OBIO offering up to $20,000 in grants to women-led health science companies

Woman working in a lab
Deadline to apply for OBIO’s Women in Health Initiative is September 10.

This week, Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO) kicked off a call for applications for its Women in Health Initiative meant to train women to further ensure their participation and success in the health sciences sector.

The OBIO is offering women-led companies in the health sciences space up to $20,000 CAD in grant funding through the Women in Health Initiative.

Each selected company will receive the grant, in addition to access to advisory, workshops, mentorship, and networking opportunities. The deadline to apply is on September 10.

Companies must have either a minimum of 50 percent women-identified ownership or management representation.

Following the six-month program, participants of OBIO’s Women in Health Initiative will be invited to pitch for an equity investment.

To become eligible for the Women in Health Initiative, applicants must be a private health science company based in Ontario and have a focus on developing human health science products. It must also have either a minimum of 50 percent women-identified ownership or management representation. Additionally, the company must have raised less than $2 million CAD in dilutive capital.

Women have historically faced additional barriers when it comes to entrepreneurship, including the process of securing capital. While women entrepreneurs represent 40 percent of all business owners, they receive under three percent of venture capital funding.

The Women in Health Initiative is one of the several programs that OBIO launched and expanded last year as part of the $10-million investment it secured from the Federal Economic Development Agency in 2015.

OBIO also expanded its Early Adopter Health Network in 2022 to continue growing the network by creating more opportunities for companies and healthcare organizations across the entire healthcare ecosystem.

RELATED: OBIO report: Funding and infrastructure key to tackling healthtech’s scaling challenge

Based in Toronto, OBIO exists to provide health sciences companies with strategy support, programming, policy development, and advocacy. OBIO does this by partnering with the private sector, the bioscience investment community, academia, patients and government.

In 2021, OBIO launched its Business Development Skills Program with $5.25 million from the Ontario government to teach bioscience companies financial, business, and intellectual property commercialization skills to help them scale.

As part of the Business Development Skills Program, Ontario-based health science companies can receive up to $100,000 in grant funding, which must be spent by the recipient by the following year in 2022.

Featured image courtesy Unsplash.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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