Bioscience incubator helps start-ups go from idea to marketplace
by Stacy Dunn
Emergence is a virtual incubator based in Charlottetown that helps bioscience start-ups and early-stage companies from across Atlantic Canada go from idea to marketplace. It serves about 56 active companies – 28 of which are from PEI.
“We provide access to c-suite mentors and run the ‘Emergence Critical Path Program’ and provide specialist project support,” says Dr. Jason Cleaversmith, Executive Director. “We fill key knowledge gaps that help companies navigate the path to revenue and make credible investment propositions.”
The Critical Path Program is a bespoke program that focuses on each company’s technology and path to market, and also provides one-on-one and a team mentoring approach for bioscience companies. The program helps identify investors, and guides businesses through regulatory processes and manufacturing scale up, and provides support to develop product launch strategies, market intelligence and export plans, and more.
Specialists are on hand for companies who may need support in areas such as research and development planning, human resources, legal, financial planning, and intellectual property management.
Becoming a member
To become a member of Emergence, a company must show in their application that their product is highly innovative, has potential for high growth in the export market and through an interview process demonstrate that their leadership is coachable and open to mentorship.
Team of experts
Emergence has a team of experts with a wide range of skills and experience that come together to help emerging companies. They include:
- Mentor in Residence
- Lead Mentor, Market Access and Exporting
- Manager, Corporate Services
- Business Development Officer
“We also have an MIT designed team mentorship approach which provides access to C-suite executives such as Chief Executive Officers and Chief Financial Officers. Most of these mentors are recent retirees from industry and we are very fortunate to have them give advice and strategic direction to our companies.”
Recruiting more staff to join the team
Emergence is currently looking for a Capital Formation Mentor. They also plan to recruit two or three post-doctoral positions through a collaborative agreement with the PEI BioAlliance and the National Research Council.
“We are looking at a global talent pool for these high-level positions, and we have candidates from New Zealand, UK, France, India, and China, as well as some candidates from within Canada. As candidates do their research on the region and what it can offer their families, they find Atlantic Canada to be an attractive place to move to.”
Emergence at a glance
56 active clients (43 Atlantic Canada, 6 US & International, 7 National)
Areas of specialization include: animal and human health diagnostics, natural health products, bio-active extraction and value-added food processing, and aquaculture.
35% of Emergence companies were founded by women
Combined, Emergence companies represent 849 jobs, with $129M in sales revenue per year.
Emergence was established as a national program by the Government of Canada in 2014. In 2018, it became a regional program under the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). This year, ACOA and Innovation PEI have committed to operating the third phase of Emergence for the next three years.