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Driving the business of innovative ideas

What started as a class project by three fourth-year University of Waterloo mechatronics engineering students has turned into a revolutionary tool that can improve the lives of hip implant patients around the world.

Avenir Medical founders (L to R) Richard, Armen and Andre

Armen Bakirtzian, Andre Hladio and Richard Fanson founded Avenir Medical Inc. in 2010. With the financing, mentoring and support they are receiving through the Spin Master Innovation Fund, the founders are now working tirelessly to bring their key product, PelvAssist™, to market.

PelvAssist™ is a surgical tool that measures the exact position and orientation of hip implants and provides a digital readout. Early tests show that it is improving the hip replacement experience for patients and giving hospitals a cost-effective and reliable way to prevent follow-up surgeries.

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) partnered with Spin Master Ltd. to create the Spin Master Innovation Fund. The program helps entrepreneurs, ages 18-34, across Canada transform their unique and innovative ideas, like Avenir Medical, into thriving businesses.

The Spin Master Innovation Fund includes:

  • Up to $50,000 in start-up financing with low interest and no principal repayment in the first year from CYBF and its affiliate, Entrepreneur Gateway Canada
  • A hand-matched mentor from CYBF's world-class mentoring program to help navigate the challenges of establishing a business
  • A paid trip to Toronto to attend a two-day Innovation Launch Pad Workshop for helpful workshops and feedback from the Spin Master Innovation Fund Advisory Team
  • Exclusive access to the Online Innovation Peer Group for webinars and business support from leading experts.

For Armen, Andre and Richard, the Spin Master Innovation Fund provides the tools and resources they needed to establish themselves as entrepreneurs. It is helping them expand their networks, gain valuable business skills and provides the leverage they need to access public funds.

The mentoring that the trio are receiving through the program is particularly helpful. "Our CYBF mentor, Sandy Robertson, provides us with a wealth of experience and knowledge in many aspects of our business," they explained. "His guidance has given us a balanced perspective to grow our business and we really have learned that entrepreneurship and innovation go hand-in-hand."

If you have an innovative business idea and want to transform it into a viable business, you could be one of up to 10 young entrepreneurs selected for the 2011 Spin Master Innovation Fund! Visit to find out more. Applications and business plans must be submitted by Thursday, June 9th, 2011.

To find out more about Avenir Medical, visit or email

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