Neurological and mental health disorders can be debilitating conditions that severely limit one’s quality of life and that of their family. Understanding, diagnosing, and treating these conditions are extremely complex challenges that require attention and collaboration across traditional disciplinary divides. Neuro Nexus is a Calgary-based, Spring 2019 multidisciplinary design competition that aims to: Bridge gaps between disciplines, accelerate research, and improve the translation of new ideas to impact.
How it works:
Projects are invited from neuroscientists, clinicians, and mental health professionals. 120-150 participants, from a multitude of backgrounds, will then come together in teams of 5-7 individuals to work on the projects proposed over a period of 6 weeks. The program will culminate in a 72-hour hackathon weekend where access to prototyping resources are provided, and at Demo Night teams will showcase their projects to the community at large.
22 challenges are being addressed by teams in the program:
Monday, May 13 12:00 - 4:00 pm
New Central Library, Calgary
Come meet the teams behind hardware and software projects that are making a difference in neuro space, and vote for the one that stands out to you!
Karen is a dedicated community leader and advocate focused on building partnerships that advance systemic changes in mental health and addiction. Currently, she is the Calgary community representative for the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative. She has held a number of community leadership roles in art, education, and mental health and addiction services.
In addition, she has been a member of the Canadian Women’s Foundation and, since 2013, she has volunteered with family members affected by substance use and concurrent disorders. She is currently completing her addiction studies certificate at Mount Royal University and has three children named John, Carter and Isla.
Neuraura has developed a novel wireless brain monitoring device, and hopes to leverage this ground-breaking technology to understand the brain and one day improve the life of the billions of people affected by neurological disorders.
Colin and his co-founder, Pierre Wijdenes, developed this technology at the University of Calgary, and have translated it into spin out company Neuraura. In the past year Neuraura won the TENET i2c competition, graduated from the first CDL Rockies cohort, raised capital, competed in the Falling Walls Conference in Berlin and last week won the Alex Raczenko Pitch Award at AccelerateAB.
Danielle completed her BSc in Engineering Physics at Queen’s University, and for the two years following she worked at a small consulting firm in Calgary. This experience sparked her interest in entrepreneurial thinking, and as a result she returned to university to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering to pursue her interest in applying engineering principles to solve challenges faced in the medical sector.
Danielle has been actively involved in the entrepreneurial community at the University of Calgary and fostering collaboration between faculties. In 2017 she co-founded and directed Innovation 4 Health, a student led initiative focused on connecting aspiring innovators with real-world challenges in the healthcare sector and facilitating the design of solutions for these challenges.
MANDATORY Program submissions
Neuro Nexus wants you to get the most out of the 2019 program, and have therefore designed Program Milestones to help you gauge your progress.
Some milestones are considered Mandatory Components, which include aspects related to safety, team communication, and planning lab time ahead. In addition to this, we’ve also provided recommended Development Reports, which are completely optional, but designed to help you make the most out of the competition. Additionally, Completion of Mandatory Components (on time) and the recommended Development Reports also counts towards points for consideration of awards - so take advantage of locking in these participation points!
Week 0 (March 28)
Week 3 (April 19)
week 6 (May 10)
Attend the Health Hack Weekend and Demo Day
NEW! Demo Day Essentials
DEVELOPMENT REPORTS (competitive program submissions)
Week 3 (April 19)
Week 5 (May 3)
BECOME A MENTOR
Technical and business mentors are critical to the success of projects by providing advice and insight to the teams.
Needed areas of expertise include: Computer science/software development, data science/machine learning, engineering (electrical, chemical, mechanical) and design, medical devices, business in healthcare, Intellectual property, neuroscience, medicine, entrepreneurship.
Mentors that sign up below are added to our program’s internal mentorship roster. Teams will then use this roster to reach out to you with questions or to ask for feedback, either in person or over the phone.
Interested in partnering with us? Check out our sponsorship packages or contact Kathryn at firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the dates for this program?
Neuro Nexus unfolds over 6 weeks, and consists 4 key events:
March 27 Innovator Icebreaker: A casual night of networking with fellow participants.
March 28 Pitch Day: Learn about challenges first-hand from neuroscientists, clinicians, and mental health professionals. After Pitch Day, you and your team will have 6 weeks to understand the problem, design a solution, and develop a build plan for a functional prototype.
May 10-12 Health Hack Weekend: Implement your solution within 72 hours. Access to a broad range of rapid prototyping tools will be provided.
May 13 Demo Day: Showcase your solution to the community and compete for awards.
What are the eligibility criteria for innovators?
Neuro Nexus is a multidisciplinary hackathon open to anyone studying at, or that holds a certification from, a post-secondary education institution.
If you were trained in neuroscience, nursing/medicine, psychology: your experience in the lab, clinic, or community will help shape the critical early stages of design to ensure relevance to the biological problem or human health impact.
If you hail from an engineering or hard science background: your programming, app development, electronics design, 3D printing, and mathematical modelling skills will be most relevant to the challenges posed.
I’m unavailable for some of the key events of the program. Can I still participate as an Innovator?
Absolutely! We recognize that our participants will have different schedules. Missing an event, or a day of the Health Hack Weekend should not disrupt your experience too badly so long as you coordinate with your team.
An exception to this rule is Pitch Day. We strongly recommend that you make every effort to attend this as it’s when you’ll learn about challenges and form a team. Being able to meet with the prospective team members will help you get the most out of the program. If you cannot attend Pitch Day, however, we’ll add you to a ‘Free Agents’ list, so that smaller/underskilled teams that form can recruit you in the first week of the program.