UBC’s Aspect Biosystems named most promising startup

Aspect Biosystems, which aims to fundamentally change the way we develop drugs and treat disease by enabling the printing of living human tissues, was named “most promising startup” at the 2016 Technology Impact Awards. The ceremony, held last night at the Vancouver Convention Centre, brought together more than 1,000 people affiliated with the BC Tech Association.

Aspect Biosystems is an early-stage biotechnology company operating on the leading edge of 3D bioprinting and tissue engineering. The company was founded in November 2013 through a collaboration between two world-class research groups in Engineering and Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Based on the company’s proprietary Lab-on-a-Printer™ technology, Aspect’s highly interdisciplinary team has developed a disruptive 3D bioprinting platform capable of creating living Human Tissues on Demand™ for broad applications in the life sciences. 

This technology is enabling advances in fundamental biological research, drug development through novel pre-clinical models, and regenerative medicine. Ultimately, Aspect is working towards a future where better drugs are developed faster, where animals are no longer needed for the development of new therapeutics, and where transplant organs are created, not harvested.

“This recognition is a reflection of the outstanding team we have assembled, the critical mentorship and funding we have received from e@UBC and the UBC Seed Fund as well as the support from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Faculty of Applied Science at UBC,” says Professor Konrad Walus, P.Eng., CTO for Aspect. “Universities are uniquely positioned to launch these types of visionary, deep technology companies. Aspect Biosystems could not have started out of a garage. It was with the support, mentorship, and infrastructure from UBC that enabled us to translate this innovative technology from the lab into an award-winning startup that has the potential to make a global impact in the medical and pharmaceutical space,” says Tamer Mohamed, President and CEO for Aspect. 

The Aspect Biosystems Management Team includes four co-founders from UBC Electrical Engineering and the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation (HLI) — Konrad Walus, Sam WadsworthSimon Beyer and Tamer Mohamed—as well as an advisory group of business leaders from Entrepreneurship@UBC.

Since the BC Tech Association, formerly known as the BCTIA, was founded in 1994, BC’s tech ecosystem has grown to over 9,000 companies, which employ almost 90,000 people, outpacing the province’s resource industry in terms of economic contribution.

“The TIAs recognize the individuals, teams and companies that pave the pathways for a stronger tech community,” said Tam. “It celebrates the stories that inspire and encourage us to always strive for more. We are proud to recognize the award winners, and we congratulate all finalists on mastering the art of the possible.”

Learn more about Aspect Biosystems on their website: http://aspectbiosystems.com or on their Twitter at @aspectbiosys.