The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), today delivered a keynote speech at the Creative Economy Summit where he announced a $4.85 million investment from the Government of Canada that will help eight Toronto-area start-up businesses get their innovative products and ideas to market faster, and create jobs and economic growth in southern Ontario.
Minister of State Goodyear announced the funding under FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation initiative, during his speech. The investment will allow the eight start-up businesses to leverage more than $15.2 million in additional private sector investments from venture capital and southern Ontario angel investors. This will result in the creation of more than 100 high quality jobs in the life sciences and information technology sectors in southern Ontario over the next two years.
“Ideas and innovation are what the creative economy is all about. Our government is helping to provide start-up businesses with access to the funding they need to bring their ideas and innovations to market,” said Minister Goodyear. “This will create highly skilled jobs in southern Ontario, and have the potential to make a lasting impression on the economy of our region and beyond.”
The Investing in Business Innovation initiative is designed to boost private sector investment in start-up businesses to accelerate the development of new products, processes and practices and bring them to market. This initiative is also designed to help angel investor networks and their associations attract new investment and support the growth of angel investment funds.
The eight start-up businesses include:
Trillium Therapeutics Inc.- Contribution: up to $965,000
Trillium Therapeutics Inc. is a biotechnology company specializing in the development of innovative therapies in the fields of immunology (functioning of immune system) and cytoprotection (protection of cells against harmful agents). FedDev Ontario’s investment leverages an additional $2 million venture capital investment from Covington Capital, GrowthWorks, and BDC Venture Capital. This will enable the company to conduct clinical testing of a therapeutic treatment for a chronic bladder disease known as interstitial cystitis, which affects millions of women in North America.
Profound Medical Inc.- Contribution: up to $867,000
Profound Medical Inc. is developing a medical device for the treatment of prostate cancer without the need for invasive surgery. FedDev Ontario’s investment, together with over $7.5 million in venture capital funding from Genesys Ventures, BDC Venture Capital, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, and Tri-Color Venture Fund, will help advance development and clinical testing for the company’s MRI-guided, ultrasound thermal therapy device for the treatment of prostate cancer in Canada. This will help the company reach its goal of receiving Health Canada regulatory approval the device, and in the longer-term, market it in the United States and Europe.
Axela Inc.- Contribution: up to $708,333
Axela Inc. has developed a portfolio of commercial stage multiplex tools to better analyze proteins, DNA and RNA used in clinical research. The company has developed instruments to provide accurate, real-time measurements of molecular interactions to simplify protein studies, thereby accelerating the transition between biomarker discovery to clinical validated tests for disease diagnosis and monitoring. FedDev Ontario’s investment leverages a $2,125,000 venture capital investment from VenGrowth, enabling the company to continue development of its protein analysis tools.
Field ID- Contribution: up to $575,000
Field ID is a software development company that provides a system to automate corporate inspection and safety compliance management in industries including oil and gas, mining, utilities and construction. FedDev Ontario’s investment, together with a $1,150,000 angel investment from members of IntelliVest Angel Group and a $500,000 venture capital investment from BDC Venture Capital, will allow the company to enhance its delivery platform for integration into the systems of large corporations. This will enable compatibility with smart phones, creation of reporting engines for increased analytics, and multi-language usage.
StickerYou Inc. – Contribution: up to $539,305
StickerYou Inc. is a software development company that creates innovative ways to deliver customized sticker and label creations to individuals and organizations around the world. The company has developed patent-pending die-cut technology that customizes stickers of any shape and size to be produced by consumers and clients at their own computers. FedDev Ontario’s investment, together with over $1 million in angel funding from members of IntelliVest Angel Group and a $500,000 venture capital investment, will allow the company to optimize its online platform with new features including home print services and launch a mobile application.
Futurestate IT- Contribution: up to $500,000
Futurestate IT develops online software solutions that enable companies to migrate software applications and data from older operating systems to new operating systems (including Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008). FedDev Ontario’s investment leverages $1 million in venture capital funding from the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund and angel investment from members Maple Leaf Angels, enabling the company to further develop its existing software, and develop a new application.
Fuse Powered Inc. – Contribution: up to $500,000
Fuse Powered Inc. is a digital mobile game publisher. The company has created Fuseboxx, a next-generation mobile gaming technology platform that enables game developers to collect, analyse, and manage aggregated real-time full life-cycle player data to predict and improve the performance of their mobile games. FedDev Ontario’s investment enables the company to continue development of its Fuseboxx mobile gaming technology platform by leveraging a $1 million venture capital investment from the BlackBerry Partners Fund.
Shiny Inc. – Contribution: up to $197,500
Shiny Inc. is an advertising technology company that helps online publishers maximize revenue from small budget advertisers. The company has developed a system that automates the sales, finance and advertising placement for advertising campaigns in a cost-effective manner. FedDev Ontario’s investment, along with $395,000 angel investment from members of York Angel Investors and Maple Leaf Angels, will help the company accelerate the commercialization of its self-service online advertising platform.
Investing in Business Innovation is designed to boost private sector investment in start-up businesses to accelerate the development of new products, processes and practices and help bring them to market. The Government of Canada is focusing on a portfolio of early-stage businesses that are recognized by the investor community as having the potential for high-growth and a net long-term economic benefit for southern Ontario. The investor community includes accredited angel investors from recognized angel investor networks in southern Ontario registered with the National Angel Organization – Ontario and venture capital providers who are member of Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association.
Funding under the initiative is also available for angel investor networks and their associations to attract new investment and support the growth of angel investment funds. Applications for funding are being accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis.
During the same speech, Minister Goodyear also delivered the message that the government will continue to make key investments in science and technology. Canada’s long-term economic competitiveness, he noted, depends on promoting business-related research and development (R&D) that drives innovation and creates jobs.
“Science and technology means jobs and economic growth,” said Minister of State Goodyear. “We can sell our solutions to the world because we’re not unique in the problems we face.”
The Minister of State also noted that the government is studying the recommendations of the independent expert panel whose mandate was to review federal support for R&D. “We received the report, and while we don’t necessarily subscribe to all of its recommendations, we do agree with the direction of the changes that need to be made to address the challenges faced in business-related R&D, and we will act soon,” he said.
“Through our government’s science and technology strategy, we are keeping our economy strong, creating high-quality jobs and ensuring Canada is a premier destination for the world’s top researchers,” said Minister of State Goodyear. “By supporting innovation, we are not only encouraging cutting-edge research but also bringing promising creative ideas to the marketplace.”
In his speech, Minister of State Goodyear outlined some of the achievements of the Government of Canada’s science and technology strategy, which is aimed at attracting and retaining the world’s brightest researchers, increasing R&D investment and commercializing promising research.