FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 19, 2022
Forest City SynBio enables Londoners to invest in synthetic biology startup hub
Forest City SynBio opens opportunity for London residents to invest in its vision to
turn the city into Canada’s capital for synthetic biology startups.
LONDON, Ontario – Forest City SynBio Inc. (“FCSB”) launched its second equity crowdfunding round this April allowing Londoners to become part-owners of the London-based biotechnology startup accelerator. Community members can invest as little as $100 until June 30th and receive shares in the company through a regulated portal.
“We want everyone in the community to know that they can own a little bit of London’s future economy,” says Samir, co-founder & CEO of FCSB. “This is a unique opportunity to invest in a private accelerator supporting the scientific solutions our world needs right now.”
Based in the Western Fair District, FCSB is an accelerator for synthetic biology (“synbio”) startups focused on applications in the agri-food and beverage industries, providing lab space, mentorship, connections, and capital for pre-seed ventures. FCSB’s accelerator will retain talent in London and attract new high-growth companies to set up shop in town. Co-founders Samir and Shea started the company while studying at Western University upon realizing that London was well-suited to become Canada’s centre for excellence in synbio. Western is home to one of Canada’s first and only synthetic biology programs and Fanshawe has long-standing leadership in biotechnology training. The city’s strong agriculture, food, and beverage industries paired with its fast-growing entrepreneurial ecosystem make it an attractive place for new startups to grow.
“The potential for economic growth, job and wealth creation within synthetic biology is for all intents and purposes, limitless,” says Dr. Mark Poznansky, former President of Ontario Genomics & member of both the Order of Canada & Order of Ontario. “Leadership in synbio is still there for the taking.”
Synthetic biology is the emerging industry of engineered biological systems for useful applications. It is estimated to create US$4 trillion in annual economic impact by 2040 (McKinsey Global Institute 2020) and disrupt up to $30 trillion in value in the manufacturing sector alone (Boston Consulting Group 2022). In Q4 2021, investments in food synbio startups exceeded investments for those in health & medicine (Built With Biology 2022), with applications including cellular agriculture and ingredients.
FCSB was founded in 2021 after operating for 3 years as a volunteer organization with the vision of creating a Canadian hub for synbio startups. Last summer, the company announced a partnership with the Western Fair Association to develop a 7,000-sf synbio startup incubator in their new agri-food business hub, The Grove. With the proceeds from this raise, FCSB will operate a 1,034-sf pilot facility and create a program to prepare founders to grow their companies.
“The crowdfunding exemption has created a new profile of investor: ‘Brand Ambassador’, or individuals who have a vested interest and understand the products and mission of the business,” says Michael Crowley, President of 108 Securities Inc. “As such, they often can play an important role in advancing the business like helping to attract new customers, investors or business opportunities.”
Since 2015, equity crowdfunding has enabled private companies to raise capital from retail investors in Canada. The number of companies on US exchanges has dropped by more than half since 1997 (The Atlantic 2018), cutting small investors out of these high-yield investment opportunities. FCSB’s equity crowdfund will give everyday people exposure to its portfolio of early-stage startups as it grows, letting them in on an industry growing three times faster than robotics (BCC Research 2022). FCSB closed its first round in July 2021 with $111,150 from 82 Ontarian retail investors. FCSB’s crowdfunding is facilitated by Backers Network Inc. and the registered exempt market dealer, 108 Securities Inc.
About Forest City SynBio:
Forest City SynBio aims to heal our planet from the past, improve life in the present, and create hope for the future by harnessing the power of synthetic biology. Through providing access to lab space, seed investment, and an ecosystem of service providers and partners, FCSB empowers entrepreneurs to use synthetic biology to solve the world’s most important problems. Learn more at fcsb.ca or visit our crowdfunding portal at https://app.backers.ca/#/108/offering/FCSB.
About 108 Securities Inc.:
Founded in 2011, 108 Securities Inc., ‘108’ is a registered Exempt Market Dealer with the Ontario Securities Commission together with other provincial jurisdictions. operating as an independent investment bank based in London, Canada. The firm focuses on providing strategic and financial advice on mergers, acquisitions, sales, divestitures, and private capital services. 108’s clients include middle-market and emerging growth companies, private equity sponsors and family-owned and entrepreneur-led businesses.
About Backers Network Inc.:
Thanks to recent regulatory shifts and blockchain distributed ledger technology, Backers is a
Digital Asset Investment Bank and Token LaunchPad that offers a comprehensive end-to-end
proprietary platform solution that enables private companies to raise capital and validate
their market by selling shares or equity in their businesses to everyday retail investors using
tokenized digital assets commonly such as Security Tokens and or NFTs on the blockchain
that can be bought, sold and/or traded on an open secondary market.
For more information, contact:
Forest City SynBio Inc.
(519) 221 - 1619
Backers Network Inc.
(416) 871 - 2598