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Research Guides

JPM400: Biomedical Incubator Capstone Project

Company, industry and data resources to help answer your market research questions


This guide is designed to support the creation of your list of competitors for your biomedical innovation. Below you will find resources and tips to find publicly traded companies as well as startup companies in your space.

To the left you will also find navigation links to further resources on reading annual reports, searching patent databases, and searching the traditional biomedical literature.

If you have any questions about these resources, please contact Entrepreneurship Librarian Carey Toane at to chat via email or Zoom.

Public Company Research

Federal securities laws require public companies to disclose information on an ongoing basis. This means the public can access financial and other information on the open web. Proprietary databases take this information, analyze and repackage it into (sometimes) a more accessible format.

Select from the resources below to find company profiles or annual reports and audited financial statements.

Find out if a company is public or private using Bloomberg's or Yahoo Finance's quote lookup tool.

Get help finding and understanding public company annual reports and filings.

Startup and private company research

Because there are no disclosure requirements for private companies, it can be difficult to find any information about them. 

Your best bet is to cast as wide a net as possible, using the following search strategies:

  1. If the company is a startup, search CB Insights for profile and investment information, as well as similar companies in the space.
  2. If the company is large or multinational, check Capital IQ (available in the Finance Labs at Rotman, IMI (UTM) and Management (UTSC)) as they may have some non-financial information. 
  3. Use ABI/Inform, Business Source Premier or Factiva to find mainstream or trade newspaper or magazine articles about the company.
  4. Google - Check the company website, LinkedIn page, press releases, etc. See the Web Research Tips page
  5. Contact us if you're really stuck.

If the company was previously public but has gone private, you can still access their historical public filings from when they were a public company. Check Mergent.  

Alternative strategies

Stuck? Can't find anything in the recommended databases above? Try these options, many of which are also linked in the navigation on this guide.

Review your keywords and re-evaluate based on what you've found.

Industry reports often have lists of companies to get you started.

Make note of industry classification codes on databases like Mergent to find like companies, often at a broad level.

Advanced Google searching can produce leads and confirm assumptions by referring to company press releases, etc..

Find out if a company is public or private using Bloomberg's or Yahoo Finance's quote lookup tool.

Check the regulators (e.g. Health Canada) as they often have lists like this one of companies with approved COVID tests. Government data like large social survey (census) data is typically available online.

Consider searching the traditional biomedical literature or grey literature for researchers who may have spinoffs or sell technologies.

Search patent databases to find companies who own intellectual property in certain sectors or areas.

Need a definition of an unfamiliar business term? Try the Investopedia online dictionary.