Lumira Announces the First Cohort to Join the VIP Program

Altamash Hashmi Lumira VIP

With the establishment of Lumira Ventures Fund IV, the largest life sciences focused venture fund ever raised in Canada, we launched our Lumira Ventures Venture Innovation Program (Lumira VIP).  The Lumira VIP is designed for a select and highly qualified group of Canadian students from leading academic institutions who want to gain exposure to life sciences venture capital and start-ups, and are committed to pushing the future of life sciences innovation forward.

This is not a summer internship, but rather an immersive 6-12 month program designed to offer you the opportunity to participate in the full lifecycle of life sciences venture innovation and investment via many different engagements across science, medicine, business, strategy, and operations. This is also the opportunity for you to showcase and highlight the best-in-class people, research and innovations from your soon-to-be alma mater.  By working hand in hand with seasoned industry professionals from all dimensions of the life sciences ecosystem, you will gain first-hand knowledge and insights into the challenges, opportunities, processes and people shaping the future of healthcare innovation in Canada and around the globe.

We believe in investing in homegrown talent and are committed to doing so by offering an unparalleled entrepreneurial experience and access to top-tier mentor networks in the industry that is extremely important for both the restart of the Canadian economy and potentially the next chapter of your career. At Lumira, we are committed to creating an inclusive culture built on the foundation of respect for all individuals and we celebrate diversity of all kinds. The Lumira VIP will strive to ensure that students from all backgrounds, including those historically marginalized and underrepresented within the venture capital industry will have the opportunity to participate in the program. Ultimately, our goal is that the Lumira VIP facilitate and support building a tight-knit, inclusive community across Canada that will provide a more diverse future for Canadian students and our industry.

Meet the Lumira VIPs

Chirayu Chokshi

Chirayu is a Ph.D. Candidate in Biochemistry and Biomedical sciences from McMaster University with a research focus on immuno-oncology and functional genetics of malignant brain cancer. Chirayu has received academic training in pharmacology and biochemistry, with his graduate research focusing on target discovery using functional genetic screens and engineering novel therapeutics for malignant brain cancer. Chirayu has completed two MITACS Accelerate Graduate Fellowships in pre-clinical evaluation of antibody-based therapeutics and has been recently awarded the Inaugural Cindy Lee Graham Memorial Brain and CNS Cancer Research Award for his work in brain cancer research. Outside work, Chirayu volunteers with the Victim Services branch of the Hamilton Police Department and enjoys exploring national parks across the continent.

“I look forward to networking with and learning from leaders in life science venture capital. I aim to familiarize myself with relevant factors to evaluate investment potential. In the end, I hope to leverage this experience to help grow the Canadian biotechnology ecosystem.”

Chirayu Chokshi

Ayah Abdeldayem

Ayah is a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in Patrick Gunning’s lab at the University of Toronto. Her current Ph.D. work focuses on the development of novel covalent electrophiles to expand the druggable proteome using aspects of chemical biology, chemoproteomics and Activity-Based Protein Profiling (ABPP). In 2020, she worked part-time as a scientist at Dalriada Drug Discovery where she was involved in the synthesis of novel chemical modalities to target unique disease implicated targets. Ayah was first introduced to the venture capital space as a Bio-IT fellow at 8VC, where she took a deep dive into the areas of covalent inhibitors, small molecule protein degraders and RNA-small molecules to develop several investment theses. She received her B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 2017.

“I hope to gain a better understanding of the Canadian life sciences ecosystem through the program by connecting with entrepreneurs and mentors in the space who share a passion for scientific innovation.”

Ayah Abdeldayem

Alice Luo

Alice holds a Ph.D. in pulmonary regenerative medicine from the University of Toronto. She has also completed M.Sc. and B.Sc. in immunology and medical sciences from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining Lumira Ventures VIP, Alice was a Fellow with HaloHealth, a Canadian physician angel group where she evaluated investment opportunities in Canadian and U.S. based health technology start-up companies. She also conducted scientific due diligence and managed relationships with angel investors, medical experts and companies. During her time at HaloHealth, Alice was also a scientific consultant with Bloom Burton, a healthcare investment firm where she conducted research and data analysis across a broad range of projects to help drive investment decisions. Alice is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese.

“I believe that the program will support my career aspiration by providing valuable and collaborative engagement opportunities within the healthcare venture capital ecosystem, building long lasting relationships with industry leaders and professionals, and developing my entrepreneurial capabilities that will help shape the future of healthcare.”

Alice Luo

Missed the application deadline?

You can still make your submission for the next cohort here as we continue to bring VIPs on throughout the year.

Frequently asked questions

1. Who is Lumira Ventures?

Lumira Ventures is an impact investor that has consistently delivered first quartile financial returns to investors in its funds, while also delivering medical innovations that impact patient lives and healthcare ecosystems globally. Our portfolio companies have brought more than 50 biomedical innovations to the market impacting the lives of over 1 billion patients, and generating over $70 billion of cumulative revenue.

2. Why is Lumira Ventures launching the LV VIP?

From the seed investment all the way through to growth stage investment, we have partnered with entrepreneurs in Canada and throughout North America to develop and commercialize truly transformative products that address unmet patient needs and improve the lives of patients worldwide. As Canada is at the foundation of Lumira’s business, we feel privileged to be an active builder of Canada’s biotech and life sciences ecosystem. As a function, we recognize the growing need to identify and support the development of next generation of leaders and innovators within Canada’s high-growth life sciences ecosystem.

3. What is the application deadline?

The selection process for the first cohort has been completed but we continue to review new applications for the next cohort. You can apply from the website address shared in the previous section.

4. Am I eligible to apply for LV VIP?

You are eligible to apply if you are:
– a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada, and
– a final year post-grad student in the biological sciences, or final year medical school student with a strong background in life sciences.

5. How much of time commitment is ideal and is the program paid?

To get the true benefit of the program, the candidates are expected to participate for at least 6 months, and commit 5-6 days per month. The participants will also be entitled to a monthly stipend.

6. How many students will you take into the program?

We will be taking 3-4 students in the program at one time in two intake cycles in a calendar year. The first cohort started in July of this year and the second will be selected in November for a January 2022 start. The program is designed to have the flexibility to accommodate alternative start and end dates from time to time. Therefore, we encourage candidates to submit their applications at the earliest.