Supporting Ventures Who Are Committed to Inclusion, Diversity, Environment, and Acceleration
We are the place for dreamers, innovators, and world-changing ideas. TechAlliance continues to support Ontario’s most promising startups and growing tech companies and empowering world-class ventures to fuel growth in Canada’s innovation economy. Now, we are bringing an exciting opportunity to forward-thinking founders with the launch of The i.d.e.a. Fund, built for green innovators.
The i.d.e.a. Fund supports a more sustainable economy and equitable recovery in Southern Ontario by providing recipients with $30,000 in matching seed funds and up to 40 hours of expertise from our Venture Growth team. Any equity-deserving founders will only need to match 25% of the funds they receive.
Seed Funding and Support
Our Venture Growth team, comprised of entrepreneurs, have the knowledge and experience to help you address challenges while offering guidance and insight on growth plans and strategies, talent attraction, raising follow-on investment, market intelligence and diversification, product development, quantification of product benefits, market value propositions, commercialization of intellectual property and more.
Who Can Apply?
TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario provides 20 companies with $600,000 through Cohort 1 of Government of Canada-funded i.d.e.a. Fund
How to Apply
Applications for Cohort 1 of the i.d.e.a. Fund closed on June 7th, 2022.
Sign up for our newsletter to receive i.d.e.a. Fund email updates and to be notified when the applications open for Cohort 2 in 2023.
For full selection criteria, download the Program Guide.
Applicants are responsible for completing and submitting the online application through our Intake Portal.
The application form will request information about:
- How your business meets the program’s eligibility criteria
- General information about your business
- Business growth and scaling goals
- How your business will meet the goals of a green and sustainable recovery
- How you would use the funds provided through this program
- How you will match the funds provided
Applicants will be responsible for submitting the following information, and may book a 1-on-1 advisory session with a Startup Advisor to seek input on their application.
- Business Model Canvas
- Budget (high level)
- Short video and/or pitch deck (optional)
- The applicant must complete the application in full
- The application provides enough information to address the applicable evaluation criteria
- The intended use of funds is clear and consistent with a realistic strategy to achieve the business’ scaling goals
- Stacking of public funding (federal, provincial or municipal) is not permitted and will not be considered matching funds. For example, you may not use federal or provincial grant funds as matching funds.
- The applicant must be able to provide matching funds up to a maximum of $30,000 to receive seed funding.
- Equity seeking groups groups would be required to provide a 25% match whereas all other recipients would have to provide at 1:1 match
- The application falls under the eligible project types
- The applicant has acknowledged that the funds will not be used for ineligible costs as outlined below.
- There is a benefit (directly or indirectly) to a green recovery
- There is an economic impact (job creation, revenue generation, add-on investment) to Ontario
- The business opportunity has potential to address Canadian or international markets
- The applicant has read and agreed to a Client Services Agreement
- The applicant is not currently receiving funds from the Jobs & Growth Fund (through FedDev Ontario)
- Costs of land, building or vehicle purchase;
- Costs of intangible assets such as goodwill, whether capitalized or expensed;
- Depreciation or amortization expenses;
- Interest on invested capital, bonds, or debentures;
- Bond discount;
- Monthly mortgage and loan payments;
- Refinancing of an existing debt;
- Losses on investments, bad debts and any other debts;
- Fines or penalties;
- Costs related to litigation;
- Opportunity costs;
- Hospitality and entertainment costs;
- Franchise fees and franchise license costs;
- Lobbyist fees
- 50% of activity seed financing released once an initial diagnostic and work plan has been completed by the recipient and their assigned lead expert, including goals and milestones
- 25% of activity seed financing released upon recommendation of the lead project expert and completion of their interim report.
- 25% of the activity seed financing released upon completion of the project and the approval of the final reporting requirements.
Download the Business Model Process Template and follow along with the video below. Also download the Business Model Canvas Pitch for working on your pitch.
Download the Business Model Canvas Pitch for working on your pitch and inserting it into your business model canvas.
- Join us for a virtual information session including a live AMA with the i.d.e.a. Fund team throughout the session– sign up at the links above
- Book a 1-on-1 advisory session with a Startup Advisor to seek input on your application. You must participate in an Information Session or view the replay prior to meeting with a Startup Advisor.
How many companies will be accepted to i.d.e.a. Fund?
The i.d.e.a Fund will accept 120 clients into the first cohort.
Which Regional Innovation Centre will I be assigned to?
Your company will be allocated to one of the partner Regional Innovation Centres based on a number of criteria including regional proximity and any current or previous history working with a particular Regional Innovation Centre.
How does the expert-matching work?
Once accepted into the program, your Regional Innovation Centre will determine the best expert/mentor to match you with based on your industry, business stage and specific project goals. There may be an opportunity to engage more than one expert, depending on project requirements.
What information will I be expected to provide for reporting requirements?
You will be expected to provide regular project updates as well as general business metrics during your participation in the i.d.e.a. Fund program, as a requirement to receive funding. Once your project(s) is completed, post-program follow-up reports will be requested for up to three years. Metrics may include but aren’t limited to revenues, investment, employment, and intellectual property. Please refer to our Terms of Service for more information on reporting requirements and what we may require from your business.
I am a co-founder/partner in the business. Do we all participate in this program, or is there one point of contact?
We expect that all decisions around financial commitments, project plans, budgets, milestones and KPIs, and updates will involve a decision-maker in the business. This is usually the owner/founder/C-Suite. Other members of your team can be involved in these meetings and are welcome. Once projects begin, involvement may be limited to one or more functional area and/or person depending on the project scope.
About i.d.e.a Fund
TechAlliance Delivery of i.d.e.a. Fund in London, Middlesex County, Lambton County, Elgin County, Oxford County, and Huron County
On April 29, TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario announced a partnership with Innovation Guelph to deliver the Government of Canada supported i.d.e.a. Fund in Elgin, Huron, Lambton, Middlesex, and Oxford counties. The Fund is a southwestern Ontario-focused initiative to accelerate the growth of high-potential small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in key sectors linked to the green economy, including agri-innovation, clean tech and advanced manufacturing.
To support the delivery of the Fund, Innovation Guelph received a non-repayable Government of Canada investment of almost $10 million through the Jobs and Growth Fund delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
The Fund will leverage the southwestern Regional Innovation Centre network of Haltech, Innovate Niagara, Innovation Factory, TechAlliance and WEtech Alliance to provide essential resources like the mentoring and early-stage financing necessary for SMEs to scale-up, create quality jobs for Canadians, and drive green and resilient economic growth across the region.
Eligible SMEs in London, Middlesex County, Lambton County, Elgin County, Oxford County, and Huron County will be able to apply and, if selected, will be provided with advisory services and non-repayable contributions of up to $30,000, giving them the working capital needed to support commercialization efforts and growth.
The i.d.e.a. Fund is delivered in partnership with the following Ontario Regional Innovation Centres: Innovation Guelph, Haltech, Innovate Niagara, WEtech Alliance, TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario, and Innovation Factory.
i.d.e.a. Fund is funded by the Government of Canada’s Jobs and Growth Fund, which advances economic recovery efforts, supports businesses and organizations to help create jobs, supports the transition to a green economy, and positions local economies for long-term growth.