DementiaHack Toronto 2015






47 million people live with dementia worldwide – 750,000 in Canada alone – with global numbers expected to reach 75 million by 2030. Much effort goes towards the search for a cure that may be decades away, but millions today face overwhelming, heartbreaking challenges daily. The point of DementiaHack is to create products that improve lives today.


Saturday November 7 to Monday November 9, 2015

George Brown College Waterfront Campus | 51 Dockside Dr, Toronto, ON

Press? Please contact [email protected]




See more PHOTOS and VIDEOS of DementiaHack Toronto 2015. Press? Please contact [email protected].






Grand Prize & Facebook Prize

Grand Prize Winner: MABLE

Facebook Prize Winner: TakeMeHome


Challenge Set #1: Diagnosed Individual

Winner: TakeMeHome

Runner-Up: VideoVisitMe


Challenge Set #2: Family Caregiver

Winner: DementiaTalk

Runner-Up: Beaconators


Challenge Set #3: Institutional Caregiver/Clinician

Winner: I Am Not My Disease

Runner-Up: Open MD


Challenge Set #4: Scientist/Researcher

Winner: MABLE

Runner-Up: Spindle



$175,000+ IN PRIZES



Grand Prize

  • UK business trip to demo at UKHealthTech conference (Nov 28-Dec 4, 2015)
  • Ontario Brain Institute pitch opportunities

Meals with:

  • TechCrunch Editor John Biggs
  • OMERS Ventures CEO John Ruffolo
  • UK Science & Innovation Officer John Preece

*Note: the Grand Prize is an additional award bestowed upon one of the Challenge Set winning teams



Facebook Prize

  • trip to Silicon Valley to tour Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Oculus HQs
  • 5 hr of design and communication consulting from Facebook Creative Shop
  • $10,000 of Facebook advertising credits
  • lunch with Facebook Canada Managing Director Jordan Banks


Trophy, yo

Challenge Set Winners (x4)

  • $5000 cash
  • 40 hr social media strategy (Sid Lee)
  • 10 hr legal services (Goodmans) [1]
  • 2 hr of design and communication consulting from Facebook Creative Shop
  • 2 workshops with OMERS Ventures: getting to product/market fit and fundraising
  • automatic admission into the MaRS Health Venture Services Program

Meetings with:

  • Baycrest procurement leads
  • industry partners
  • Daniel Klass of VC firm Klass Capital

[1] Always read the fine print! Legal consultation (i) is subject to law society professional rules (including clearance of conflicts and client identification) and (ii) includes the lawyer’s time but not any third party expenses that may be incurred in, for example, setting up a business.


Medal, homeslice

Challenge Set Runners-Up (x4)

  • $2500 cash
  • 40 hr social media strategy (Sid Lee)
  • 2 hr legal services (Goodmans) [1]
  • meetings with industry partners
  • automatic interview for the MaRS Health Venture Services Program

[1] Always read the fine print! Legal consultation (i) is subject to law society professional rules (including clearance of conflicts and client identification) and (ii) includes the lawyer’s time but not any third party expenses that may be incurred in, for example, setting up a business.


[email protected]




DementiaHack is presented by:



Supported by:





Hosted by:



Produced by:




Platinum Challenge Set Champions:





Gold Industry Champions:











Media Partners:





Special thanks to:








John Biggs


East Coast Editor



Jordan Banks


Managing Director




Ben Zifkin


Chief Executive Officer



Dr. Zahra Moussavi


Director, Biomedical Engineering

University of Manitoba



John Ruffolo


Chief Executive Officer

OMERS Ventures


Bianca Stern


Executive Director, Innovation, Arts & Design




Phyllis Fehr


Board Member

Ontario Dementia Advisory Group


Robin Toop


Chief Technology Officer







‘Dementia’ describes the various neurodegenerative conditions characterized by reduced cognitive function and memory loss. Today, no treatment exists to cure or stop it.

The World Health Organization estimates that 47+ million people live with dementia worldwide[1] (over 750,000 in Canada[2]), a number that is expected to increase to 75+ million by 2030. This poses a serious threat to the world’s economies as the funds needed to care for the growing population of those with dementia reaches epic proportions.

Significant effort and funding goes towards the search for a cure, but that may take years, even decades, to come to fruition. Dementia can be overwhelming; not only for those diagnosed, but also their families and caregivers.

Today, millions of our rapidly aging populations and their loved ones face staggering, often heartbreaking challenges in their daily lives with dementia.

Our focus, however, isn’t pity: it’s practicality. We partnered with some of the world’s leading dementia experts[3] to distil relevant challenge sets to guide participants towards the most impactful outcomes. These are ordered by beneficiary to clearly answer the question: “Who am I helping?” – and will be featured in the most perfect environment for demonstrably effective innovations to emerge: DementiaHack.

Our mission isn’t just to raise awareness, it’s to enable the development of life-improving products that’ll make the world a little lighter for those affected by dementia — today.

[1]   [2]   [3] Created in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Alzheimer’s Societies of Canada, Ontario and Toronto; Mount Sinai Hospital and its Cyril & Dorothy, Joel & Jill Reitman Centre for Alzheimer’s Support and Training; the Heart and Stroke Foundation; the University of Waterloo and its Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program; the University of Toronto and its Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases; and Baycrest Health Sciences and its Centre for Geriatric Care.




These are some of the most common and endemic challenges faced; solve them and you’ll improve millions of lives. That said, these are suggestions, not restrictions: fit the theme, pick a beneficiary, come up with a working solution – and you’ll get to demo.

Diagnosed individuals need help with:

  • Cueing everyday tasks in a simple and sequential order
  • Emergency broadcast alerting and notification systems for things like falls, extreme temperature changes, etc.
  • Multisensory and cognitive brain stimulation and training to help keep people alert and perhaps active in the workforce longer

Family caregivers need help with:

  • Easy management of knowledge and data reporting to healthcare professionals
  • Emergency alerting and notification systems within the household (e.g. notification when appliance is turned on, a shower runs for over an hour, etc.)
  • Understanding where the person they’re caring for falls in the acute vs. chronic spectrum of dementia, what to expect, and finding support/best practices/coping strategies on how to manage

Institutional caregivers/clinicians need help with:

  • Keeping up-to-date with the medication dispensing history/program in a multiple-caregiver-multiple-patient setting
  • Tracking and monitoring movement of patients within a healthcare facility
  • Safely and comfortably preventing bedsores

Scientists/researchers (Big Data) need help with:

  • Collecting and having access to ‘real-life’ cognitive and memory processing data
  • Connecting to patients, family and institutional caregivers within the broader community
  • Finding participants for studies/trials

[email protected]

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