I2 Fund - Industry Innovation Program
Since inception in 2001, Genome BC has supported world class research projects that have been developing knowledge, building capacity, attracting co-investment and expanding technology boundaries. Globally, genomic enabled research has led to the development of tangible applications and is now becoming increasingly translational as applications are developed with real world utility. We, at Genome BC, believe that the technology has reached a point where commercialization is now feasible.
As part of our commitment to drive commercialization and translation partnerships for entrepreneurs, SME’s and other end users, Genome BC is launching the Industry Innovation Program and its I2 Fund.
Description and guidelines
Genome BC’s I2 Fund provides commercialization support for companies developing innovative life science technologies in British Columbia (BC). Life sciences includes the biological aspects of industry challenges in the key economic sectors of Agriculture, Energy and Mining, Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forestry, and Human Health. The I2 Fund will also support digital health and other technologies that will further move the concept of precision medicine into clinical practice. The I2 funding is repayable and is allocated to promising technologies (products, processes or services) at the early stages of commercial development. The Fund aims to provide risk capital that is concurrently matched by other public or private funding sources.
Companies must be beyond the research stage and should be in the commercial proof of concept or product development phase and have some formal ownership or control of the technology. Funded companies can be based outside of BC but must have a substantial project presence in BC typically defined as a number of employees residing in BC.
Genome BC’s I2 funding allocation ranges from $100,000 to $1,000,000 per company, and is targeted to initiatives where a clear pathway to commercialization can be demonstrated. We will work with companies to help establish this pathway and link them to other stakeholders in the industry. Our early stage capital can take the form of debt, equity and royalties. We help companies establish near term milestones and a portion of I2’s funding may be tied to successful execution of these milestones and advanced in tranches. I2 funds are repayable with repayments commencing no more than four years after disbursement.
The first step is to submit an Executive Summary (max. 5 pages) of the business plan highlighting:
- The company, team and BC-based activity
- The technology/service and value proposition
- The market opportunity
- The commercialization plan
- The financial requirements, prospective co-funders and risks involved
Once it is established that the company has a promising technology, a defined market and capable management, we execute a confidentiality agreement and invite the company to submit a full business plan and/or other form of presentation to Genome BC.
Assuming support of Genome BC, a formal due diligence process is conducted to determine the likelihood of commercialization and clearly establishing a pathway to success. A confidential third party review of the company’s technology, IP and/or market will often be performed at this time.
If a company is successful at this stage the next step is to reach agreement on a term sheet detailing:
- Key financial terms
- Repayment terms
- Identification of commercialization milestones and tranche advancement requirements
- Closing conditions, co-funding and target dates
- Information rights
If significant gaps are identified during the due diligence process, funds will not be advanced but we will endeavour to point the company toward resources and partners that are able to help remedy the deficiencies.
Upon completion of diligence and the term sheet, the company will be asked to formally present to Genome BC The Board of Directors of Genome BC will make the ultimate investment decision. Board meetings and investment decisions are made quarterly.
If an investment is made the company is required to report quarterly.
The goal is successful commercialization, industry growth, jobs, and economic impact for the Province of BC. I2 funding repayments commence the earlier of: four years after disbursement; or when the company achieves commercialization generally defined as significant product/service revenues, revenues from licensing the technology, or the company achieves a significant financial milestone.
Royalty agreement. A royalty obligation is added to Genome BC funding. The royalty agreement is structured so that Genome BC receives a low, single-digit royalty payment if the technology financed results in significant commercialization revenue. The cumulative royalty payments are normally capped at 2X the amount of the I2 funding. However, early repayment of the I2 Fund loan within four years of disbursement will trigger reduction of the royalty cap to 1x.
Director, Industry Innovation Programs
Industry Innovation (I2) Fund
The I2 Fund Advisory Council is appointed by Genome BC from the business community at large. The Council makes recommendations about the opportunities and risks of potential investments and provides advice on current market conditions that may have an impact on proposed investments and/or the I2 Fund portfolio. Click here to see the members.
Have more questions about the program – check out Frequently Asked Questions