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Consortium of Entrepreneurs Join Forces to Create Startup Surrey

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Consortium of Entrepreneurs Join Forces to Create Startup Surrey

Network to build and strengthen Surrey’s business, innovation and startup communities

Surrey, B.C. (March 13, 2019) – A group of progressive entrepreneurs are working together to establish a Startup Surrey chapter to build, strengthen and support the emerging business startup community in Surrey.


Startup Surrey will be supported by an ecosystem of prominent establishments such as the Surrey Board of Trade, Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association, the Health and Technology District, Startup Canada, Startup Vancouver and SFU Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection. Startup Surrey is one of over 50 communities as part of Startup Canada.


According to the latest available City of Surrey business statistics, there are more than 17,000 businesses in Surrey, with more than 2,600 new businesses in 2017, a 21 per cent increase from 2016. (i)


“Surrey is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada and by 2041, we will surpass Vancouver as the biggest city in British Columbia (ii),” says Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. “Not only is the region growing at an accelerated rate, so are the number of businesses starting up in this city. Our goal in supporting Startup Surrey is to not only support future and existing entrepreneurs, but also to help them become one of the strongest startup communities in Canada.”


Startup Surrey will be a volunteer network of innovative business entrepreneurs with aligned interests and passions to foster collaboration, share inspirations and spark new ideas for success. Startup Surrey will host events, meetings, and facilitate initiatives that help emerging entrepreneurs learn best practices, develop skills, inspire creativity and grow their businesses.


Key founding entrepreneurs include: William Masih, CEO of Wellin5; Dogu Taskiran, CEO of Stambol Studios; Christina Chiu, CEO of Caren Care App; Sujoy Ghosh Hajra, CTO of Surrey’s NeuroTech Lab; Careesa Liu, Co-Founder of the Surrey Collaborative Outreach and Research Experience (SCORE) program; and Brett Montrose, Founder of Streamline Athletes.


“It’s great to see this group of dynamic entrepreneurs collaborate and work together to create Startup Surrey,” says Rowena Rizzotti, Vice President of Healthcare and Innovations at the Health and Technology District. “We are excited to support this new venture to expand Surrey’s business community and create infinite future opportunities in this region.”


“Surrey is a vibrant and dynamic region and was ranked one of the world’s “seven most intelligent cities” in 2015 and 2016 (iii),” says Elizabeth Model, CEO of the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association. “We encourage all business leaders as well as new and potential entrepreneurs to support and join this amazing network to innovate, collaborate and shape the future of Surrey’s economic development.”


Key details of Startup Surrey initiative will be finalized in the coming months. The group is encouraging all entrepreneurs and businesses in Surrey to be a part of this Startup Surrey network. Interested parties can visit to become involved.



Media contact: Yvonne Chiang,, 604-880-5090

#BCTECHSummit Expands to South Fraser’s Health and Technology District

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#BCTECHSummit Expands to South Fraser’s Health and Technology District

Vancouver & Surrey, B.C. – February 22, 2019 – For the first time, #BCTECHSummit is expanding its popular technology forum from Vancouver out into the Fraser Valley, representing the rapidly emerging tech sector across other parts of B.C.

Recognized as Western Canada’s largest annual innovation event, #BCTECHSummit will complement its three-day Vancouver technology conference with a networking event hosted by the Health and Technology District in Surrey. The 2019 #BCTECHSummit will explore how we use emerging technologies – from AI to Robotics, Quantum to Cleantech, Blockchain to AR/VR – to solve the biggest challenges facing BC and the world today.

Surrey’s Tech@NIGHT at the Health and Technology District is an after-hours mixed-reality networking experience focused on entrepreneurs, innovators and techies from B.C.’s extended innovation ecosystem. The evening event will feature mixed-reality entertainment featuring LED robots, VR artists, and more. The District features leading-edge technology based companies like Safe Software, Conquer Experience, Stambol Studios, HealthTech Connex, just to name a few.

Surrey’s Tech@NIGHT at the Health and Technology District is supported by Accenture, the Surrey Board of Trade, the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association, and Colliers International Canada.

Complimentary bus transportation to and from the Surrey Tech@NIGHT event will be provided from the #BCTECHSummit Vancouver event.


