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.
What are the eligibility requirements to participate in this program?
- One or two team members of the business’s leadership team who are available to actively engage with their Startup Advisor and be dedicated reporting milestones associated with seed funding. More information about these milestones will be provided in the aforementioned information sessions
- The applicant must be an early-stage business or SME (1-499 employees) and the business must be headquartered in Southern Ontario
- Business must be incorporated (Ontario or federal)
- Business must have a scalable product or service
I see that I need to have a scalable product or service to participate. Is there an opportunity, within the application form, to explain my product or service in more detail?
Yes. There are open-ended questions on the application form where you will have an opportunity to explain your product and/or service in as much detail as you’d like.
Do I have to be incorporated in Ontario?
You must be incorporated federally or in the province of Ontario by June 1, 2022 to be awarded $30,000 plus advisory through the i.d.e.a. Fund. If you are not incorporated and would like to do so before the deadline, take steps to incorporate your business and book time with a TechAlliance Startup Advisor.
Can I download a copy of the application to review prior to completing it?
Yes. Prior to entering the application, there will be a PDF version available for download. Please note that this is for review purposes only; all applications must be submitted via the online application form. You will also be able to add members of your team to the intake form to collaborate online.
Is there a “save and continue later” feature for this application?
Yes. This feature will be visible once the application form is started and after the pre-qualification questions.
Will the application form time out and delete what I have completed?
If you use the “save and continue later” feature, the application will not delete completed questions.
When will the intake period open and close?
Applications for the i.d.e.a. Fund will open on May 10, 2022 and close on June 7, 2022.
Is there more than one intake period for this program?
Yes. Applications for the next cohort of the i.d.e.a. Fund will open in March 2023. Updates will be posted on the i.d.e.a. Fund website.
How much detail do you require for the budget in the application?
The budget form is created to provide us with a high-level understanding of your project and project activities from a financial perspective so that we can review how much seed funding you are requesting, how much you are contributing, and how you expect to use that money. If you are accepted into the program, we will be working with you to develop a more comprehensive budget, KPIs and milestones.
Can I apply to this program if my business is pre-revenue? Is there a minimum revenue requirement?
There is no minimum revenue required for i.d.e.a. Fund. Companies must have fewer than 500 employees.
How can I determine what stage my business is at (idea, discovery, validation, efficiency, scale)?
There will be five (5) options for your business state. The explanations are:
- Idea: Entrepreneur with idea; initial market and technology exploration.
- Discovery: Value proposition established; testing ideas; proof of concept; identifying customers; early financials; Family funding.
- Validation: Business model established; minimum viable product; customer verified; initial orders; testing go-to-market strategy; pursuing angel funding or in accelerator
- Efficiency: Initial market traction; scaling sales and marketing; demand creation; forecasting based on actuals; pursuing early-stage VC.
- Scale: Validated product and market; customer growth; established management team; pursuing later-stage investment.
How do I find my NAICS code?
Please visit the Government of Canada’s website to identify your 5-digit NAICS code. Often businesses may be categorized by more than one code, please choose the most applicable one.
What is a business model canvas and is there a resource to assist with completing this?
A business model canvas is a visual tool intended for developing new or documenting existing business models. It quickly informs how an organization or business creates its products or services, delivers them and captures value (e.g. with your customers or revenue). Think of the business model canvas as containing nine (9) essential building blocks. We encourage you to attend one of our information sessions to see an entire walk-through of the business model canvas or download a guide here.