The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation invested a record $4.2 million in startups in the 2015 fiscal year, more than twice the figure two years earlier, the not-for-profit agency said in the annual report released Tuesday.

NBIF said it made six investments from its Startup Investment Fund totaling $610,000 and 12 Venture Capital Fund investments totaling $3.23 million. In the previous year, it had invested $2.8 million in 15 companies, and in the year before that $1.95 million.

The report also said that the companies that received the investment in 2014-15 also raised about $16 million from other investors.

“Today, more than ever we are seeing increasingly more researchers and entrepreneurs who are thinking big and globally from day one,” said CEO Calvin Milbury in the report. “This mindset represents a marked shift. A culture of innovation has evolved, and it is having a tremendous impact on our province – and we at NBIF are witnessing that first-hand.”

Read the details of NBIF's previous annual report.

NBIF – which advertises on Entrevestor -- has been growing in recent years largely because of two major factors. First, in 2011 it cashed in for $9.25 million, or a gain of 28 times, when its portfolio company Radian6 was bought by And successive New Brunswick governments have identified innovation as a key focus of economic strategy and asked NBIF to handle much of the work.

One interesting piece of information included in the report is that the value of the foundation’s exits since 2003 is $11 million.  It has had two exits of note – Radian 6 and the 2014 exit of Fredericton-based UserEvents, the value of which was never revealed. By subtracting the $9.25 million Radian6 value from the $11 million total, it’s possible to conclude that NBIF received $1.75 million from the UserEvents exit. That figure is seven times its $250,000 investments, which is pretty darn good considering there was only one year from investment to exit.

Other information in the report showed that NBIF invested $7 million in research projects, which found an additional $16 million from other sources. And its portfolio companies attain 76 percent of their revenues through exports.  The jobs created by the companies and research projects it funds produced an average salary of $70,000 and generated over $53 million in labour income.

The following are the details of the NBIF equity investments in the year to March 31, 2015:

Investments from the Startup Investment Fund

Timbre Cases                                     $110,000

Castaway Golf                                   $100,000

Fiddlehead Technology                 $100,000

ITAVIO                                                  $100,000

Qimple                                                 $100,000

NB Biomatrix                                      $50,000

SimpTek Technologies                   $50,000

Total                                                      $610,000

Investments from the Venture Capital Fund:

 RtTech Software                             $500,000

MycoDev                                             $500,000

Gemba Software                             $500,000

Smartpods                                          $500,000

Sentrant Security                             $250,000

Resson Aerospace                           $250,000

Eigen Innovations                            $150,000

Food Tender                                      $150,000

SceneSharp Technologies            $150,000

Inversa Systems                               $125,000

Atlantic Hydrogen                            $100,000

Enovex                                                 $50,000

Total                                                      $3,225,000

In the Venture Capital Fund, MycoDev, Gemba, Sentra and Resson are new investments. Once they reach certain milestones, Gemba Software and Sentrant Security are pre-approved for additional investments of $250,000 and $125,000 respectfully, said the report.