BioCreate Program

Funder

Ontario Genomics

Sector

Multi-Sector

BioCreate program banner showing the Canada and Ontario Genomics logo

Ontario Genomics’ BioCreate program is open to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in southern Ontario seeking to commercialize genomics and engineering biology enabled products and/or technologies in the health, food and agriculture, and cleantech sectors who have achieved a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 4+. BioCreate will provide funding, access to mentorship and business support to enable companies to raise additional financing to achieve commercial outcomes.

The multi-phase BioCreate program will include direct, non-repayable funding of $150,000 that will be matched by an additional $100,000 (minimum) from participating companies to a total project size of $250,000 or more. Funded companies will have access to 18-months of intensive business mentorship and access to critical infrastructure provided by Ontario Genomics’ (OG’s) strategic sectoral and regional partnerships. Each cohort will conclude with an investor showcase, giving the companies an opportunity to pitch to investors and potential partners. BioCreate will support up to 32 high-potential companies over five years with seven total cohorts (rolling intake with funding decisions twice per year).

The BioCreate program consists of three phases:

The BioCreate expert panel will evaluate market potential and technical feasibility of eligible applications, based on the evaluation criteria defined in the Program Guide. Successful applicants will receive up to $150,000 in non-repayable funding and must contribute $100,000 minimum to leverage the funding for their 18-month project. The application process consists of three stages:

  • Expression of interest
  • Invitation to submit application/submission of written application
  • Pitch to BioCreate Expert Panel

 

During the course of the funded project, the BioCreate program will support technology and business development to successful applicants through business mentors, patent expertise, regulatory support, and other support as defined by the needs of the company. Access to infrastructure can be facilitated through our program partners depending on company needs and location. OG’s strategic sectoral and regional partnerships include Velocity (Waterloo), Synapse Life Sciences Consortium (Hamilton), Toronto Metropolitan University SDZ (Toronto) and Cleantech Commons (Peterborough). SMEs will also work with one or more BioCreate partners and Ontario Genomics BioCreate team to develop a pitch deck to present at the Investor Showcase in Phase III.

 

After the successful completion of the 18-month program, teams will participate in an investor showcase where they will pitch to an audience of regional enablers and investors in efforts to receive follow-on investment.

 

Biocreate header with three phases

Application Steps and Dates

Interested SMEs should submit a BioCreate intake form at any time. A representative from the BioCreate team will reach out to you to discuss your project idea. Eligible applicants will be invited to submit an application.

For more information on the BioCreate program including eligibility requirements and evaluation criteria see the Program Guide. If you have questions, please contact BioCreate.

As a signatory to the 50-30 Challenge, Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) is a core component of Ontario Genomics’ ethos, including within this program. Furthermore, Ontario’s population is highly diverse, and effective and authentic diversity and inclusion strategies are essential for southern Ontario organizations to thrive and achieve their goals. We encourage applications from diverse teams and all equity-deserving groups.

BioCreate is a 5-year, 11.6 million dollar program supported by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and by Ontario Genomics.

Contacts

BioCreate

Key Dates

Important: updates to Cohort 3 eligibility (in addition to the eligibility criteria in the program guide). For this cohort, eligible companies will be pre-revenue and have raised between $0-2M in funding (including grants). For early-stage companies, some revenue generated through non-core business activities may be permissible, as assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Reason for the update: The BioCreate program seeks to treat all eligible applicants fairly and equitably during the application and review process, where the $150K grant facilitates a meaningful impact leading to company growth and success in Ontario. The definition of “SME” as stated in our program guide is broad and includes a wide range of company sizes. The cap on revenue and funding for cohort 3 allows for a fair competition for earlier-stage companies within the broad definition of “SMEs”. Our goal is to support SMEs who have achieved TRL 4+ and are commercializing innovative Ontario-based genomics and engineering biology solutions. This update applies only to cohort 3, and we will continue to reassess our program going forward in a way that strives to provide a fair, diverse, and balanced opportunity for SMEs in this space.

Phase I – BioCreate Funding

  • Complete intake form on OG website – rolling intake
    • Intake start date: October 24, 2023
    • Deadline to submit intake form to be considered for Cohort 3 is November 30, 2023
  • Intake call with OG’s BioCreate team – rolling intake
  • Full applications for Cohort 3 due January 7, 2024
  • Company pitch to BioCreate expert panel – week of February 12, 2024
  • Notification of award – March 2024
  • Contract executed – end of March 2024

2. Phase II – BioCreate Business Mentorship (TBD)
Ongoing

Phase I – BioCreate Funding

  • Complete intake form on OG website – rolling intake
    • Intake start date: April 11, 2023
    • Deadline to submit intake form to be considered for Cohort 2 is June 30, 2023
  • Intake call with OG’s BioCreate team – rolling intake
  • Applications for Cohort 2 due July 30, 2023
  • Company pitch to BioCreate expert panel – week of September 11, 2023
  • Notification of award – September 2023
  • Contract executed – end of September 2023

2. Phase II – BioCreate Business Mentorship

  • 18-month BioCreate project launched – October 1, 2023
  • Mentorship initiated

Learn more about the 8 awarded companies of the BioCreate Cohort 1

1. Phase I – BioCreate Funding

  • Complete intake form on OG website – rolling intake
    • Note: Deadline to submit intake form to be considered for Cohort 1 is December 15, 2022
  • Intake call with OG’s BioCreate team – rolling intake
  • Applications for Cohort 1 due January 18, 2023
  • Company pitch to BioCreate Expert Panel – February 2023
  • Notification of award – February 2023
  • Contract executed – March 2023

2. Phase II – BioCreate Business Mentorship

  • 18-month BioCreate project launched – April 1, 2023
  • Mentorship initiated
Project funding decisions will take place twice a year (spring and fall cohorts).

Awarded projects