Tomica Divic, VP of Operations at Innovate BC:
“It was a strategic decision to expand the #BCTECHSummit outside of Vancouver, in order to showcase all the Innovation and Technology developments underway across all of B.C. and in particular, some significant developments underway in Surrey. We also felt that attendees would be interested in new events and experiences at this year’s Summit.”

Elizabeth Model, CEO of the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association:
“Surrey’s Downtown core is an economic driver for the City and the growth and expansion of this region is making it very attractive for businesses to move to the area. The Health and Technology District takes an incredible leadership role in our City through their unique partnerships with local, national and international organizations to place Surrey and South of the Fraser first and foremost in people’s minds. We are very pleased to work collaboratively with key partners on this #BCTECHSummit Surrey event.”

Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade:
“Surrey is where business happens through its innovation and entrepreneurship. Surrey will be the largest city in B.C. very soon. The Surrey Board of Trade is proud to work together with Surrey’s Health and Technology District in supporting the #BCTECHSummit’s first South Fraser networking event in Surrey.”

Rowena Rizzotti, Vice President of Healthcare and Innovations at the Health and Technology District:
“The Health and Technology District is a hub where we bring together the most innovative companies with like-minded entrepreneurs, scientists, universities, global leading partners, multinational companies as well as new start ups to collaborate on technologies that will advance the emerging technology industry in British Columbia. We are excited to host this #BCTECHSummit Tech@NIGHT event to gather, network and share ideas with edge-thinking individuals from the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley.”

Event Details:

Surrey Tech@NIGHT – Hosted by the Health and Technology District
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
City Centre 2 – Main Floor
9639 – 137A Street, Surrey

About #BCTECHSummit:
Hosted by the B.C. Government and Innovate BC, the #BCTECHSummit is Western Canada’s largest annual innovation event. The #BCTECHSummit showcases B.C.’s vibrant technology industry, builds cross-sector and cross-border opportunities for businesses and explores the latest ideas and innovations solving challenges and fueling the global economy. Every year, the #BCTECHSummit brings together technology leaders, industry executives, investors, senior government officials, researchers and students to connect and share insights, experiences and opportunities.

About the Health and Technology District:
The Health and Technology District is one of B.C.’s most rapidly growing and dynamic new health-tech sectors located in Surrey’s emerging innovation ecosystem. It has a unique advantage being ideally located directly across from Surrey Memorial Hospital, one of Canada’s busiest hospitals. The District is where a collaborative cluster of multinational and start-up companies, international partners, clinical and research facilities, scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs, work together in partnership to accelerate the implementation of technologies and solutions towards health care impacts and improvements.


Media contact: Yvonne Chiang,, 604-880-5090

Brain Vital Signs Capture Undetected Physiological Impairments in Young Ice Hockey Players Diagnosed with Concussions

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New concussion study shows existing tests may not be detecting brain function changes in young ice hockey players

British Columbia, Canada (January 16, 2019) – A team of Canadian and U.S. brain researchers have published results from a multi-year hockey concussion study, which tracked the brain function of young Junior A male ice hockey players using a new brainwave monitoring method called “brain vital signs.”

The peer-reviewed study is published online, and will be featured as an “Editor’s Choice” in the February issue of Brain: A Journal of Neurology (, published by the Oxford University Press.

The study showed that “brain vital signs” – a breakthrough for analyzing complex brainwave data to provide a simple, practical and objective physiological evaluation of brain function – is more sensitive in detecting brain function changes related to concussion than existing clinical tests for concussion. Brain vital signs translates complex brain waves from portable electroencephalography (EEG) – measurable at the rinkside – into fast, user-friendly and intuitive results.

Study’s findings:

The research team found that brain vital signs detected neurophysiological impairments, such as attention and cognitive processing deficits, in players who had been diagnosed with concussions and were cleared for return-to-play. Surprisingly, the team also found significant delays in cognitive processing for players whom were not diagnosed with concussions at any time during the season (sub-concussive effects).

This work emerged from an on-going Canada-U.S. collaboration between neuroscientists operating out of the Health and Technology District in Surrey, British Columbia, a science and innovation community, together with Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center in Rochester, Minnesota. Through a consortium of initiatives and technologies known as BrainNET, the Health and Technology District has designed a clinical-academic-innovation network dedicated to bringing advances in neuro-technologies to individual improvements in brain health.

Dr. Ryan D’Arcy, the Health and Technology District’s co-founder, SFU professor and the study’s senior author, describes the study as an important step forward in concussion evaluation and treatment management.

