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Smart investment

Genesis microfund yields impressive return from startup clients

By Annagray Campbell

A little more than a year after Genesis announced its $775,000 microfund for clients of its Enterprise program, the fund is proving that access to early money results in new jobs, increased revenues and more investment opportunities.

Granville Biomedical co-founders Christine Goudie and Crystal Northcott received $20,000 from the microfund.
Photo: Submitted

The microfund was launched in January 2019 to boost young startup companies entering the program.

Genesis, along with microfund donors, wanted a new way to invest in the future of technology with this non-repayable fund.

The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), contributed $300,000 toward the initiative, while the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador invested $125,000.

Direct contribution to N.L. economy

After closely monitoring their progress, Genesis calculated that 18 companies that each received $20,000 from the fund collectively:

  • created 84 jobs
  • secured $4.5 million in private investment
  • generated $5.1 million in revenues

These numbers demonstrate the microfund helped generate almost 14 times its own value in revenue alone, contributing directly to the Newfoundland and Labrador economy.

‘Indispensable resource’

Granville Biomedical is a recipient of the microfund.

The company develops women’s health anatomical models that are designed to enhance health-care training, advance patient education and innovate device demonstration.

“It afforded us opportunities to expand research endeavours, hire key talent and go to market sooner.” — Christine Goudie

Christine Goudie, co-founder and CEO of Granville Biomedical, says the microfund played a pivotal role in the growth of the company.

“It afforded us opportunities to expand research endeavours, hire key talent and go to market sooner,” she said.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the early infusion of capital, along with the mentorship and support that the Genesis team provides. Combined, it has proven to be an indispensable resource throughout our startup and early growth stages.”

Significant potential

Michelle Simms, president and CEO of Genesis, says the microfund is a “huge” success.

“Our goal was to provide financial support to our clients who already demonstrate massive potential, but these results have far exceeded our expectations,” she said.

“They’ve proven that with a small infusion of capital early on, the potential for growth expands rapidly.”

The technology sector has significant growth potential in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Genesis clients and graduates continue to hire new employees, secure investments and sell their products globally.

“The success these companies are enjoying is a clear demonstration of the valuable role Genesis plays in our province,” said Dr. Vianne Timmons, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University.

“For more than 20 years, Genesis has been at the forefront of providing the best entrepreneurial programming and mentorship for technology startups. I offer congratulations to these 18 companies and hope for their continued growth and development.”

Economic engines

“The Genesis microfund means a lot to small businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Seamus O’Regan, minister of Natural Resources and member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, on behalf of Mélanie Joly, minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and minister responsible for ACOA.

“It gets them the capital they need to start up. That means new, good jobs and a growing economy.”

“We are pleased to invest in the Genesis microfund, which supports technology companies in their early stages and helps them accelerate innovative ideas, develop entrepreneurial skills and advance their businesses,” said Andrew Parsons, minister of Industry, Energy and Technology.

“Collectively, we are building the technology industry in Newfoundland and Labrador and growing the economy.”

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