iF innovator AgeRate

iF client AgeRate fills us in on their start-up story

iF Client AgeRate shares their entrepreneurial story with us. From idea, to incorporation in 2018 to product development available for purchase in Spring 2019 – get your name on the waitlist now!

In the health and wellness industry, there lacks an affordable and accurate way to measure how rapidly we are ageing. It is common knowledge that adapting healthy habits can extend the length of our life, but it is currently difficult to quantify this. Progress towards a health goal can easily be quantified in terms of weight, inches, heart rate and blood pressure but there still lacks an accurate and affordable method of measuring progress in years. At AgeRate, we provide a genetic test that can reveal your biological age, which is a metric for healthy ageing and can be lowered through diet and exercise. By comparing a users biological-age to their chronological-age we can determine the speed at which they are ageing (their AgeRate). This test is the most accurate and affordable way to determine biological-age and all it takes is a simple mouth swab. What began as Cole Kirschner’s and Nathan Cawte’s capstone project at McMaster University under Dr. Guillaume Paré quickly grew into a business idea. The business idea was pitched at “The Forge Student Start-Up Competition” where AgeRate took home first place and $13,000 in funding. The three co-founders agreed to peruse this business concept and turn it into a reality, incorporating AgeRate on May 22nd, 2018.

Running a start-up requires a lot of sacrifice. To some, it may seem crazy to work 100+ per week and to not be paid. Many start-ups fail because of the mental toll this can take. It is important to maintain a positive attitude, high levels of effort and unwavering belief that all the sacrifices made in the beginning will be worth it in the long run for both yourself and your customers. Constant reminders that the product/service you are developing will have a positive impact for your clients make the sacrifices well worth it. Once the AgeRate test is available for purchase, one of our main measures of success will be customer testimonials. Client testimonials are an excellent way to improve brand awareness and validate that our test offers great value. We are confident that if we focus on improving the customer experience for as many customers as possible, we will achieve success.

Competing in Lion’s Lair was a fantastic experience that helped our business grow in multiple ways. Once AgeRate was accepted as one of the Top 15 Finalists, we participated in workshops hosted by the Innovation Factory that covered topics such as marketing and communications. These workshops provided us with some phenomenal insight. Attending the Lion’s Lair gala provided us with a great opportunity to network and share stories with many people who are making an economic impact for Hamilton. It was great to see the support for the local entrepreneurs who have participated in Lion’s Lair. The media coverage we received from participating in the Lion’s Lair has resulted in many people joining the waitlist to purchase the AgeRate test once it is available in Spring 2019. You can join the waitlist today at www.age-rate.com ! In 2019, AgeRate plans to have the test available for purchase and have had our first 1,000 tests sold. Over the next 5 years, we plan on having the majority of Naturopathic Doctors in Canada offering the AgeRate service. In addition, we plan on expanding and offering other genetic testing services.

If we were to give any advice to young professionals or students studying to pursue a career in biotechnology, it would be to gain experience and put yourself out there. Our team had the privilege of volunteering for a local Hamilton biotechnology company, GeneBlueprint. Volunteering at GeneBlueprint gave us invaluable hands-on experience in our field of interest. Working for a start-up company can give you the experience necessary to either continue growing with that company, take a vertical leap to a position at a larger company or venture off and start your own. There are many companies operating out of the Innovation Factory and the Forge, so my advice would be to get some hands-on experience by volunteering for one of these companies!

At AgeRate we envision a future in which getting your heart rate checked will be as common as getting your AgeRate checked. Collectively the partners are well versed in all facets of the business and have created an organizational culture of success through collaboration. With the help of local Hamilton partners such as the Innovation Factory, Hamilton Health Sciences, IBM, Mohawk College, McMaster University and The Forge: AgeRate aims to redefine health to inspire improvement.

The AgeRate team has strong ties to Hamilton. Nathan and Cole are both undergraduate students at McMaster University with Dr.Guillaume Paré being an associate professor. The lab where the testing is performed is also located beside the Hamilton General Hospital at Guillaume Paré’s Genetics and Molecular Epidemiology Lab (GMEL). McMaster University was ranked most research-intensive university in Canada for both 2017 and 2018. The combination of Hamilton’s strength in research and buisness support from organizations such as The Forge and Innovation Factory allow companies like AgeRate to thrive. Hamilton is positioning itself to be the health innovation hub of Canada and we are thrilled to be apart of it.

To get your name on a waitlist to purchase the AgeRate test in Spring 2019 – click here.

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