Nanotech company Nicoya receives $2.57 million FedDev Ontario investment

Waterloo-based nanotechnology company Nicoya is receiving a $2.57 million investment from FedDev Ontario, which the government said will help scale up Nicoya’s operations and accelerate its growth into new markets.

Nicoya is developing a laboratory device called OpenSPR, which measures the interactions between molecules.

Nicoya is a company using nanotechnology to create affordable analysis instrumentation. It specializes in the development of a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) instrument, a laboratory device that measures the interactions between molecules. The company has created the world’s first desktop SPR, which serves as a more accurate, portable, cost-effective method for collecting data for research and development.

“Projects like this one will help to position this company as a global biotech leader and help to transform the lives of millions of people,” said Ryan Denomme, CEO and co-founder of Nicoya. “This investment shows the Government of Canada’s commitment to growing the biotech industry in Canada and support for the Kitchener–Waterloo Region to remain a hub of successful start-up and scale-up companies.”

Established in 2012 as a spin-off company from the University of Waterloo, Nicoya develops nanotechnology, biochemistry, and optical sensor technologies used by medical researchers in both academic and private institutions in more than 25 countries. Nicoya is developing a product called OpenSPR, which could help researchers better understand diseases and the development of new drugs and treatments.

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The company’s founder participated in Velocity’s science lab program at the University of Waterloo in 2014 and joined the Velocity Garage incubator full-time to incubate the business in August 2014. The company received $50,000 from the Communitech Rev Awards in September 2015, as well as a $2 million investment round led by led by Ripple Ventures and Golden Triangle Angel Network (GTAN). Nicoya also graduated from the Kitchener-Waterloo based Accelerator Centre in 2015, alongside RENOMii and TeTechS.

A statement from the federal government said FedDev Ontario’s contribution will help Nicoya develop and market a new version of OpenSPR to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors, as well as meet increasing demand and expand into new export markets.

“Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy,” said ISED Minister Navdeep Bains. “Today’s investment in Nicoya builds on our competitive advantages and will result in the scale-up of operations and expansion into new export markets.”

Image courtesy Nicoya.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast