Angels Den Virtual

In its sixth year, we’re taking Canada’s hottest medical research competition virtual.

COVID-19 may have interrupted life-as-normal. But at St. Michael’s Hospital, we stop at nothing. So rather than a live event, Angels Den 2020 is going virtual.

This fall, join thousands online to witness St. Michael’s all-star scientists vie for $400,000 in funding to bring their breakthrough medical idea to life.

Six teams will compete in two research categories: COVID-19 Research and Innovative Health Research.

Each team will pitch to three celebrity judges who, along with our panel of jurors, will vote on the winners.

The show – and the winning announcement – will air online in October.

For sponsorship and jury inquires please contact Alexandra Telfer at

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Watch Highlights Of Angels Den 2019

More Highlights From Last Year

Congratulations to the 2019 Award Winners



Dr. Joao Rezende-Neto

THE PROBLEM: The liver is the most frequently injured abdominal organ in trauma, yet there is no device to control bleeding without impairing the physician’s view of the liver.

THE SOLUTION: An inflatable, transparent and non-adherent liver airbag that allows surgeons to see and control bleeding, and safely remove the surgical packing.



Dr. Tony Antoniou & Dr. Jiwon Oh

THE PROBLEM: Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the world. While there are more treatment options, doctors still don’t have the tools to predict the course of the disease in an individual patient.

THE SOLUTION: An artificial intelligence (AI) tool to personalize individual patient treatments.



Dr. Mohammad Qadura

THE PROBLEM: Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – the hardening of the arteries in the legs – affects 200 million people worldwide. It can lead to amputation and even death. Yet because we lack diagnostic tools and blood tests, PAD goes undiagnosed in 75% of patients.

THE SOLUTION: A biomarker (blood-based test) to screen blood and diagnose PAD.

Angels Den Judges


Joe Mimran is a retail, fashion and business pioneer who has helped
build some of Canada’s most recognized apparel and lifestyle brands such as Joe Fresh, Club Monaco, Gry Mattr, Pink Tartan, Alfred Sung and Caban. Joe is also chairman of Gibraltar & Co., a venture capital firm, is on the board of Canopy Rivers and LXR, and through his consulting firms, JM+A and NYBS, provides design and consulting services to major retailers in the U.S. such as Kroger and Staples.

From 2015 to 2018 Joe starred as a Dragon on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den. Joe was the honorary chairman of the inaugural Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards, and the recipient of the Canadian Style Award. He has been recognized with The Design Exchange award along with his wife, Kimberley Newport-Mimran, the co-founder of Pink Tartan. Joe has recently been inducted into Canada’s
Marketing Legends Hall of Fame.

He’s been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, and The Globe and Mail. A patron of the arts, Mimran’s philanthropic activities include support of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and is a Luminaire for Luminato Arts Festival. He also supports Reena, a non-profit organization which promotes independence and community inclusion for people with developmental disabilities.


Michele Romanow is an engineer and a serial entrepreneur who started five companies before her 33rd birthday. The youngest ever entrepreneur to join CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den, Michele is the co-founder of e-commerce platforms and SnapSaves (acquired by Groupon). 

Her current venture Clearbanc has invested over $1B in over 2,500 ecommerce companies. Ranked in WXN’s “100 Most Powerful in Canada,” Michele is the only Canadian on Forbes’ “Millennial on a Mission” list. Buytopia ranked #3 on the Profit Hot 50 list of fastest growing companies and #1 on Chatelaine’s W100 list of fastest growing companies. She has won the Canadian Innovation Awards’ Angel Investor of the Year and was a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award. 

She was also recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Michele was previously the Director of Strategy for Sears. Michele received her engineering degree and MBA from Queen’s University where she received the Queen’s Tricolour. She is a director on the board of Vail Resorts, Freshii and League of Innovators.


Vinay Virmani is a graduate of Toronto’s York University, long regarded as a progressive beacon for its programs in media and the performing arts. He also studied film at New York’s prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. 

