From schoolmates to startup co-founders, London, Ontario locals Adrian Ferreira and Matthew Pizzuti have taken their digital health innovation on a trip across the pond to participate in RebelBio, an accelerator program fueling science-based, tech-enabled early-stage startups, based in London, England. RIZE’s participation alongside nine other startups marks the eighth cohort of RebelBio, presented by world-renowned venture capital firm, SOSV. We asked Adrian about the learning journey that led the founders to start RIZE, and their plans for the future.
Where does your entrepreneurial story begin?
Matthew and I both grew up in London and we actually met in the eighth grade when I moved to a new elementary school. This was the beginning of a friendship that lasted through high school, then university at Western, where I studied health science and business, while Matt studied kinesiology and completed his masters at Ivey.
What’s the story behind RIZE Health?
After graduation, we both worked in the research industry and we noticed a common theme: The patient voice was often disregarded during a clinical trial. They weren’t given the resources to make their experiences as seamless as possible. We’re focused on the future of healthcare. We started RIZE to introduce a patient management solution that engages patients. Similar to how a Fitbit tracks your steps, RIZE tracks your trial, motivating you to take control of your health. It’s patient management made simple.
How did you end up in London, England?
After developing the first the iteration of the platform we began to seek pre-seed investment via an accelerator to build a network and access to mentorship to help us get to market. We started searching for opportunities and found the perfect partner, RebelBio. Fast forward to today, and we feel fortunate enough to be participating in such an illustrious group of startups. When we started we never thought that one of America’s largest VC funds would be our partner so quickly, but we’re six weeks into RebelBio and we wouldn’t change this experience for the world. In terms of business development, we are finally getting our product into the hands of participants and research organizations and gearing up for our seed-round. Soon, we’ll be seeking London, Ontario-based research centres to help us develop and trial our product.
We love the growing tech scene in our beloved city of London, Ontario. We are happy to say that we will be coming back home after the accelerator and seed funding round to cement our place in healthcare and contribute to strengthening the city’s economy by bringing in and retaining great tech talent. We want to give back to the community that built us, and we can’t wait to be back!