VoxCell BioInnovation is creating vascularized, human-like cancer tissue models by combining a custom high-resolution 3D bioprinter, advanced software, and proprietary bio-inks.
The New Ventures BC Competition finalist aims to accelerate the development of life-saving anti-cancer drugs by providing tissue models that can identify viable candidates earlier in the drug-development pipeline.
Toward this tremendous goal will go $100,000 in capital investment from Spring Activator and the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good via the Women-led Impact Investor Challenge, which unfolded over the past few months.
“At the Telus Pollinator Fund, we view diversity as a strength helping to uncover untapped market opportunities,” stated Ka-Hay Law, Investment Director, TELUS Pollinator Fund, at the start of the Challenge.
The challenge facilitates connections between “those looking for purpose-based investments with women-founders who are working on solutions to local and global problems.” VoxCell fit the bill.
“We are sincerely grateful to have Dr. Karolina Valente in this cohort and we look forward to seeing how she will leverage this capital,” stated Spring Activator.
According to data from Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, 16% of small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada are owned by women and 50% of business created today are created by women—that’s the good news.
However, 90% of venture capital deals go to companies founded by men. The Women-led IIC was created to address this gap, according to Spring.
“We are helping build the capacity and investment readiness of social purpose organizations and boost women’s sector participation in the social finance market,” affirmed Sagal Dualeh, Director of the Investment Readiness Program for the Canadian Women’s Foundation, which supported the Women-Led Impact Investor Challenge with financing as well as mentorship and expertise.
Finalists in the Challenge included ocean startup PhyCo—which renders a natural bio-based plastic derived from seaweed—and Nada, a certified B Corporation and Vancouver’s first package-free grocery store and delivery service when the company was founded in 2015.