Call for Applications: Canada-Chicago Mentoring Program (C2MP)

The Trade Commissioner Service in partnership with the province of Ontario and the Chicago Innovation Mentors offers a tailor-made mentoring program focused on life sciences and healthcare innovators working in pharmaceuticals, health IT, and medical devices, matching experienced and supportive mentoring teams with early stage innovators.

To submit your application, please return the enclosed company profile template by November 24, 2017.

There is no cost to apply and no program cost for the selected companies to participate.  Companies must be able to support travel to Chicago 4 times during the mentoring program (on February 21st 2018 and at least 3 additional dates).

The Consulate General of Canada in Chicago with the support of the province of Ontario is partnering once again with the Chicago Innovation Mentors (CIM@MATTER   to provide a comprehensive mentoring program for FIVE Canadian life sciences and healthcare entrepreneurs.

CIM@MATTER encourages innovation, catalyzes tech commercialization and creates stronger entrepreneurs through an institutionalized mentor/mentee program. CIM@MATTER is unique in Chicago as it is the only organization in the region that has developed a structured mentoring program in the life sciences and healthcare sectors and that it brings together so many important players under the one umbrella.

Background on CIM@MATTER

  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.
  2. In November 2015, CIM announced that it would become part of MATTER, which is Chicago’s life sciences and healthcare incubator. To date, CIM@MATTER has accumulated 279 mentors and mentored more than 222 venture teams, 202 of which have graduated from the program. Mentors have expertise in business planning, market development, coaching, team formation, financial planning and manufacturing. CIM has solidified itself as one of the premier innovation programs in Chicago for life sciences and healthcare where capital providers, corporate strategics and key decision makers connect with emerging innovators.

More information on Chicago Innovation Mentors :


Canada-Chicago Mentoring Program (C2MP)

We would like to recruit highly qualified innovative Canadian companies to take part in our third Canada-Chicago Mentoring Program. The selection of the five companies will be done by the Consulate and CIM@MATTER’s key mentors. We would like to underline that 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 model & strategy. The program will be in three parts:

Part 1: Orientation to the program (January 2018)

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

Part 2: Day of Acceleration (February 21, 2018) – in Chicago at MATTER

  • Participate in a morning program organized by the Trade Commissioner Service
  • Pitch and showcase the technology during the Chicago Innovation Mentor monthly meeting
  • Meet potential mentors and network with key Chicago contacts in the life sciences/healthcare industry
  • Gain insights on the characteristics of the Chicago market that can improve chances to success

Part 3: Six Month Mentoring Program (February to August 2018) – Presence in Chicago is not required for 6 months but we require 3 in-person meetings in Chicago in addition to the Day of Acceleration during that period.

  • Be matched with a team of 3 to 5 mentors (companies will be assigned a lead mentor)
  • Engage your team of mentors to analyze and refine your business plan, your market access strategy, your elevator pitch. Be prepared to be challenged!
  • Get access 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 21st, the Consulate strongly recommends one meeting a month: 4 meetings will be in Chicago (dates to be arranged by the Canadian firm and its mentor team) and others by conference call or videoconference. Companies need to cover their travel costs to Chicago.

Targeted sub-sectors for the program: biopharma, health IT, medical devices, diagnostics and imaging

Company criteria for acceptance

  • Canadian small enterprise with a potential for high growth
  • Proprietary technology
  • A business plan
  • Initial “traction” in the marketplace (Canadian or US)
  • 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 at least three times to meet with the mentoring team
  • Able to commit at least one senior member (C-level or Founder) to take part in the virtual program and attend the four in-market meetings

Next steps

Submit your application by November 24, 2017

Contact Alexis Roy, Consul and Investment & Innovation Program Manager ( or 312-327-3631) or Chantal Glass, Trade Commissioner ( or 312-327-33626) with any questions.