Twenty years ago today, the Genesis Group of Companies was founded as an arms-reach incubator of Memorial University and opened its offices for the first time in Spencer Hall. Since then Genesis has undergone a move to the Bruneau Centre across campus, a break-up of the group to focus on incubation, and has seen massive success from its graduate companies. At this point we can reflect on the early days of Genesis with fond memories, and look forward to what the next 20 years will hold.
Much has changed since the long-ago year of 1997. For context, this is the same year that that the DVD player was invented. At the time, the tech industry in Newfoundland and Labrador was valued at just $470 million, a number that has grown to a staggering $1.6 billion as of 2016. This growth has been supported in no small part by Genesis Centre graduates, partners, and allies, who together have fostered and supported the tech sector across NL.
Genesis’ first enquiry came on Febraury 21st, 1997, from the very first Genesis portfolio company and eventual graduate, Innova Multimedia. From there Genesis accepted numerous other companies over the years, successes and failures aplenty. Successes include Rutter Technologies, first accepted in 2000, Verafin, accepted in 2004, and most recently HeyOrca, which has received over $650,000 in venture capital investment since its acceptance to the Genesis Centre in 2014.
To celebrate our 20th year, Genesis will be hosting 20 events throughout the year, including multiple Pitch & Pick events, Innovation Week events, and Invest Atlantic 2017 in the fall (this marking the first time that Invest Atlantic has ever been held in NL). This will make 2017 our busiest year yet, and even bigger changes are on the horizon, including our move to MUN’s Battery facility in 2018.
20 years, 157 companies participating in programming (Evolution and Enterprise), 720 employees of portfolio and graduate companies currently employed, and over $90 million in investment so far. This has been the Genesis Centre’s legacy thus far, and we’re positive that it is far from over.
Here’s to the next 20 years!
A huge thank you goes out to all of our partners, supporters, and sponsors that have made the Genesis Centre possible over the past two decades.
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Provincial Department of Business, Trade, Culture, and Rural Development, and Memorial University have all supported the Centre and continue to do so going forward. The Genesis Centre would not be where it is today with these organizations.
Strategic partners such as CDMN, MaRS Discovery District, Invest Atlantic, NATI, NLOWE, 1776, CNA, and Ladies Learning Code all deserve recognition as well for their continued support of Genesis through events and initiatives.
Thank you all for 20 amazing years!