St. John’s-based Genesis has initiated a $775,000 micro fund that will provide initial financing to about 38 companies over the next three years.

Genesis announced this week that the Genesis Micro Fund will provide grants of up to $20,000 to each company, to be released in increments based on milestones that the parties agree on. The companies are all members of Genesis’ Enterprise incubator, which supports early-stage companies.

The fund received contributions of $300,000 from the federal government and $125,000 from the provincial Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation. 

“This fund will be a vital resource to our companies in the Enterprise incubator program, and a means to empower local entrepreneurs,” said Genesis President and CEO Michelle Simms in the statement. “It will lower the barriers to launching a successful technology business and enable accelerated growth.”

Genesis is Memorial University’s support network for tech businesses, providing access to office space, marketing, finance and management expertise. The organization said the new fund is designed to address a gap in the funding ecosystem as early-stage companies find it difficult to secure the initial money that can help them get going.

Genesis said in an email that six of the 19 companies now in the Enterprise program have already been accepted to receive money from the fund.

“Genesis is tuned in to the needs of the start-up community and provides a supportive, mentor-driven environment where companies can thrive,” said St. John’s East MP Nick Whalen, who’s worked as an IP lawyer for McInnes Cooper. He added the fund “will provide access to much-needed help for new businesses to accelerate their innovative ideas, develop entrepreneurial skills and advance their businesses.”