Genome BC invests $1.2M in Stoko Design Inc.
by CM Staff
Genome BC has invested in Stoko through its Industry Innovation (I²) program.
VANCOUVER — Genome BC has invested $1.2 million into a Vancouver-based startup that is providing a next-generation knee-bracing technology. Stoko Design Inc. is trying to improve recovery from injuries with the development of a new retail category they call supportive apparel, incorporating medical-grade bracing into everyday athletic clothing.
Stoko’s first-to-market product, the K1, is a compression tight with integrated joint support that mimics the body’s natural structures to give the support of a traditional knee brace.
“We believe that traditional bracing is obsolete, as many medical practitioners are already moving towards active rehabilitation methods,” said Zack Eberwein, Chief Executive Officer at Stoko. “The K1 is uniquely positioned for this type of treatment, offering athletes and practitioners the ability to adjust support for any level of instability or activity as they return to sport after an injury. Local investors, such as Genome BC, have been and will continue to be critical in enabling companies like ours to commercialize game-changing technologies and expand market share.”
The K1 is eligible for medical coverage by some healthcare providers and is available through Stoko’s e-commerce platform, through various medical professionals, and in several specialty retail stores.
The K1 offers medical-grade bracing to support athletes through training, and recovery. Integrated non-stretch cables and anatomically mapped support ensure that the knee gets support, comparable to a traditional brace, within the compression tight.
“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.”
Genome BC has invested 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. The I² Fund also supports digital health and other technologies that further move precision medicine into clinical practice. I² funding is repayable and is allocated to promising technologies (products, processes or services) at the early stages of commercial development. The fund aims to provide risk capital that is concurrently matched by other public or private funding sources.