Launch of the Third Canada-Chicago Mentoring Program (C2MP)

dfatd_tcs_colour_enThe Consulate General of Canada in Chicago successfully partnered in 2016 with the Chicago Innovation Mentors (CIM) to provide a comprehensive mentoring program for three Canadian life science and healthcare entrepreneurs.

It is our pleasure to announce that the program has been renewed for 2017 with our new partner the province of Ontario. The Consulate will again funnel three Canadian start-ups through CIM’s mentoring program. CIM encourages innovation, catalyzes tech commercialization and creates stronger entrepreneurs through an institutionalized mentor/mentee program. CIM is unique in Chicago as it is the only organization in the region that has developed a structured mentoring program in the life sciences/healthcare sector and that it brings together so many important players under the same umbrella.

Background on CIM

  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.


  1. 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 200 mentors and mentored more than 180 venture teams, 82 of which have graduated the program. Mentors have expertise in business planning, market development, coaching, team formation, financial planning and manufacturing. As an innovation program, it is linked to some of the big-pharma  and medtech companies in territory and it is now embedded in the healthcare incubator supported by the State and private donations: MATTER. It has solidified itself as one of the premier innovation program in Chicago for life sciences and healthcare where capital providers, corporate strategics and key decision makers connect with emerging innovators. CIM@MATTER today has the reach and the reputation to attract the right people.

More information on Chicago Innovation Mentors :

Canada-Chicago Mentoring Program (C2MP)

With this renewal, the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago is continuing to raise Canada’s life sciences profile. With your help, we would like to recruit highly qualified innovative Canadian companies to take part in our third Canada-Chicago Mentoring Program. The selection of the three companies will be done by the Consulate and CIM’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 models & US strategy. The program will be in three parts:

Part 1: Orientation to the program (January 2017)

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


Part 2: Day of Acceleration (February 8, 2017)

  • Participating in a morning program organized by the Trade Commissioner Service
  • Pitching and showcasing the technology during the Chicago Innovation Mentor monthly meeting
  • Meeting potential mentors and networking with key Chicago contacts in the life sciences industry
  • Gaining insights on the characteristics of the Chicago market that can improve chances to success

Part 3: Six Month Mentoring Program (Mid-February to Mid-August 2017)

  • Being matched with a team of 3 to 5 mentors (companies will be assigned a lead mentor)
  • Engaging the team of mentors to analyze and refine business plans.
  • Getting access for free to MATTER, Chicago’s top tier healthcare incubator, its workspace, its network and all of its educational programing


  1. Part of the mentoring will be done virtually (emails, conference calls, videoconferences)
  2. In addition to the first meeting planned for February 8, the Consulate will push for one meeting a month: 4 meetings will be done by conference call or videoconference and 2 will be face-to-face with the mentoring team (we encourage companies to come to market once a month if possible, but applicants need to commit to at least 2 face-to-face meetings).

Targeted sub-sectors for the program

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Health IT
  • Medical Devices

Company criteria for acceptance

  • Canadian small enterprise with a potential for high growth
  • Proprietary technology
  • A business plan
  • Initial traction in the marketplace
  • 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 three times to meet with the mentoring team

Next steps

We have identified different levels of engagement for your consideration.

  1. Assistance in sharing this opportunity and/or identifying qualified Canadian companies that could benefit from this program


  1. Participation in the day of acceleration on February 8, 2017

For more information please contact Chantal Glass or Alexis Roy:  Alexis Roy, Consul and Investment & Innovation Program Manager ( or 312-327-3631) or Chantal Glass, Trade Commissioner ( or 312-327-33626).