The Michael G. DeGroote Health Innovation, Commercialization & Entrepreneurship (Health ICE) team has grown. Hanna Haponenko and Komal Patel are the group’s new Innovation Consultants. 

Patel has a BMSc and a BA and is currently attending the Ivey Business School. She is also a graduate of Health ICE’s Innovators in Scrubs program. Three years ago, she founded The Mentorship Spot – a virtual platform that helps high school students transition to university life. Since its start, the venture has paired over 600 grade 12 students with mentors in their programs of interest. 

“My background encompasses both business and science,” said Patel. “I was drawn to this role because it allows me to use skills and competencies from both areas to tackle unique challenges.”

Haponenko is a PhD student at McMaster. She is exploring how human vision and attention interact in a driving context. She is also the product and operational lead of Axcessiom Technologies, Inc.  – a software and electronics manufacturing start-up company with a mission to create products that help the lives of others. Haponenko is currently developing a system that will allow people with disabilities to drive their vehicles using a facial gesture recognition system. 

“I want to keep moving and working with highly driven, creative, and resourceful individuals,” Haponenko said about her future aspirations. “Human-centered tech, healthcare, and clean energy – I see myself working in all three.”

The two will be working with Sarrah Lal, Assistant Professor of Medicine, to support the development of innovation education throughout the summer. 



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