The Pre-Amp Fellowship
Creating novel, life-changing health science companies
Driven by Amplitude Ventures, Canada’s foremost life science VC firm, Pre-Amp is a biotech venture creation studio to discover, incubate and drive innovation to enable the launch of tomorrow’s leading biotechnology companies. The Pre-Amp Fellowship is a crucible where Canada’s brightest health-focused PhD candidates, post docs and MDs - many of whom are also inventors - come together each summer to explore “what if” biotech concepts as the first step in creating novel, life-changing health science companies.
Virginie Petel Légaré, 2021 Fellow
4th year PhD Candidate, Integrated Neuroscience, McGill University
In vivo cellular functions of mitochondrial proteins
David Philpott, 2021 Fellow
4th year PhD Candidate Engineering Physics, University of Toronto
High-throughput microfluidic CRISPR phenotyping
Ksenia Bezverbnaya, 2021 Fellow
PhD in Medical Sciences Infection and Immunity, McMaster University
Novel receptors for immune cell targeting
Doren Singh, 2021 Fellow
4th year PhD Candidate Chemical Engineering, McMaster University
Advanced drug delivery polymers
About the Pre-Amp Fellowship
Each year Pre-Amp runs a nation-wide search for candidates to join the Fellowship for three months, June through August. These Fellows work in teams of two or three, in lockstep with leaders from Pre-Amp and Amplitude Ventures, to conduct a series of in-depth, one-month explorations to identify hypotheses for novel healthcare ventures.
The Fellows are immersed in the front end of Pre-Amp’s three-phase company creation model… EXPLORE - REFINE - LAUNCH. The Fellows are exposed to an alternate path to academia by fostering an environment that balances imagination, translational science, and rigorous scientific thinking while allowing them to remain engaged in creative science.
In short, we believe brilliant scientists can also learn to become great entrepreneurs and the Pre-Amp Fellowship is that training ground.
We start with cutting-edge science
Fellows leverage science to make intriguing observations, then strive to understand the concrete requirements needed to grow these observations into a broad platform that will, ultimately, have a positive impact on human health. Each day, Fellows work closely with the Pre-Amp team of entrepreneurial scientists and leaders to explore concepts outside of their area of expertise. The Fellows are challenged to bring a new perspective to this science and generate big ideas with world-changing potential.
Not an incubator, accelerator, nor a typical venture diligence process
Pre-Amp’s company creation process is purpose-built to systematize entrepreneurial innovation and grow life science innovations into first-in-category, unprecedented therapeutics and healthcare companies. We originate, iterate, find and build.
The Pre-Amp team has identified the kernels of several potential new ventures. Fellows will have an opportunity to expand and define the alternative futures that could be enabled by maturing these concepts. Fellows are immersed in Pre-Amp’s unique methodology for creating first-in-class, first-in-category life science companies.
Explorations focus on
- Leveraging acceleration and combination of different areas of science (e.g., machine learning for drug development, high resolution measurement technologies, next generation gene editing technology, etc.) and then taking a fresh perspective
- Using fast prototyping and experimental iteration
- Seeking out guidance from the visionaries in a given field (finding the Einstein)
- Using innovations that are protectable
- Making the world a better place by developing first-in-class products
- Addressing multiple unmet needs by creating platform technology
- Answering the questions “why now” and “why us” en route to telling a compelling “what if” story
- Articulating how a novel venture can become a minimum $1B company in 5 years
Where are our Fellows now?
Our Fellows have not only delivered several novel “what if” prospects through their explorations, they have moved forward with promising career developments post-Fellowship, some while simultaneously wrapping up their PhDs. Our Fellows have gone on to take roles at leading technology incubation institutions like the CCRM and TIAP; Amplitude portfolio companies like Deep Genomics and Notch; other Venture and investment banking firms like Flagship Pioneering, Bloom Burton, 50 Years and Front Row Ventures; and several now work as Venture Associates with us at Pre-Amp building the next generations of companies.
How to Apply
Are you an outstanding life science focused PhD candidate, post doc, MD, or inventor? Do you want to stay rooted in health and life science while exploring the dynamic and creative scientific impact you can have as an entrepreneur? The Pre-Amp Fellowship may be what you’re looking for.
The Fellowship offers an alternate path to academia by fostering an environment that balances imagination, translational science, and rigorous scientific thinking while allowing you to remain engaged in creative science.
The Pre-Amp Fellowship is unlike a traditional internship or academic fellowship. It provides a rare opportunity to do something different with your graduate training and to apply your scientific expertise, entrepreneurial talents, and self-starter mentality toward creating new ventures.
Beyond strengthening your network and providing an opportunity for ongoing mentorship, some Explorers may have an opportunity to work with the Pre-Amp team on a more permanent basis—either within Pre-Amp itself or playing a leading role at one of Amplitude’s or Pre-Amp’s early-stage ventures.
- Full time, paid roles: late May – end August 2024
- Hybrid virtual / in-person format with multiple in person sessions throughout the summer across our offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver
- Build relationships with our network of experts across academia and industry
- Explore the cutting edge of science and technology
- Seminars from portfolio company leadership and KOLs
- Learn how to ideate a concept into a new venture
- Find practical applications for your skills and expertise
- Deep scientific or business background aimed at life sciences
- Canadian work authorization required
- Academic excellence and self-starter mentality
- Creativity and the ability to solve complex scientific and business problems
- Ongoing or completed M.D. training, Ph.D. or Post- Doc with a research focus on the life sciences or healthcare
- Within 1 year of completion of academic training / ready for employment
- Send resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Accepting up to 10 candidates
- Applications for the 2024 program reviewed on a rolling basis until March 31st, 2024