With the immense growth of computer-based technology affecting every industry and reshaping the way we live, the Canadian government is wisely trying to capitalize on the potential job, export and tax revenue growth of tech start-up companies. The government has acknowledged that while entrepreneurs have great ideas and technical skills, they are often in need of financial assistance and business planning.
To assist startups with the financial and business planning they require to a make their businesses successful, accelerators and incubators have sprouted up all across the country providing mentoring, funding, networking, training and office space. Most accelerators and incubators have staff who are able to assist you free of charge.
Here is a selected list of accelerators and incubators across Canada:
Flightpath: began in 2012, focused on software and digital media startups. This is a four-month program in partnership with Flightpath Ventures and Startup Edmonton.
TEC Edmonton: A joint venture with the University of Alberta, TEC Edmonton provides various programs, services and partnerships to technology startups.
Accelerate Okanagan: This organization takes no equity and provides programs, mentorship, and resources to support technology startups.
New Ventures BC: This group supports early-stage tech companies. It also runs the BCIC – New Ventures Competition, offering over $300,000 in cash and prizes.
Innovate Manitoba (IM): IM offers various programs to help entrepreneurs, startups and researchers.
Manitoba Technology Accelerator: Its business incubation program provides business coaching, office space, financing and investment for science and technology sector startups.
VennCentre: Established in 2010 by a group of entrepreneurs, VennCentre provides mentorship, education programming, capital and connections for early-stage tech companies.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Genesis Centre: This is Memorial University’s business incubator for technology-based startups. It offers many programs and services, such as marketing, finance, mentorship, office space and management resources.
Volta Labs: Volta Labs supports early-stage technology product companies. It provides various services, such as free legal advice, HR and recruiting, marketing and work space.
Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre: opened in 2014 in partnership with Xerox Research Centre of Canada. RIC Centre does not pursue an equity position in or intellectual property in their clients’ businesses.
Invest Ottawa: The Ottawa Centre for Regional Innovation (OCRI) launched this accelerator in December 2011.
Generator at One: built by Innovate Niagara provides mentorship, networking, collaboration, prototyping, production, business development, as well as access to technology, projects, and seminars for interactive digital media companies.
Creative Destruction Lab (CDL): a nine month program open to scalable technology-based ventures. CDL does not take any equity from its ventures.
Founder Institute: requires applicants to take a predictive test ($999 USD) to find out whether the founders are cut out to be entrepreneurs. They use a unique equity model where everyone shares equity in the companies formed.
Ryerson Digital Media Zone (DMZ): open to both Ryerson students and outside startups. The DMZ does not take any equity in DMZ startups. The intellectual property remains with the startup.
Business Accelerator Program: The Business Accelerator Program, or BAP, is a suite of programs and services designed to help strengthen and accelerate the growth of Ontario’s entrepreneurial talent and globally competitive innovative companies. BAP equips Ontario’s innovation entrepreneurs with the skills they need to move successfully into the global marketplace through programs and services such as: entrepreneur education, market intelligence services, advisory services and central funding programs.
Accelerator Centre: is open to startups and includes options for office space and infrastructure.
Communitech Hub: The Hub accelerates the growth of digital media companies by helping entrepreneurs focus on their business, commercialize their technology and graduate market-ready organizations.
Rev: a six-month Communitech program provides a framework in which the best and brightest can create their own success. Upon completing the program, companies will pitch to an investment panel with the opportunity to win a substantial cash prize.
FounderFuel: FounderFuel is a 13-week program run by Real Ventures. Teams receive a $100,000 investment in exchange for 5% equity in the company.