IAF for life sciences companies

Need investment in your life sciences company?

A new $7-million fund has been created by the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation as part of the Ontario Life Sciences Commercialization Fund. The program helps accelerate the growth of life sciences companies established in Ontario. The fund invests up to $1 million in companies that have the potential to be global leaders in their field and provide sustainable economic benefits to Ontario.

What is the new fund?

The $7-million one-time fund helps innovative Ontario life sciences companies turn their discoveries into new products and services for previously unmet patient needs. The fund provides a comprehensive platform of resources, people, connections and funding that entrepreneurs and innovators can access to launch and grow their new ventures. The $7-million program is managed by MaRS and delivered by the Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) through the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, a collaborative network of organizations across Ontario designed to help commercialize ideas.

Download information about the fund. (PDF)

Eligibility and Application Process

An investment from the fund must enable the applicant to achieve a meaningful milestone related to the development stage of the company. Privately-held companies working in the following life sciences sectors are eligible for funding:

  • Pharmaceutical compounds (small molecule and biologics)
  • Molecular diagnostics (chemistry and instruments)
  • Combination devices
  • Imaging technologies
  • Drug delivery technologies
  • Biomaterials

Medical device, health care information technologies, management for imaging and molecular modeling for pharmaceutical compounds are not eligible for funding by the fund.

The fund is two-pronged and will invest in both early-stage and investor-backed companies. Financing is available for two types of qualified companies:

  • Early-stage life sciences companies that are currently eligible for funding under the IAF and that require more than the current maximum of $500,000 may be eligible for up to an additional $500,000 in funding. To review the IAF eligibility criteria and apply for funding visit www.marsdd.com/iaf.
  • Later-stage, investor-backed companies that are not eligible for IAF funding may qualify for financing under the new $7-million fund. Companies that have already received angel or venture capital funding may qualify for up to $1 million in financing from the fund.

In order to be eligible for investment under the fund, the company must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The company meets the general quality criteria by possessing the following attributes;
    • a total addressable market of at least $20 million and a viable plan to penetrate it;
    • defensible intellectual property and/or a sustainable competitive advantage; and
    • the management and technical skills needed to successfully carry out business.
  • The company is incorporated under the Business Corporations Act or the Canada Business Corporations Act.
  • The company is formed to commercially exploit intellectual property to which it has the unencumbered legal right to use.
  • The company pays 50% or more of its wages, salaries and fees to employees and contractors in Ontario.

Selection for IAF investments is highly competitive and successful companies are subject to rigorous due diligence and a prescribed approval process. Not all eligible applicants are successful. For further details, please contact the IAF team.



Portfolio Companies


To learn more about the fund please contact:

Email: iaf@marsdd.com

Tel: 1.877.862.4411 or 647.258.4290

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