience votes would be rewarded with $10,000.


Beginning the night were 4 pairs of scientists showcasing their social innovations. Each pair focused on very different topics, ranging from to support those suffering from concussions and stroke, to providing solutions for the delay in care for substance abusers, and even a method in minimizing the number of iron deficient pregnant women. From these four presentations, the team that won the $100,000 was Iron Moms, a team that focused on providing an app to help pregnant women with resources to increase iron intake.


In the second half, eight additional scientists were able to showcase their biomedical innovations. These pairs of scientists focused on topics like brain trauma, finding new drugs to combat our world’s growing antibiotic resistance, intensive care unit acquired weakness, and creating a tool to make tracheostomies effortless. Out of all of these inventions, the judges and jurors chose the Flu Fighters, a pair of doctors who developed a means to find drugs that would tackle the increasing issue of antibiotic resistance. Along with winning $100,000, Flu Fighters was awarded $10,000 after also being selected as the People’s Choice Award Winners.


Although two teams won the grand prizes, each team was awarded an additional $10,000 from the three judges. This event was incredibly influential and profound as it provided greater insight into current problems within our healthcare setting and how individuals are working to address them. Angels Den was truly a revolutionary experience. To stay updated on upcoming events at St. Michael’s Hospital, be sure to keep an eye on their website.