The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation invested $6.2 million in 24 companies in the 12 months to March 31, 2018, with the value of deals increasing 8.8 percent over the previous fiscal year.

The non-profit that oversees early-stage venture capital investment and commercial research in the province issued its 2017-18 annual report on Wednesday, showing that it was active in the most recent fiscal period.

NBIF has a dual function. It invests in and nurtures early-stage innovation companies, and it helps to finance research that can help New Brunswick companies. Funding more than doubled last fiscal year for its innovation voucher program, which helps corporations collaborate with universities and research institutions on research and development.

The organization operates two investment funds – the Venture Capital Fund invested a total of $5 million in 2017-18, while the Startup Investment Fund for newer companies distributed $1.2 million. The companies that these two funds invested in also received almost $17 million in financing from other sources.

Two Fredericton-based companies received two rounds of NBIF funding – Eigen Innovations for a total of $900,000, and Beauceron Security for a total of $650,000.

“With over $100 million invested, plus $457 million more leveraged from other sources, the NBIF has helped to create over 113 companies, fund 494 applied research projects, and recruit 72 professors to the province since its inception in 2003,” said the report.

The annual report also revealed for the first time that the company has invested a further $500,000 in Moncton-based Internet of Things company RtTech Software. This company now has received a total of $1.58 million from NBIF, the largest amount in the organization’s portfolio. In December 2017, RtTech sold its key Cipher technology division to Bedford, Mass.-based Aspen Technology, though the company has continued with its other divisions intact.

Fredericton-based Populus Global , which received $350,000 in investment from NBIF last year, is now No. 2 in terms of total investment at $1.32 million.  

The following were the investments in the 2017-18 fiscal year:

Venture Capital Fund

Beauceron Security                         $500,000

Eigen Innovations (1)                      $500,000

Avrij                                                 $500,000

RtTech                                             $500,000

Eigen Innovations (2)                      $400,000

Populus Global                                $350,000

ITAVIO                                             $317,375

SimpTek Technologies                    $300,000

Alongside                                        $250,000

Smartpods                                       $250,000

SomaDetect                                    $200,000

Inversa                                            $200,000

Gemba                                            $300,000

Envenio                                           $112,698

Loft1                                                $100,000

Repable                                           $100,000

Patchell Brook                                  $100,000

Kognitiv Spark                                  $50,000

Startup Investment Fund

EyesOver                                         $200,000

Stash Energy                                   $200,000

Quber                                               $200,000

Beauceron Security                          $150,000

EhEye                                               $150,000

Jaza Energy                                     $100,000

AVSS                                                $100,000

Rise                                                  $50,000


The annual report also noted that NBIF backed $6.4 million in research projects and talent recruitment in the fiscal year. That broke down as $3.9 million in research funding (an increase of $190,000) and $2.5 million in talent recruitment of research professionals and students.

The report said 2018 has been an eventful year for NBIF as it has hired a new CEO in Jeff White and Director of Research in Laura Richard. White replaced former CEO Calvin Milbury, who departed in May.


Disclosure: NBIF is a client of Entrevestor.