Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

January 15, 2015 10:00 ET

Minister Goodyear Announces Investment to JumpStart Waterloo Region Businesses

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 15, 2015) - Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

Entrepreneurs in the Waterloo Region will benefit from up to $8 million announced today by FedDev Ontario Minister Gary Goodyear, along with Kitchener−Waterloo MP Peter Braid.

The Harper Government is providing the Waterloo Accelerator Centre with up to $8 million to expand its AC JumpStart Program.

AC JumpStart provides seed funding and skills training to help local companies become more market, customer and investment-ready. The program, originally piloted from 2013 to 2014, will now include the addition of regional post-secondary institutions Conestoga College, University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University as delivery partners.

The new funding for AC JumpStart is expected to help 180 high-potential businesses grow, which will result in the creation of an estimated 700 jobs. This will help diversify businesses in the region by boosting technology companies in fields like cloud computing, green energy and eCommerce.

FedDev Ontario's Investing in Business Innovation initiative is aimed at strengthening the innovation ecosystem in southern Ontario by supporting new entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and angel investors.

Quick Facts

  • The Waterloo Accelerator Centre's pilot JumpStart program, also supported by the Government of Canada, assisted 30 start-up companies. These companies have created 212 new jobs in the Waterloo Region, generated $3.1 million in combined revenue, and are expected to raise $5 million in private investment.
  • Through the first phase of Investing in Business Innovation (IBI) launched in October 2010, the Government of Canada invested nearly $57 million in repayable contributions to 86 companies, leveraging almost three times more in private sector investments. More than $3 million was also invested in 13 angel networks and associations.
  • IBI funding is currently available for early-stage businesses with fewer than 50 employees; southern Ontario-based angel investor networks; and not-for-profit organizations that provide skills development and seed financing to new entrepreneurs.

Quotes

"Our Government is fostering economic growth in Kitchener, Cambridge and all of the Waterloo Region by investing in our innovative businesses. Today's announcement is a great example of how we are helping high-potential companies bring great ideas to market faster. Helping our entrepreneurs and original thinkers export their products and services to the rest of the world creates jobs, growth and economic prosperity here at home."

- Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario

"The Waterloo Region is recognized as a centre for innovation and I am proud that our Government is partnering with the Waterloo Accelerator Centre, once again, to help innovative businesses to succeed. The AC JumpStart program will provide the critical funding and training that local entrepreneurs need in order to grow their businesses and, in turn, grow the economy."

- Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo

"AC JumpStart allows us to extend the reach of the Accelerator Centre's world-class incubation programming and mentorship beyond the four walls of our facility to help hundreds of young companies across Waterloo Region."

- Paul Salvini, CEO, The Accelerator Centre

Related Products

Backgrounder: Investing in Business Innovation Initiative Contribution to the Waterloo Accelerator Centre

Speech: Investing in Business Innovation Initiative Funding Announcement for the Waterloo Accelerator Centre

Associated Links

Investing in Business Innovation initiative

AC JumpStart program

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Backgrounder

FedDev Ontario's Contribution to the Waterloo Accelerator Centre's AC JumpStart Program

Through the Investing in Business Innovation initiative, the Harper Government is providing the Waterloo Accelerator Centre with an investment of up to $8 million to extend and expand its AC JumpStart Program. The Waterloo Accelerator Centre is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building and commercializing technology start-ups.

Funding is geared at companies looking to refine their business models and expand their customer base. Each AC JumpStart recipient will receive:

  • Up to $30,000 in seed financing;
  • Up to $10,000 in mentoring, market research and validation, and introductions to investors;
  • Up to 10% in administration costs.

The AC JumpStart expansion includes Conestoga College, the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University as new delivery partners. Other project collaborators include Communitech and the Canadian Innovation Centre, which will provide expertise to AC JumpStart companies.

There will be up to nine intakes, and up to 45 companies will be supported by the partners each year.

Further details are available on the AC JumpStart website.

The new funding for AC JumpStart is expected to help 180 high-potential businesses grow, which will result in the creation of an estimated 700 jobs. This will help diversify businesses in the region by boosting technology companies in fields like cloud computing, green energy and eCommerce.

AC Jumpstart was piloted with a FedDev Ontario investment of $945,000 in 2012-13. This allowed 30 entrepreneurs to commercialize new products and develop new businesses. The pilot created 212 jobs, generated $3.1 million in revenues and is expected to attract $5 million in investment.

FedDev Ontario's Investing in Business Innovation Initiative

The Investing in Business Innovation (IBI) initiative aims to strengthen the innovation ecosystem in southern Ontario. It helps new entrepreneurs to become investment-ready through seed financing and skills development. It helps early-stage businesses with a minimum viable product or service to further develop and bring it to market.

It helps angel organizations to expand their members and services, which increases private sector investment and mentoring opportunities for businesses. All of these activities will help build a portfolio of early-stage businesses with the ability to become world-leading innovators.

Funding is available for:

  • Not-for-profit organizations that provide skills development and seed financing to new entrepreneurs;
  • Innovative, early-stage businesses with less than 50 employees to help leverage angel and capital investments; and
  • Southern Ontario-based angel investor networks.

Applications are being accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis. Eligibility requirements and further details are available on the FedDev Ontario website.

Related Products

News Release: Minister Goodyear Announces Investment to JumpStart Waterloo Region Businesses

Speech: Investing in Business Innovation Initiative Funding Announcement for the Waterloo Accelerator Centre

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