Entrepreneurship for Cardiovascular Health Opportunities

What is ECHO?

Entrepreneurship for Cardiovascular Health Opportunities (ECHO) is a specialized experiential training program led by veteran entrepreneurs and consultants across a variety of sectors. ECHO provides innovators of cardiovascular technologies with entrepreneurship training, mentorship, networking, and funding opportunities.

To reach teams across Canada, ECHO is a fully virtual program.

ECHO 2022-2023 competition 

Opening summer 2022


Ventures accepted into ECHO are required to:

  • Participate in each online program module for 12 months beginning October 2021
  • Attend a minimum of 80% of all virtual workshops and seminars
  • Become an H2i member and engage with H2i mentors
  • Participate in ECHO PITCH 2022, a final pitch competition, for the opportunity to win start-up funding


Any Canadian-based clinician, researcher, student and/or entrepreneur developing advanced cardiovascular technologies and innovations is eligible to apply. This is an ideal opportunity for researchers, postdoctoral fellows, clinical trainees and graduate students who are self-starters and want to refine their career path in a knowledge-based economy while retaining the opportunity to work in an innovation-based environment.

Program Overview

ECHO is a specialized experiential training program whose main objectives are to:

  • Provide entrepreneurship training, mentorship, networking and funding opportunities for early ventures in the cardiovascular health sector
  • Aid in transferring research innovations and intellectual property from academic and hospital institutions into the economy
  • Create more start-ups in the cardiovascular health sector

Founded in 2018, this 12-month online training program is led by high-calibre entrepreneurial industry, policy, regulatory and clinical experts. It comprises five unique complementary modules:

Module 1: Principles of Entrepreneurship
Oct-Dec 2021

The MaRS Entrepreneur’s Toolkit Workshops are a collection of experiential and hands-on workshops facilitated by veteran entrepreneurs. It targets such fundamental entrepreneurship principles as value proposition, business model, finance fundamentals, leadership, marketing and communication, sales strategy and pitching to investors.

Module 2: Health Venture Rounds
Jan-June 2022

A series of interactive workshops focused on key subjects pivotal to the success of early stage start-ups in the health sector such as market research, corporate governance, intellectual property, regulatory strategy, clinical trials, quality systems, health technology assessment, procurement, funding and government resources, and investments, and partnerships.

They are facilitated by academic, industry and government subject matter experts.

Module 3: Lessons from Leaders
Jan-June 2022

A webinar series in which successful entrepreneurs and business leaders share their experiences in commercializing technologies in the cardiovascular health sector.

Guest speakers include executives and founders of medical device, biotechnology and digital health companies.

Module 4: Community of Mentors

Successfully ranked ventures will become clients of the Health Innovation Hub (H2i) with access to: (1) H2i’s extensive network of industry, government and academic advisors; (2) peer-to-peer mentorship by start-up mentors selected from H2i’s venture portfolio; (3) professional funding; and (4) H2i events (e.g. Accelera program).

Module 5: Ignite Start-up Funding
July-Oct 2022

The program will culminate with pitch training, private pitch sessions and ECHO PITCH 2022: a public competition event, where the program ventures will have the opportunity to win start-up funding from a $250,000 pool. There will also be opportunities for follow-on funding via our partners.


The ECHO program is funded and organized in a partnership between:

Click here for frequently asked questions


For more information, contact ECHO program manager Soror Sharifpoor.