October 13th, 2015
The province of Ontario has a strong dedication to innovation. Furthering an existing relationship, the Ontario Centres of Excellence and Futurpreneur Canada are working to create opportunities for young entrepreneurs to access and secure crucial funding to develop their start-ups.
Too often, promising entrepreneurs find themselves bogged down in a mire of paperwork and gridlock that hampers their efforts to succeed. With the proper support frameworks, there are no limits to what young Ontarians can do for their communities and their local economies. Today’s entrepreneurs create the business leaders of tomorrow. Providing them with the funds they need helps ensure their future success.
Are you an Ontario-based entrepreneur or student looking to secure government funding for your business? If so, look no further than the SmartStart Seed Fund. This initiative provides entrepreneurs aged 18-29 years, recent graduates working through a Campus-Linked Accelerator program, or individuals involved in an on-campus entrepreneurship activity with funding opportunities. If you fall into any of these categories, you could be eligible to develop your technology or innovation-based business.
This funding opportunity provides the crucial skills that any entrepreneur needs to take their business to the next step. With the SmartStart Seed Fund, entrepreneurs make their business ventures investment and customer ready.
The Ontario Centres of Excellence provides government funding for businesses applying to the SmartStart Seed Fund.
Through this funding program, eligible applicants receive up to $30,000 in early-stage funding that helps them launch and grow their business. This is not exclusive funding, however; the grant requires that you match 1:1 funding from at least one other funding source. The fund also has ties to regional business and investment networks, and other financial resources.
There is also a financing branch available, which does not require matching funds. This fund provides $5000 in financing for business skills training and support services, such as workshops, peer networks, seminars, mentoring, or any other entrepreneurship based learning opportunity.
The design of this funding targets Canadian citizens or permanent residents with a strong business plan and a propensity for entrepreneurship. As with any funding initiative, the best applicants are the most organized businesses with well-defined projects that clearly identify and justify their eligibility for a funding initiative, including a sense of why they are especially deserving.
This funding initiative targets technology or innovation-based entrepreneurs. As mentioned, applicants have to fall between 18 and 29 years of age, working with an incorporated start-up based in Ontario. They also require affiliation with at least one Ontario college or university, or they need to attend (or have a basis) at one of these institutions.
The fund also considers students or recent graduates tied to a Campus-Linked Accelerator, or applicants participating in on-campus entrepreneurship activities.
Existing recipients of funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence are ineligible. This includes the Voucher for Commercialization, Market Readiness Phase 1, 2, or 3, or funding from a predating SmartStart project.
If you are looking for more information on submitting an application to the Ontario Centres of Excellence, get in touch with us at INAC. We have secured over a half billion in government funding for businesses across the country, and now we are ready to assist you. We have the expertise to help get your project off the ground. For instance: under a recent agreement, successful applicants to the SmartStart Seed Fund program can also apply for a Futurpreneur Canada loan of $15,000. We can work with you to get your application started today, and help find matching donors to help you secure early-stage funding. Remember that the future of Ontario’s business starts today!