“Sports-related concussion is a major topic of discussion amongst scientists, clinicians, the medical community, the sports industry and various governmental agencies. There is growing concern that concussions may be associated with an increased risk of persistent cognitive and mental health impairments later in life,” says Dr. D’Arcy.

D’Arcy points out that despite dozens of clinical studies examining sports-related concussions, there remains a major gap in terms of objective, physiological measures of brain function that can be easily deployed and readily used at point-of-care.

According to Shaun Fickling, the study’s lead author and a Ph.D. student at SFU, “What’s even more surprising is that not only did we find undetected physiological impairments in players diagnosed with concussions who were cleared to play, we also found that players who were not diagnosed with concussions showed decreased cognitive processing speed post season – thought to be the result of repetitive ‘sub-concussive impacts.’”

Dr. Aynsley Smith, Ph.D., sport and exercise psychologist and concussion investigator at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine, adds:  “Mayo Clinic has been on the forefront of research into the prevention, diagnosis and management of concussion in ice hockey. We recognized the need to move beyond subjective concussion diagnoses that relied on questions — that players could deny or exaggerate — to more objective measurements. This is why we were pleased to collaborate in this study.”

Dr. Michael Stuart, M.D., professor of orthopedic surgery and the co-director of Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine, further explains, “Concussion in sports, especially in ice hockey, is a global public health issue with an estimated 1.6 million to 3.8 million sport-related concussions occurring per year in the United States alone. There is a growing urgency to develop practical approaches that use objective, physiological measures, which are also rapidly and easily deployable in sport and clinical settings so medical staff can better diagnose and treat concussions.”

About the study:

The research team monitored and tracked 47 Tier III, Junior A, male ice hockey players over two seasons, and divided the players into two groups: players who were diagnosed with concussions and players who were not. They used brain vital signs to conduct assessments at baseline, post-injury, return-to-play, and post-season time points.

In contrast to conventional, lengthy and cumbersome EEG methods that generate event-related potentials (ERPs), brain vital signs extracts these physiological measurements in less than 10 minutes and is easily and fully deployable within a variety of sporting and clinical settings.

The brain vital signs framework measured three core, well-established ERP brain responses: the N100 for auditory sensation; the P300 for basic attention; and the N400 for cognitive processing. The amplitudes and latencies for all three responses are converted to standardized scores through normative transformation to produce a total of six brain vital signs measurements.


  • Concussion resulted in significantly increased amplitude and delayed latency scores for all six brain vital signs metrics (p < 0.0001). Players who were diagnosed with concussions showed significant changes in all six brain vital signs scores, relative to their baseline assessments.
  • A major finding was that players who had been cleared to return to play after their concussions (according to standard protocols) still showed impairments in the measure of basic attention. This shows that the current protocols are not sensitive enough to detect the subtle changes in brain function occurring after injury.
  • The researchers also found changes occurring over the duration of the season in the group of players who were not diagnosed with concussions, raising further concerns around the emerging concept of “sub-concussive” impacts. Importantly, these “sub-concussive” impacts were associated with the players showing specific and significant delays in cognitive processing speed.


Financial support was provided by Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems (MITACS, Grant #IT03240), Natural Sciences and Engineering Council Canada (NSERC), and Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) for this study. The research study was designed and carried out by the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Ice Hockey Research team, partially funded by USA Hockey and the Johannson-Gund Endowment.

About Brain: A Journal of Neurology:

Brain: A Journal of Neurology has published landmark papers in clinical neurology and translational neuroscience since 1878. The journal provides researchers and clinicians with the finest original contributions in neurology. Leading studies in neurological science are balanced with practical clinical articles. Its citation rating is one of the highest for neurology journals, and it consistently publishes papers that become classics in the field. Brain is published by Oxford University Press.

About Simon Fraser University (SFU):

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded more than 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is Canada’s leading comprehensive research university and is ranked one of the top universities in the world. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 150,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.

About Health and Technology District’s BrainNET:

BrainNET is a consortium of initiatives and technologies transforming brain health.  Emerging from the Health and Technology District in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, the network collaborates with distinguished and recognized partners like education institutions such as Simon Fraser University, leading industry associations, technology innovation centers, healthcare support systems, research labs, and multiple centres of excellence.

Media contact:

Yvonne Chiang –

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