The Funding Portal, a Toronto-based government grants consultancy service that also offers a searchable database of over 7,000 grant, loan and equity programs, is trying to help healthtech startups.
The website reported today that it has entered into a Joint Venture with the University Health Network (UHN), Canada’s leading academic research hospital, to “improve access to capital and commercialization opportunities for businesses and inventors in the Canadian healthcare sector.”
What that means is that The Funding Portal has created a new “health-tech portal,” which will go live at TheFundingPortal.com/HealthTech in September 2014. It will provide a common platform for securing funding, private financing and commercialization partnerships.
As the company said in a release, investments by governments in healthcare R&D are shifting from pure academic research to commercialization and market outcomes, which is driving demand for improved networks to link research, business and financing.
“Canada’s Life Sciences and Healthcare sector now ranks among the top five innovation sectors, as measured by R&D financing provisioned by governments in Canada. More than half of the $2.2 billion directed at this sector by government is now targeted at R&D and commercialization activities,” said CEO Teri Kirk. “It is time to get investment-grade opportunities out of the patent archives and out in front of investors and companies who can take them to market.”
Dr. David Jaffray is the director of the Techna Institute at UHN, who is leading the Joint Venture for UHN. Techna’s team of engineers, physicists, and programmers works with more than 20 industry partners to accelerate new technologies into the clinical setting. UHN and the Techna team have licensed more than 30 products in the medical device sector in the past five years. Jaffray said hospital-based R&D has traditionally had limited access to capital markets and, similarly, investors have had limited access to Canada’s word-class hospital-based R&D. “We are teaming up with The Funding Portal to bring forward investment-grade opportunities onto its innovative funding platform to attract commercialization partnerships, strategic investors and private capital.”
Meanwhile Epic Capital Management Inc., a Toronto-based investment boutique, recently announced that it is launching a new fund with target investment of $50 million in Canadian healthcare R&D within the coming 12 to 18 months. “We welcome this new platform as a way to bring together leading healthcare research, government funding, commercialization partners, and private investment funds, such as our own,” said partner Scott Kaplanis. “Epic’s new Canadian Healthcare Fund will invest in innovative, private Canadian healthcare companies generally unavailable to the investing public.”