There is no denying the importance of capital to help you start and accelerate the growth of your business. However, understanding the amount you need, the types available to you, and the timing for capital is imperative.
The Innovation Mill’s capital services will help you navigate and understand the complex capital landscape and how the nuances, stage, and sector of your business will determine the most relevant and realistic capital opportunities for you.
Given the vastness and complexity of the global capital landscape, be it dilutive or non-dilutive capital, we encourage you to do your own research and connect with your mentors to learn about the different funding vehicles in our community and beyond. We have outlined some of the key sources of capital in our ecosystem.
Government Funded Programs
The Collaboration Voucher program connects eligible Ontario companies with research institutions to address challenges and improve productivity, performance and competitiveness. Eligible Ontario companies receive a voucher, which is a credit, that they can redeem for expertise and resources from Ontario universities, colleges and research hospitals to advance productivity and commercialization.
Having direct business ties to the Chinese marketplace is more important than ever for Ontario-based start-ups seeking an international presence. The China Angels Mentorship Program (CAMP) is a virtual incubation program designed to help start-ups prepare their businesses for the Chinese market.
The place where Canadian enterprises can find information and guidance to access programs and resources in support of business innovation. Select your innovation need and province your firm is located in to get started.
The Nickel Basin Federal Development Corporation (Nickel Basin) is an incorporated, not-for-profit organization that was created in September 2000, with a mandate to administer a community loan fund in support of small and medium-sized businesses. Nickel Basin is funded through Industry Canada and FedNor (federal government), to provide funding and advice, to promote economic growth and diversification that creates and maintains jobs in and around the City of Greater Sudbury.
National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) has been stimulating wealth creation for Canada through technological innovation. This is largely accomplished by providing technology assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises at all stages of the innovation process, to build their innovation capacity.
NORCAT and IRAP also have separate funding program administered through NORCAT for projects of up to $5,000. For more information check out the documents below.
The Business Innovation Access Program (BIAP) is a Government of Canada pilot program that provides $20 million in funding to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them access business services or technical assistance at Canada’s learning institutions and publicly-funded research organizations to bring bigger and better innovations to market faster.
The Funding Portal is Canada’s national bilingual e-commerce platform and one-window gateway to improve access to government funding and business financing. The Portal aggregates more than 7,000 sources of funding within a free searchable database—more than 4,500 government sources and 2,500 private solutions—representing more than $30 billion in available funding for your business, hospital, university, charity or non-profit. The Portal has also built a pan-Canadian Roster of funding experts to assist you with your application, and offers a full range of Data & Analytics reports informing the funding process.
The MaRS BAP program offers an array of funding opportunities to Ontario-based, early-stage technology entrepreneurs looking to advance their company to the next level of growth through a strategic, short-term, high impact project. Check in with your NORCAT mentor to learn more.
Embark Funding helps place a young professional (aged 22-29) with a novel Ontario-based technology venture to accomplish specific goals or milestones.
Ventures can receive up to $20,000 (which includes costs of HST) towards the cost of the Embark candidate’s salary. Each recipient will also be required to contribute $2,500 cash (or 12.5% of amount requested) over the program’s six-month period.
Through its flagship Northern Ontario Development Program, FedNor invests in projects that support community economic development, business growth and competitiveness, and innovation.
The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) is a crown corporation and development agency of the Ontario government that invests in northern businesses and municipalities through conditional contributions, forgivable performance loans, incentive term loans and loan guarantees.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation’s goal is to build healthy and vibrant communities throughout Ontario and to strengthen the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. The foundation offers an array of unique funding opportunities and programs that all social innovation entrepreneurs should explore.
The Greater Sudbury Development Corporation works with community stakeholders to foster civic engagement, cultivate entrepreneurship and stimulate the continuous development of a dynamic and healthy city.
The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation directs and coordinates step-change innovation in the areas of exploration, deep mining, integrated mine engineering, environment and sustainability for the metal mining industry.
CAMIRO is a not-for-profit organization run by the mining industry to manage collaborative mining research.
To learn more about the many other funding options available, search the Funding Sources Directory by sector and location to quickly find programs applicable to your business.
Investment Capital Opportunities
The Investment Accelerator Fund is a seed fund that assists emerging Ontario technology companies to bring their products and services to market. The fund provides a comprehensive platform of resources, people, connections and funding that entrepreneurs and innovators can access to launch their new ventures. The IAF program is managed by MaRS and delivered through the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, a collaborative network of organizations across Ontario, designed to help commercialize ideas.
The IAF invests in early stage, privately-held companies with no significant revenue or institutional investment. These companies must demonstrate their potential to achieve high growth and be enabled by truly innovative technologies that can provide the new venture with sustainable competitive advantage. By assisting these companies to succeed, the IAF is helping to create the high-value jobs that contribute to Ontario’s Innovation Agenda.
Northern Ontario Angels
The Northern Ontario Angels, a dynamic group of accredited angel investors that evaluate quality deal flow opportunities in the Inovation Mill entrepreneurial portfolio. Click here to learn more if you are interested in joining the Northern Ontario Angels.
The Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund will co-invest — with qualified venture capital funds and other private investors — directly into companies working within clean technologies, life sciences and advanced health technologies, and digital media and information and communications technologies. A discretionary, non-entitlement investment program, the OETF is a $250-million fund that will commit a maximum of $50-million per year for five years. Investments will be made alongside qualified co-investors into innovative, high-growth Ontario companies.
BDC Venture Capital is a major venture capital investor in Canada, active at every stage of the company’s development cycle, from seed through expansion, with a focus on innovative technology-based Canadian companies that have high growth potential, offer unique products or services and are positioned to become dominant players in their markets. BDC Venture Capital invests primarily in companies involved in the areas of energy / cleantech, health, information technology, and communications.
OMERS Ventures is the venture capital investment arm of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension funds with over $55 billion in net assets. It is an initiative of OMERS Strategic Investments (OSI), an investment entity with a mandate to build long-term strategic relationships with like-minded partners. As both an institutional angel investor and a later-stage investor, OMERS Ventures is looking for successful companies with significant growth potential and market opportunities.