Vancouver startup Stoko has developed technology that embeds all the support of a traditional knee brace within the comfort of a compression tight.
Their K1 supportive tight mimics the natural support structures within your body to give your knee all the support of a traditional brace with unparalleled comfort. Not surprisingly, elite athletes love the K1.
Late last year Stoko became an official supplier to Canada Snowboard and the Canadian National Snowboard Team and earlier this year Stoko landed a partnership with the Victoria Royals WHL hockey team.
Up against an outdated, 50-year-old knee brace industry, Stoko is creating an entirely new ‘supportive apparel’ category and some of Vancouver’s top angel investors are betting on them.
Last month Stoko raised a $6 million funding round that included local angel investors John Currie (former CFO of lululemon), Norm Francis (Boardwalk Ventures), and Darrell Kopke (Adelhard, formerly Kit and Ace and lululemon).
Today Genome BC announced they are getting in on the action with a $1.2 million investment in Stoko through its Industry Innovation (I²) program.
The I² Fund provides commercialization support for companies developing innovative life science technologies that address biological challenges in key economic sectors in BC: Agriculture, Energy and Mining, Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forestry, and Human Health. I² funding is repayable and is allocated to promising technologies (products, processes or services) at the early stages of commercial development.
“Genome BC invests in cutting-edge, innovative life sciences companies,” said Dr. Tony Brooks, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Entrepreneurship & Commercialization at Genome BC. “Stoko has demonstrated there is a market and an unmet need for this type of product. Our investment will be directed towards manufacturing and marketing efforts to help grow the company.”