Healthcare Innovation Acceleration Plan (HIAP)

The Healthcare Innovation Acceleration Plan (HIAP) serves as a strategic roadmap to encourage healthcare innovation.

By fostering collaboration among Waterloo Region's accelerators, incubators, academic institutions, and community healthcare organizations, the HIAP strives to implement a community-centred approach to advance innovation of healthcare technologies.

The innovation journey consists of four stages: ideation, incubation, start-up and scale-up.

We focus on the ideation phase to validate ideas and act as a concierge to expedite the development and growth of innovators across the healthcare continuum.


Waterloo MedTech: Fueling Innovation Through Education

We guide innovators and entrepreneurs through the complexities of the healthcare landscape, while also helping clinicians enhance their understanding of technology and its integration into healthcare practices.

Become part of an ecosystem of healthcare visionaries.

Our Guiding Principles

  • Communication
  • to promote innovation in community healthcare and enhance our robust ecosystem

  • Cooperation
  • amongst the Region's hospitals, healthcare clinicians, incubators, accelerators, and other supporting organizations

  • Collaboration
  • between stakeholders in the ecosystem to foster innovation and acceleration of healthcare solutions


The Waterloo MedTech founders and directors are an impressive team celebrated for their extensive leadership and experience in both industry and community healthcare endeavours.

They possess a deep-seated commitment to innovation, health technology, and entrepreneurship.


Don Cowan

International multi-award winning scientist and researcher; Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Director of the Computer Systems Group, and Founding Chairman of the Computer Science Department at the University of Waterloo.


Shirley Fenton

30+ years experience in business development, information technology, and health IT; VP, National Institutes of Health Informatics; Research Associate, Computer Systems Group, University of Waterloo


Garry Bezruki

Former CIO for the City of Waterloo; recognized leader in IT with 30+ years diverse experience; start-up mentor and executive advisor for Smart Cities / Smart Government.


Mark Whaley

Co-founder of multiple successful start-ups nationally and internationally; Mark's community leadership led the transformation of Waterloo into an intelligent city globally.


Brian Vartian

7+ years as a physician; a strong advocate for the adoption of innovation within the healthcare ecosystem; former family medicine practitioner; currently Chief of Anesthesia at Groves Memorial Community Hospital.


Laurie Lafleur

20+ years of experience in MedTech and Health Informatics innovation; leader and mentor in health IT design, development, and commercialization; guides digital transformation strategies for healthcare organizations nationally and internationally.


Stef Dietrich

20+ years experience building strong brands and go-to-market strategies for healthcare start-up, scale-up and established medical device and information technology organizations including successful Waterloo companies, Mitra Imaging and Client Outlook.


Christie Eby

20+ years of experience in the Medical Devices industry in Canada, with a focus on Quality & Regulatory, process excellence and digital transformation. A senior manager in 2 successful MedTech startups in Waterloo, Client Outlook and Intellijoint Surgical, with early career at Mitra Imaging.

Have a question? Contact us today.

Waterloo MedTech