Canada-Chicago Mentoring Program (C2MP): opportunity for Canadian Life Science companies

November 4, 2016

The Consulate General of Canada in Chicago, in partnership with the Chicago Innovation Mentors (CIM), is offering the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive mentoring program to three Canadian life science and healthcare entrepreneurs.

The Consulate is seeking applications from Canadian start-ups who would like to take advantage of CIM’s mentoring program.

CIM encourages innovation, catalyzes tech commercialization and creates stronger entrepreneurs through an institutionalized mentor/mentee program.

CIM is unique in Chicago as it is the only organization in the region that has developed a structured mentoring program in the life sciences/healthcare sector and that it brings together so many important players under the same umbrella.  

About the Canada-Chicago Mentoring Program (C2MP)

The Consulate General of Canada in Chicago is recruiting innovative Canadian companies to take part in the third Canada-Chicago Mentoring Program.

The selection of the three companies will be done by the Consulate and CIM’s key mentors.

The objectives of the program are to provide strategic guidance and to gain the right tools and knowledge to penetrate this market. The program is not aimed at providing sales leads to the companies but focuses on the analysis of the Canadian companies’ business models & US strategy. The program will be in three parts:

Part 1: Orientation to the program (January 2017)

  • Participating in a webinar with the Consulate and CIM to go over the details of the mentoring program

Part 2: Day of Acceleration (February 8, 2017)

  • Participating in a morning program organized by the Trade Commissioner Service
  • Pitching and showcasing the technology during the Chicago Innovation Mentor monthly meeting
  • Meeting potential mentors and networking with key Chicago contacts in the life sciencesindustry
  • Gaining insights on the characteristics of the Chicago market that can improve chances to success

Part 3: Six Month Mentoring Program (Mid-February to Mid-August 2017)

  • Being matched with a team of 3 to 5 mentors (companies will be assigned a lead mentor)
  • Engaging the team of mentors to analyze and refine business plans.
  • Gettingaccess for free to MATTER, Chicago’s top tier healthcare incubator, its workspace, its network and all of its educational programming.


  1. Part of the mentoring will be done virtually (emails, conference calls, videoconferences)
  2. In addition to the first meeting planned for February 8, the Consulate will push for one meeting a month: 4 meetings will be done by conference call or videoconference and 2 will be face-to-face with the mentoring team (we encourage companies to come to market once a month if possible, but applicants need to commit to at least 2 face-to-face meetings).

Targeted sub-sectors for the program

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Health IT
  • Medical Devices

Company criteria for acceptance

  • Canadian small enterprise with a potential for high growth
  • Proprietary technology
  • A business plan
  • Initial traction in the marketplace
  • Looking for mentoring & be prepared for critique of business plan & strategy for market access
  • Successful in securing funds – from investors, grants, or sales to customers
  • Resources to visit the market three times to meet with the mentoring team

For further information, please contact: Alexis Roy, Consul and Investment & Innovation Program Manager ( or 312-327-3631) or Chantal Glass, Trade Commissioner ( or 312-327-33626).

Background on CIM

  1. The organization was created by five founding members: Argonne National Laboratory, Northwestern University, PROPEL, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois – all key institutions in the innovation and commercialization ecosystem of Chicago. It leverages the resources, the talent, the R&D capacity and the business acumen of each of them to deliver on their programming. Through this partnership, each member is allowed to present a certain number of start-ups (also called mentees or ventures) to be mentored over a period of 6 months.
  1. In November 2015, CIM announced that it would become part of MATTER, which is Chicago’s life sciencesand healthcare incubator. To date, CIM@MATTER has accumulated 200 mentors and mentored more than 180 venture teams, 82 of which have graduated the program. Mentors have expertise in business planning, market development, coaching, team formation, financial planning and manufacturing. As an innovation program, it is linked to some of the big-pharma  and medtech companies in territory and it is now embedded in the healthcare incubator supported by the State and private donations: MATTER. It has solidified itself as one of the premier innovation program in Chicago for life sciences and healthcare where capital providers, corporate strategics and key decision makers connect with emerging innovators. CIM@MATTER today has the reach and the reputation to attract the right people.