Accel-Rx now accepting pre-proposals from Canadian health sciences start-ups


The Accel-Rx Health Sciences Accelerator is a national organization focused on maximizing new health sciences company creation, and ensuring start-ups have the resources they need to enable them to stay and grow in Canada, and ultimately become a new generation of strong health sciences anchor companies. As such, Accel-Rx is issuing a call for pre-proposals from early-stage Canadian therapeutic/diagnostic companies seeking seed funding.

Accel-Rx, in partnership with BDC Capital, is looking to invest up to $1 million per company (maximum $500k from Accel-Rx and $500k from BDC) for approximately three to four qualified companies each year. Investments must be matched with an additional $500k (can be in the form of convertible note or equity) from other strategic partners, private sector investors or foundations – thereby providing further third party validation.

Companies interested in submitting a pre-proposal must meet the following initial criteria:

  • Nominated by one of six life sciences Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECRs):
    • The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)
    • MaRS Innovation
    • The Vancouver Prostate Centre’s Translational Research Initiative for Accelerated Discovery & Development (PC-TRiADD)
    • The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM)
    • The Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC)
    • NÉOMED
  • Incorporated in Canada;
  • Has ownership or control of the intellectual property;
  • Current company valuation between $1M to $5M;
  • Secured previous external funding between $500K and $2M; and,
  • Developing an innovative therapeutic and/or diagnostic.

How to apply:

There is a 3 stage application process for consideration for Accel-Rx/BDC seed funding. The health sciences CECRs listed above will invite qualified companies to prepare a pre-proposal with assistance from the nominating CECR. Funding will be finalized following a competitive process. Note: All reviewers at all stages of the process will have signed confidentiality and conflict of  interest agreements to ensure information is kept in strict confidence.

1.  Pre-proposal: Available now, DEADLINE: August 27, 2015 – 5:00pm Pacific Time

  • Pre-Proposal Form (doc)
  • Pre-Proposal Application Instructions (pdf)

2.  Full proposal and company pitch

  • Applicable only to companies successful in the pre-proposal stage.
  • The full proposal will focus on both the business and technical aspects of the firm. In addition to the full proposal, the company will be requested to submit a complete budget as well as supplementary information. A scientific and IP evaluation of the full proposal will be conducted by external reviewers with subject matter expertise. The company will also be asked to pitch to the investment committee. Normally 1 week after the pitch, the firm will be informed if they are selected to proceed to the next stage.

3.  Full Diligence

  • For those companies selected by the investment committee, Accel-Rx will further evaluate aspects linked to intellectual property, corporate information as well as any potential risks that could jeopardize the company securing additional investment.
  • The results of the assessments will be presented to the Accel-Rx Board of Directors, who will make the final selection of the companies to be funded. The same due diligence package will be provided to BDC for their independent evaluation and investment consideration.

For more information, please contact:

Lesley Esford
Director of Programs

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