St. John’s-based Genesis said this week that it has invested about half of the $775,000 microfund it established last year for members of its Enterprise program.

The Newfoundland and Labrador innovation hub launched the microfund in January, 2019, to provide a boost to startups entering the Enterprise program, which is for companies that are beginning to scale.

The microfund has now provided grants of $20,000 to each of 18 companies. These companies have created 84 jobs, secured $4.5 million in private investment and generated $5.1 million in revenues, said Genesis in a statement.

“The microfund has been a huge success,” said Genesis President and CEO Michelle Simms. “Our goal was to provide financial support to our clients who already demonstrate massive potential, but these results have far exceeded our expectations. They’ve proven that with a small infusion of capital early on, the potential for growth expands rapidly.”

The statement said one recipient was Granville Biomedical, which develops women’s health anatomical models to enhance healthcare training, advance patient education and innovate device demonstration.

“The Genesis Centre’s microfund has played a pivotal role in the growth of our company,” said Granville Co-Founder and CEO Biomedical Christine Goudie. “It afforded us opportunities to expand research endeavours, hire key talent and go to market sooner. We’re incredibly grateful for the early infusion of capital, along with the mentorship and support that the Genesis team provides.”

The fund has now distributed $360,000, or almost half of its funds.

“The remaining money will continue to be invested into new Enterprise clients until the entire fund has been expended,” said Genesis Marketing Communications Coordinator Annagray Campbell in an email. “The success of this three-year fund will determine its continuation. The results so far are incredibly promising.”

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, contributed $300,000 toward the initiative while the government of Newfoundland and Labrador put forward $125,000.