CVCA Member Profiles

NBIF gets $45.6M government injection to support local innovation

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May 4 – 12 was Innovation Week in New Brunswick and the week was used as a backdrop for a provincial government funding announcement for the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF). The government of New Brunswick committed to propelling the local innovation ecosystem with an injection of $45.6 million in funds over four years in an announcement on May 9th.

The funding is exciting news for the NBIF according to Calvin Milbury, President and CEO of NBIF.

These funds will support continued investments in applied research that has commercial potential, and they replenish our venture capital fund that focuses on startup and early stage growth companies in New Brunswick,” Milbury says.

NBIF has historically leveraged at least five dollars for every dollar it invests. We plan to use this new funding to leverage more capital to help scale up our many startup companies in New Brunswick.”

NBIF has been integral in supporting local innovative companies. NBIF was a first investor in social media monitoring company Radian6, which was acquired by Sales​force​.com in 2011 for US $371M. It’s impressive stories like Radian6 that demonstrate NBIF’s role in the New Brunswick innovation ecosystem.

What’s exciting is that as a non-profit we recycled 100 per cent of those funds back into the ecosystem, and over the past four years have grown of investment activities from 12 venture deals per year to an average 24 deals per year today,” Milbury explains.

NBIF currently has 46 companies in our portfolio, high growth companies like IIoT industrial apps company RtTech Software in Moncton and precision agriculture startup Resson Aerospace in Fredericton. NBIF helped to seed Resson Aerospace with first equity, and last year the firm secured a $14M Series B round, led by Monsanto Ventures.

The funding commitment to the NBIF shows that multi-government support is critical to Canada’s innovation ecosystem and generates healthy local economies.

We are really excited about what lies ahead,” says Milbury. We seek to leverage the growing startup ecosystem that has taken root here in New Brunswick. Recent exits like Q1 Labs and Radian6 have encouraged more startups, and angel investors and VCs have taken notice. New Brunswick is ripe with potential and NBIF intends to capitalize on that.”

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