Five Ontario early-stage businesses receive support

Toronto, December 12, 2011 – MaRS announces support for five Ontario businesses through the Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF), a program that provides an equity-type investment to businesses that develop and bring to market innovative new technologies or services.

The IAF and its related program, the Investment Accelerator Fund-Life Sciences (IAF-LS), support the launch and development of innovative companies in Ontario’s priority sectors:  advanced materials and manufacturing, information technology, cleantech and life sciences. The IAF support also helps these businesses to attract additional investment.

The IAF has committed to supporting each of the following businesses:

  • Verold: This software company has developed a content creation platform that significantly reduces the time required to create ready-to-animate 3D content for media consumption (games, web content and AR/VR worlds).
  • FuturestateIT: The company offers a SaaS solution called AppRx that automates the monitoring and testing of applications to ensure they are kept current, compatible and compliant with changes in the IT environment.
  • SurfEasy: SurfEasy has developed a USB key that improves Internet privacy and security through password protection and encryption. The USB key securely stores the user’s web history, bookmarks and passwords, ensuring no personal data is left behind on the computer or network.
  • GreenMantra: GreenMantra uses a proprietary catalyst to economically produce commercial quality waxes and fuels by recycling plastics. The company’s pilot facility is now consistently producing waxes that have been evaluated by over 20 potential customers.

The IAF-LS fund supports businesses that have the potential to be global leaders in their field, provide sustainable economic benefits to Ontario and create new products and services that meet patient needs and deliver better health care. The fund has committed to providing an equity-type investment in the following business:

  • Interface Biologics: Interface Biologics Inc. (IBI) is a privately held, early-stage company that develops transformative biomedical polymer technology to improve the safety and effectiveness of medical devices. The company focuses on 1) anti-thrombogenic additives that reduce thrombosis without the need for heparin and 2) programmable combination drug delivery devices.

“The IAF is proud to support these early-stage companies. Their innovative technologies, products and services enable their strong management teams to build businesses with sustainable competitive advantages,” says Barry Gekiere, IAF Managing Director. “We support our portfolio companies with access to capital and a network of market and sector connections.”

“The IAF investment will help us achieve a critical milestone on our path to becoming a major global player in the realm of 3D digital content creation and virtual worlds creation, including games. With this support, we will be able to significantly accelerate our time to market, hopefully moving far ahead of our competitors,” said Jad Yaghi, CEO of Verold.

“We are very pleased that the IAF-LS has chosen IBI as one of the limited number of life sciences companies they are funding,” said Tom Reeves, President and CEO of Interface Biologics. “This underscores IBI’s historical success and future opportunities. In particular, we are excited about investigating the use of our technology platforms in ophthalmology applications – a large and growing market with significant unmet needs.”

“The McGuinty government understands that to compete with other jurisdictions around the world, we have to continue to make innovation the driver of the Ontario economy,” said Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation. “The IAF program is helping to build a stronger economy and creating jobs and prosperity for Ontario families. With this support, the companies will be able to attract follow-on investment and have the potential to create more than 70 new, high-value jobs over the next two years.”

About the Investment Accelerator Fund
The Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) (Twitter: @MaRSIAF) invests in qualified emerging companies in Ontario using an equity-type instrument. As a critical component of the Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE), the IAF supports the launch and development of innovative businesses in Ontario’s priority sectors of advanced materials and manufacturing, information technology, cleantech and life sciences. The IAF is funded by the Government of Ontario and delivered by MaRS.

About Investment Accelerator Fund-Life Sciences
The Investment Accelerator Fund-Life Sciences (IAF-LS) helps accelerate the growth of life sciences companies in Ontario. Using an equity-type investment, the fund supports businesses that have the potential to be global leaders in their field and provide sustainable economic benefits to Ontario. IAF-LS helps innovative life sciences companies turn their discoveries into new products and services that meet patient needs and deliver better health care.

About MaRS
MaRS Discovery District (Twitter: @MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto. MaRS works with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify innovation. MaRS supports entrepreneurs building Canada’s next generation of growth companies.

For more information, contact:

Chris Stevenson
Director, Communications
(416) 673-8104