VANCOUVER, BCJune 1, 2021 /CNW/ – Genome BC has invested $1.2 million into a Vancouver-based startup that is providing innovative, next-generation knee-bracing technology. Stoko Design Inc. is redefining how athletes prevent and recover 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 beautifully designed compression tight with integrated joint support that mimics the body’s natural structures to give the support of a traditional knee brace with unparalleled comfort.

“We believe that traditional bracing is obsolete, as many medical practitioners are already moving towards active rehabilitation methods,” said Zack Eberwein, Chief Executive Officer at Stoko.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.”

Unlike its traditional competitors, Stoko has both a strong direct-to-consumer and business to business model. 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.

About Genome British Columbia:

Genome BC is a not-for-profit organization supporting world-class genomics research and innovation to grow globally competitive life sciences sectors and deliver sustainable benefits for British Columbia, Canada and beyond. The organization’s initiatives are improving the lives of British Columbians by advancing health care in addition to addressing environmental and natural resource challenges. In addition to scientific programming, Genome BC works to integrate genomics into society by supporting responsible research and innovation and foster an understanding and appreciation of the life sciences among educators, students and the public.

SOURCE Genome British Columbia