The Relentless RoundUp - 3rd Edition

The Relentless RoundUp – 3rd Edition

Connections and Impact

2018 for the Relentless Venture Fund delivered the perfect foundational layer of Community. Collaboration. Conversation. Disruption. Impact.

Thus far in 2019, Relentless Venture Fund building blocks include a profile in BC Business Magazine, a featured StartUp Canada podcast, and the announcement of new additions to the team. If you have yet to check out the team bios, spend some time on the Relentless website where you will find a few fun facts ranging from one team member who has a published cookbook, to one who tested his aptitude for jazz dance in university to someone who has performed in a couple of trapeze shows. If you know the team, you must guess who is connected to which fact before you look!

While we are on the topic of team, check out the recent LinkedIn post where I share a poignant leadership lesson from Relentless advisor, Zach Bell.


Canary Medical, a data and digital health tech company founded in Vancouver is on track to deliver the first ‘smart total knee replacement’ to the orthopaedic market, a ‘talking knee’ per se.

Prior to revealing the name of Canary as our first venture fund investment last year, I published a teaser article on LinkedIn asking the question “If Knees Could Talk – What Would They Say?” And I received a couple great suggestions. Thank you, BDC’s very own Geoff Devereux, for providing my two favourite responses: “I kneed a break” and “Good knees are a joint effort.”

Since posing the question, I am delighted to report that THE KNEES have started to whisper. But now that the knees are communicating, it is time to ask the question, are we willing to LISTEN?


Some communities exist. Others need to be created. Connecting with community is inspiring. New collaborations are invigorating.

Wouldn’t it be great to have Vancouver become a hub for ‘human mobility tech’?  In the spirit of getting this started, Isabella and I hosted our first “Mobility Leadership Circle”.  Joining Canary Medical’s CEO, Bill Hunter for a get-to-know morning and to discuss potential collaboration were two CEO’s from the Relentless angel portfolio Tamer Mohamed, Aspect Biosystems (3D printed meniscus) and Shamil Horgavan, Wiivv (3D printed custom foot products). It was the beginning of collaborative thinking to elevate tech solutions in human movement and mobility.

Let us know your ideas about who we should include for the next gathering.


As a team, we continue to boost community links, prime the pipeline, and consistently advocate for personal engagement in health.

From a longevity summit keynote in Washington DC to judging and speaking at both Canadian and US health tech events, the Relentless team has been spreading a message of activating new health strategies.  We believe lasting social impact will be achieved with investment capital dedicated to innovation promoting healthy living and healthy aging.

Up next, wine country in September. I will be speaking in Kelowna at New Horizons in Cardiovascular Health, an academic-industry symposium. A perfect segue (and not the two-wheeled motorized scooter kind of Segway) to next level collaboration around heart health and activity.


Another enduring theme over the past year has been our commitment to women in the tech and financing ecosystems. The women of Team Relentless (Isabella, Alison, Kelly and I) have all been actively speaking, mentoring and collaborating with programs dedicated to female entrepreneurs (e.g. Forum for Women Entrepreneurs) and initiatives attracting women to the world of private investment (e.g. Female Funders).

We are proud to be judged by the company we keep!


Speaking of elevating women! Isabella co-founded an elite women’s cycling team in 2018 that has a specific intention to recruit women with full time careers who still want to compete but can’t make the traditional training schedules work. The unique team formation formula is working. As part of her new team, Isabella went on to become B.C.’s provincial time trial champion, then in June placed seventh in the national road racing championship. She is officially a double threat in athletics!

At a totally different level of sport participation, in May, Dr Bill Hunter (CEO of Canary) joined me at the start line of the Vancouver Marathon (and waited…a while…at the finish line). We both did the half, my first run event in a couple of years, his in a couple of weeks having just finished the Boston Marathon. Next up, this fall Tamer (CEO of Aspect) has committed to join Bill and I in the fall for his first half marathon. Leaning toward, or rather, with perfect alignment, considering the UBC Fall Classic. Logical choice as we are all UBC alumni.


We are itchy to host our next networking experience – craft beer tour by bike, mountain tour, ocean tour – all are possibilities before the end of summer (so technically, that gives us until the third week of September). Stay tuned and be sure to let us know in advance of interest and preference.

Activity based participation, networking and community building are part of our heart and collective soul.


Deloitte’s Global Healthcare Outlook released in Q2 2019 reinforced that the healthcare community must adapt to changing consumer needs, expectations and demands. As if pulled directly from “The Relentless Playbook,” Deloitte’s recommendations include the need for more…

·       Digital technologies improving engagement,

·       Patient engagement strategies coming from digital health, tele-health and wearable monitoring

·       Support for moving away from a reactive approach to chronic care management, in which coordination between stakeholders, therapy, and care is limited or ad hoc, to a proactive model in which engagement tools and support bolster both patients and health care providers.

Our pipeline addresses all of the above.

The Relentless team is laser focused on promoting health and well-being at all ages, with emphasis on prevention, as well as managing life with disease or a chronic condition, as per the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of promoting good health and well-being at all ages. As a team, we know we are at the right place at the right time.

To get updates between newsletters, please follow us on our LINKEDIN Page.



Brenda Irwin