“First-to-market” wearables company Stoko receives $1.2M from Genome BC

The funding comes less than a month after the company raised $6 million in seed funding.

Genome BC, a not-for-profit in place to support the life sciences sectors, announced today that they are investing $1.2 million into Stoko Design Inc. Stoko manufactures an innovative replacement for traditional rigid knee braces in the form of athletic tights. These are known as the K1. 

Why it matters: Zack Eberwein, Chief Executive Officer at Stoko, noted the immense importance of the financial boost. "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."

Details: Genome BC funded Stoko via the not-for-profit’s 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.” Specifically, Stoko’s manufacturing connects with the program’s aim to support innovations that better medicine or clinical practice.

The bigger picture: The majority of Stoko’s funding has come from local sources. You can find Genome BC near Olympic Village. A quick trip along False Creek and through Strathcona will take you to Stoko’s Venables Street HQ. Further, in a Vancouver Tech Journal Bulletin published May 10, we reported that Stoko had secured $6 million in seed funding. Funding sources included Vancouver-based firm Boardwalk Ventures and former C-suites from local athleisure juggernauts lululemon and Kit & Ace.  

The bottom line: This funding represents a shot in the arm (K1 wearing leg?) for Vancouver’s burgeoning wearables space.