Natural Products Canada Announces Support for Two Quebec Sustainable Start-up Companies, Delivering a Boost in Canada’s Bioeconomy

May 16, 2024

Quebec City, Quebec — Natural Products Canada (NPC) today announced support for two revolutionary companies based in Quebec through its Commercialization Programs. The recipients Flaura cuir Vegetal Inc., and Gestion Dryad Inc., both create plant-based vegan leather to help decarbonize the apparel industry using nature-based solutions.  

Shelley King, CEO, Natural Products Canada

NPC’s Commercialization Programs focus on three gaps common to highly innovative companies: product validation, talent, and competitive strategy. The Proof of Concept, Access to Talent, and Fast Track to Financing programs address each of these gaps and provide up to $350,000 in support. Acting truly as “strategic angels” NPC works with applicants before, during and after the official application process, providing in-depth advice, guidance and connections to resources from across the country.

“Natural Products Canada is proud to support these two companies creating sustainable products that will support economic development and benefit all Canadians,” said Shelley King, CEO, Natural Products Canada. “NPC’s investment in Quebec’s start-ups Flaura cuir Vegetal and Gestion Dryad represents the vast array of high-potential Canadian companies developing competitive, sustainable products that contribute to Canada’s economy and the planet as a whole.”

Fannie Laroche, Flaura cuir Vegetal

The investment into Flaura cuir Vegetal will help them scale the production of plant-based leathers made from apple waste to meet demand of the luxury textile market. NPC is investing $38,840, enabling a total budget of $97,100.

“We’re extremely grateful for the NPC capital as it allows us to complete this important validation and scale-up of our alternative leather product,” said Fannie Laroche, Flaura cuir Vegetal Inc.

François Simard, Chief Innovation Officer, Gestion Dryad

The support for Gestion Dryad Inc. will help fund Proof of Concept activities to continue the development of sustainable plant-based alternatives to leather, which match performance, including breathability. NPC will invest $36,738, enabling a total budget of $91,845.  

“Scaling up our production is critical to help us secure and serve the clients who are eagerly awaiting our innovative new leather replacement,” said François Simard, Chief Innovation Officer, Gestion Dryad.

NPC’s work to advance natural products is supported by the Government of Canada.  Since 2016, NPC has provided advice and promotional support to over 1600 Canadian start-ups and has curated thousands of strategic introductions through its extensive network of investors, industry leaders, business and technical consultants, and others that help advance sustainable innovation.

“Our government will always support global decarbonization efforts, and it is important to invest in industries that can lead the way sustainably. By approaching it in this way, we can achieve our environmental goals synergistically with supporting the growth of Canadian businesses and expertise.”

-The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

For more information about these clients and their technologies, or to explore opportunities to collaborate with Natural Products Canada, please contact Sue Coueslan at [email protected].

About Natural Products Canada (NPC) – NPC is the driving force behind Canada’s Natural Product Innovation Cluster–a strategic and diverse community focused on the development and commercialization of naturally-derived products and technologies in health and life sciences, natural resources, agriculture and agri-food, and sustainable bioproducts. As part of its role in the Cluster, NPC offers in-depth advice and a suite of commercialization programs to Canadian early-stage companies and research institutes; provides connections and innovation scouting services to corporations and investors; and leverages an investment fund (Nàdarra Ventures) to help develop and de-risk promising Canadian opportunities. NPC has received financial support from the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, administered by the department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the Centre of Excellence in Commercialization and Research (CECR) program, administered by the Networks of Centres of Excellence.