We support founders leveraging biomanufacturing and bioengineering in accelerating their commercialization potential and contribute to building Canada’s bioeconomy in sectors such as biopharma, agri-food, clean technologies and biomaterials. Guided by our core values, we work with startups that incorporate environmental, social and corporate governance propositions.
What You Gain
1:1 Objectives-Based Coaching
Experienced coaches and advisors guide you to reach your milestones, whether it’s honing your pitch to secure funding, increasing sales, expanding to international markets, recruiting the right talent, and much more.
Tailored Just-in-Time Learning
Participate in bio and industry-specific workshops and the best-in-class training to acquire the competencies necessary to succeed at all stages of your journey.
Community & Access to State of the Art Labs and Workspace
Build your network and develop strategic collaborations with local and global experts in biopharma, agri-food, clean technologies and biomaterials sectors from academia and industry and the investor community. Access to the state-of-the-art biohub laboratory and the Concordia Genome Foundry.
Access to the Biohub lab is the game changer that we need to
commercialize important applications like antibody testing for
infectious diseases and other urgent challenges facing our society.”
Ludovic Live, Ph.D, Affinité Instruments
Launch & Grow
Access to Biohub Lab
Dedicated to District 3 founders, the BioHub provides state-of-the-art dry and wet laboratories and co-working space to help you develop successful products based on scientific discoveries and ideas.
Lab Benches and Technical Equipment including:
Cell Culture & Molecular Biology
General Instruments & Cold Storage
Access to the Concordia Genome Foundry
The Genome Foundry is a pioneering facility that combines cutting-edge robotics with biology, enabling scientists to execute work at significant scales and speeds.
Automated DNA assembly
Liquid handling robots & plate readers
Flow cytometry & cell sorting
Dedicated microbial & mammalian automated suites
Staff scientists to help you develop and scale your project
Our Coaches & Advisors
Biotech Stream Lead, District 3
Margaret Bywater-Ekegärd’s international experience includes new product development for human health applications of technology and agricultural biological markets. Most recently, she founded and became Executive Vice President Technology and Innovation, working in a high-level team to build a high-growth company in the agricultural sector. She’s a co-founder and member of the board of directors at Morphocell Technologies, as well as involved in establishing Bioponix Agriculture Corp.
Senior Coach, Healthcare Stream Lead
With a wealth of international experience in taking ideas to market—always at the dynamic intersection of where entrepreneurship and experiential learning meet—Edna Chosack, M.Sc., MBA, is the Healthcare Stream lead and Senior Coach at District 3.
As the co-founder and VP, Strategic Marketing at Simbionix Inc., Edna co-built the company into an international surgical-simulation leader, becoming internationally recognized as one of a few experts who leverage medical-simulation experiential learning into business success stories. 3D Systems acquired the company for $120M USD.
In Montreal, she established and served as Director of CAE’s surgical-simulation business line. She was a member of the advisory committee at McGill University’s Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning. She held her consultancy services for private internationals in the US, Europe & China, as well as for Canadian customers such as the Canadian National Research Council.
Innovation Enabler, Concordia for now
Xavier-Henri Hervé has a 25 years track record for transforming strategic plans for innovations into business on an international scale. An engineer, Hervé leverages 20 years of experience in several technologies and engineering intensive domains such as aviation, information systems, simulation, and green tech, at Mechtronix, Oracle Corporation, CAE Electronics and Bombardier. Hervé enjoys a worldwide network built in over fifty countries. In 2011, Hervé was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Concordia University’s Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science. He holds an MBA from INSEAD, as well as a bachelor of engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from Concordia University.
Laboratory Technician, District 3 Biohub
With over 10 years of combined experience in scientific research and clinical pathology laboratories, Gleice has extensive expertise in “in vitro” antimicrobial combinations against multidrug-resistant bacterias. Her work has contributed to several publications and the development of methodologies in this field.
Chief Scientific Officer
Vincent Martin is an Associate Professor in Microbiology in the Department of Biology at Concordia University and holds the Canada Research Chair in Microbial Genomics and Engineering. He obtained a B.Sc. in Microbiology from McGill University (1989), an M.Sc. in Environmental Biology from the University of Guelph (1993) and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of British Columbia (1999) under the supervision of Dr. Bill Mohn, where he elucidated the metabolic pathway for plant diterpene biodegradation in Pseudomonas. His post-doctoral studies were performed with Dr. Jay Keasling at the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, where he engineered E. coli for over-production of isoprenoids. In 2003, he joined the Physical Biosciences Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The same year, with help from a $43 million grant from the Gates Foundation, he co-founded Amyris Biotechnologies where he currently serves as a scientific advisor.
In 2004, he joined Concordia University as an Assistant Professor, Vincent Martin’s interests are focused on the metabolic engineering of microbes for the degradation of plant biomass and the production of commodity and high value chemicals. He is the project co-leader for a recently funded $13.6 million Genome Canada grant aimed at the commercial production of high-value plant metabolites in microbial fermentation systems. Vincent Martin is also the fermentation theme leader for the AAFC Cellulosic Biofuels and the NSERC Bioconversion Networks. He currently serves on the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Microbiology, Bioengineered Bugs and the Water, Air and Soil Pollution journal.
Life Sciences Fellow & Biohub Manager, District 3
Mahzad Sharifahmadian is the Life Sciences Fellow and Biohub Manager at District 3. She empowers life sciences researchers to bring their research to market, and has built a network of research experts for collaboration and co-creation to solve societal and industry challenges.
She holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine from Université de Montréal, with expertise and publications on the design and development of novel drugs for antibiotic-resistant infections. While finishing her Ph.D., she co-founded Rubisco, a biotech company offering point-of-care diagnosis of pathogens (dissolved in 2018).
Early-stage scientific entrepreneurs and startups leveraging bioengineering and bio-manufacturing to accelerate their commercialization potential in biopharma, agri-food, clean and sustainable technologies and biomaterials.
Currently, programs are taking place virtually.
We accept startups on a rolling admissions basis throughout the year. Note that it may take up to 2 weeks after you submitted an application for us to respond. We will notify you whether your application has been accepted or rejected.
Programs vary from 3 months to 24 months.