Vinay began his career as an actor in successful Canadian films such as Breakaway and Dr Cabbie. Driven by a firm belief that diversity in storytelling is the future of the entertainment industry, he formed First Take Entertainment with a mandate to create compelling content that connects people, no matter where they are in the world. 

A finalist on CBC’s Canada Reads, this creative visionary has broken social, cultural and professional barriers in what is a highly competitive space. 

As the content industry continues to evolve, so does Vinay’s vision. His latest appointment is Partner & Chief Content Officer at Uninterrupted—a portal that gives top athletes a platform to share their stories and experiences. This LeBron James and Drake-led venture also has Vinay hosting Kneading Dough – a show about financial literacy in which top athletes reveal how they’re handling the money that accompanies their superstardom.



Toronto radio fan favourite Maureen Holloway is one half of Darren and Mo, the top-rated morning show on 98.1 CHFI. She is also familiar to listeners across the country as host of the popular entertainment feature Other People’s Business. In 2018, she was given the Rosalie Award, honouring Canadian women in broadcasting who have blazed new trails. She is a vocal advocate for women’s health and social issues.

Thank You to our Sponsors

Top Prize Sponsors

People’s Choice Award Sponsor

Platinum Sponsors

Corporate Juror Sponsors

Special Thanks

Interested in learning more about our sponsorship opportunities?

About Angels Den

What began in a tiny classroom at St. Michael’s Hospital has now become the hottest health-care competition in Canada. And for the first time, Angels Den is going virtual. Witness innovation up close as six teams of world-leading scientists pitch their game-changing research to a panel of celebrity judges. At stake? $400,000 in critical funding and a chance to take home one of the top medical prizes in the country. Your vote can influence the future of health care. Don’t miss our biggest (virtual) battle yet!


Gwen Harvey, Co-Chair
Melissa Martin, Co-Chair
Nancy Abbey
Jennifer DeCaria
John McCartney
Wes McComb
James McPhedran
Brian Mills
Sherri Neldner
John Rothwell


When it comes to research, St. Michael’s Hospital is known globally. We are home to more than 1,000 researchers, scientists, technicians and students who work day in and day out to do what was once unimaginable: Personalize treatments for multiple sclerosis. Put an end to HIV. Use artificial intelligence to diagnose emergencies within minutes. Use a black box to transform surgical safety. Influence health policy for the marginalized. Change treatment protocols for kidney transplant patients. Since the coronavirus hit, our scientists have embarked on over 100 research projects whose breakthroughs will equip the world to deal with COVID-19 now – and get us ready for whatever comes next.


This year, Angels Den Virtual will see six teams of St. Michael’s star scientists vying for $400,000 in research funding for their game-changing ideas. The teams will compete in two different categories this year.

Keenan COVID-19 Research Award, presented by the Patrick & Barbara Keenan Foundation

The COVID-19 pandemic is the health-care challenge of our lifetime. There is an urgent need for tests, treatments and a vaccine, as well as tracking community transmission and caring for our most vulnerable populations, who are at high risk of infection. Thanks to our Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, St. Michael’s is home to leading experts in areas related to pandemics – including tracking, predicting, diagnosing and treating infectious diseases. They are also leaders in social innovation research, seeking ways to help our health-care system adapt to and recover from COVID. St. Michael’s hallmark is bench-to-bedside-to community translational research, and our scientists strive relentlessly to understand and defeat COVID-19. The COVID-19 research prize will be awarded to the most promising idea among them.

Odette Innovative Health Award, presented by the P & L Odette Charitable Foundation

While COVID-19 grabs the headlines and most of the international research funding, St. Michael’s all-star scientists continue to investigate other global health-care challenges. They are world leaders in many areas of cutting-edge research – multiple sclerosis, organ scarring, suicide ideation, brain injury, artificial intelligence and the devastating health effects of poverty among them. The arrival of COVID-19 has not stopped the rise in diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, opioid addiction and homelessness; therefore our outstanding researchers have not stopped in their quest to treat these chronic and devastating conditions. The Innovative Health Research prize will be awarded to the research that brings us closest to a medical breakthrough.

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