“Serving both companion and production animals, Canada’s animal health sector has developed an enviable reputation,” Emergence director, Martin Yuill says in the December 2017 edition of the UK-based International Animal Health Journal (IAHJ).
“Within Canada,” Yuill writes, “one of the foremost animal health clusters is to be found in Prince Edward Island.”
Not coincidentally, PEI is also home to the Emergence Bioscience Business Incubator, an initiative that offers strong support to startup and scale-up companies in the bioscience sector across Canada.
“Just three years old, Emergence has already secured a reputation as one of the country’s leading enablers of new company formation and growth in the animal health sector,” Yuill tells IAHJ: citing a current portfolio of 67 mostly startup and early-stage client companies, which between them raised over $48 million in follow-on funding over the last year, racked up revenues of $29 million, and grew their full-time employment by 75%.
In addition to serving high-potential companies across Canada, Emergence also provides a “soft landing” for innovative international animal health ventures seeking to start-up or establish themselves in, or expand into, North America.
One Emergence client that fits this bill is Aim.OA – a UK-based startup that has developed a new, cloud-based electronic decision making tool for managing canine arthritis. Click here to read more!
Animal Ethics is another international Emergence client – an Australia-based company specializing in the development of wound care and pain relief products for humans, livestock, and companion animals. The company is working towards a US and Canadian registration by mid-2019. See: Tri-Solfen gains approval in New Zealand and Animal Ethics receives an $18.2 million investment from UK-listed Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC.
Both companies have benefitted from the soft-landing and market entry services that Emergence offers to international ventures.
One such service is mentorship – both one-on-one and team mentorship.
Via this, entrepreneurs are allocated business advisors who provide regular feedback and guidance on issues related to the viability of their idea, regulatory requirements, the best route to commercial success, and capital formation strategy advice and contacts.
Lisa Pfister, a recent engineering graduate from New Brunswick has launched her startup, Pfera, with the goal to make equine reproduction management easier, cheaper and healthier for the horses. Lisa says she’s benefitted from the in-depth mentorship she has received from Emergence.
“I am so grateful for the support I have received through Emergence”, Lisa tells IAHJ. “Technical skills are one thing, but the challenges of being a new entrepreneur, bringing a new product to the market, have proven to be much more challenging. I have been helped in my journey by the fantastic mentorship and coaching I have received, as well as by the many other services that I have been able to take advantage of as a client of Emergence”.
In addition to mentorship, incubator clients are able to benefit from a pool of funds that support what are called Specialist Services Projects.
This pillar of the incubator co-funds, alongside the client, defined projects that are critical to the company progressing along its “critical path” of commercialization.
SomaDetect has developed an innovative herd health solution for the global dairy industry, which involves new advanced technology that detects the presence of progesterone, protein, fat trace antibiotics and somatic cell counts in raw milk without the need for reagents or consumables. Using this technology, farmers will be able to monitor the reproductive status and health of their herd, and ensure high quality milk for consumers.
Drawing on the full resources of Emergence, SomaDetect has seen their first year in business catapult them into the international spotlight.
“Working with an incubator program like Emergence has enabled us to draw upon the expertise and valuable mentorship of others who have been there and done that,” says SomaDetect Founder and CEO, Bethany Deshpande.
“This has been crucial to keeping us focused on the issues important to our commercialization ‘critical path’, while access to funding when we needed it most helped us to optimize the development of our prototype, and accelerate our path to market.”
Clients of Emergence also take advantage of the program’s Market Intelligence Service. This provides access to key market intelligence to help move businesses forward.
MicroSintesis is an Ontario-based startup client of Emergence that has taken advantage of this service. A new animal health company that has, for the past five years, been researching a novel probiotic technology which has the potential to significantly impact the way animals are treated for gut health and intestinal distress, MicroSintesis is creating a platform of novel anti-infectives from probiotics. The company recently signed an exclusive distribution agreement to distribute their first product.
By taking advantage of the Market Intelligence Service, MicroSintesis was able to access top tier research reports as well as expert analysts with industry knowledge of the animal health sector.
“For a cash-starved startup, this service was incredibly valuable,” says founder and CEO, Hannah McIver, who also credits the incubator with providing strategic- and operational-level input to her venture at a time when she needed it most.
In addition to accessing in-house expertise, Emergence clients also enjoy access to legal, financial, risk mitigation and intellectual property advisory services through partnerships that Emergence has with top-tier professional service providers.
“Emergence provided us direct access to some of the best legal and tax advice available,” says AIM.OA’s Co-Founder, David Prydie. “This is so important for a young company like ours that is taking its first steps into new markets.”
“Based on the program’s impact metrics to date, Emergence is already having a significant impact on the successful formation, commercialization, funding, and export- and investment-readiness of bioscience companies across Canada,” Yuill concludes.
For further information about Emergence, see: https://emergencebioincubator.com/