Toronto, ON, May 10, 2011 – Personalized health coaching company and MaRS Client Newtopia Inc. announced last week that the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has invested seed funding for its next stage of commercialization. BDC made the investment through its Venture Capital division (BDC VC), in partnership with a seasoned group of Canadian angel investors, including Newtopia Chairman and Co-founder Dennis Bennie.

Newtopia is a revolutionary approach to weight loss and healthy living, created by a team of leading experts. Founded in 2008, Newtopia offers tailored online health plans, products and coaching support that combine nutrition, exercise and behaviour management.

Newtopia’s solution incorporates proprietary data management with knowledge gained from genetics research and behavioural psychology to match clients with coaches and deliver individualized health plans and weight management programs.

Genetic information is used by Newtopia to profile a client’s predisposition for specific health issues. The FTO gene, for example, also known as the ‘fat gene’, is one of the most widely reviewed genetic markers.  If these markers are identified by the simple genetic home test, Newtopia incorporates the information into a customized online coaching program and natural health diet.

“With our presence growing throughout Canada, I am excited to have BDC as an investment partner,” says Newtopia CEO and Co-founder Jeffrey Ruby. “Newtopia is making affordable personalized health solutions accessible to a broad market. Our partnership with BDC will help us attract committed entrepreneurs to join our direct sales team and movement toward sustainable, healthy living.”

Brenda Irwin, a Partner with BDC VC, adds, “Sustainable solutions are a challenge in the field of health care, but Newtopia is well positioned to profit from the growing trend toward virtual personal wellness coaching and customized health care program management. Their innovative and integrated solutions tap into the wealth of scientific research around genetic variants … to deliver long term results.”

“We expect to make a real difference in people’s lives,” says Newtopia Chairman and Co-founder Dennis Bennie. “Our approach to addressing health problems is limitless. We are positioned to change the quick fix paradigm that dominates the weight loss industry and have plans to expand our service offering by supporting chronic disease management, such as diabetes. Having BDC as a partner should help us meet our growth targets.”

Newtopia became a MaRS client in 2009 and has worked closely with the Information technology, Communications and Entertainment (ICE) and Life Sciences and Health Care advisory teams to identify funding opportunities and strategies for growth.