Industry Canada

Industry Canada

November 21, 2014 13:39 ET

Supporting Innovative Businesses in British Columbia

Funding will help Canadian SMEs grow, prosper and create jobs

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 21, 2014) - Industry Canada

The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia, today announced a major investment in four British Columbia incubator and accelerator organizations that will help innovative small and medium-sized B.C. enterprises grow, prosper and create jobs.

The funds, distributed under the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program, will ensure Canadian entrepreneurs have access to the resources and expertise needed to develop their business plans, seek follow-on financing and explore new international markets for products and services.

Quick facts

  • The BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) will receive up to $10.4 million. BCTIA supports the development, growth and advancement of B.C. technology companies of all sizes and in all sectors. Through a variety of innovative incubation and acceleration programs, companies have access to the resources that matter most: mentors, customers, partners and investors.
  • HIGHLINE will receive up to $600,000. HIGHLINE, formerly GrowLab Ventures Inc., is a start-up accelerator based in Vancouver and Toronto. This venture capital-backed for-profit organization helps digital entrepreneurs build companies that achieve product-market fit and secure institutional capital. HIGHLINE gives digital founders an edge through timely seed funding, intense mentorship, global connectivity, curated workspace and three months of specialized programming.
  • The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), in collaboration with CDRD Ventures Inc. (CVI), will receive up to $10.9 million. CDRD is a robust incubator and Canada's national not-for-profit drug development and commercialization centre. It aims to de-risk discoveries stemming from academic health research, adding value and transforming them into viable investment opportunities for the private sector. CVI, CDRD's commercialization vehicle, acts as an accelerator, selecting promising technologies with the goal of advancing them to a stage where they can attract licensing or co-development partners or form new spin-off companies.
  • Wavefront Wireless Commercialization Centre Society will receive up to $9.5 million. Wavefront is Canada's Centre of Excellence for Wireless Commercialization and Research. It helps accelerate the growth and success of wireless companies, connecting them with critical resources, partners and opportunities, to drive economic and social benefits for Canada.
  • These four organizations will provide entrepreneurs in early-stage companies with invaluable resources and access to world-class mentoring and coaching to ensure their success.
  • On June 20, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the 15 incubators and accelerators that were chosen to advance in the selection process for the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP), which is designed to help outstanding small and medium-sized Canadian enterprises grow, prosper and create jobs.
  • Delivered by the National Research Council of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program, CAIP provides support in the form of non-repayable contributions to a small and select number of best-in-class accelerators and incubators. Recipients will be required to demonstrate matching contributions on at least a 1:1 basis during the period of the contribution funding.

Quotes

"By investing in British Columbia's incubator and accelerator organizations, we are ensuring local promising start-up businesses have the resources they need to grow, innovate and create jobs. Our government is pleased to be supporting private sector-led initiatives that will further strengthen our venture capital market."

- James Moore, Minister of Industry

"Vancouver is the place to start and grow a technology company. We are a gateway to world markets, we've got access to fantastic talent and our entrepreneurial spirit is globally recognized. Through the support of the Government of Canada and the industry, the BCTIA Innovation Hub has moved from a dream to a reality. The Hub is an open, collaborative place where entrepreneurs and business leaders will make connections, grow companies and create jobs for British Columbia and Canada."

- Bill Tam, President and CEO, BC Technology Industry Association

"We are thrilled about receiving CAIP support to further expand services to our portfolio companies that are headquartered here with the ambition to grow into global category leaders. In particular, we will be able to provide new specialized programs that will not only accelerate our start-ups to product-market fit but also shine a national spotlight on top program grads to further help them secure institutional follow-on capital."

- Marcus Daniels, Co-Founder and CEO, HIGHLINE

"It is crucial for Canada's R&D ecosystem to be adequately resourced. As an enterprise committed to bridging the commercialization gap between early-stage academic research and industry, CDRD/CVI acknowledges and appreciates its partnership with the federal government-one that has been essential in enabling the significant milestones and outcomes we have realized to date."

- Karimah Es Sabar, President and CEO, Centre for Drug Research and Development

"Recognized as Canada's Accelerator of the Year in 2014, Wavefront is committed to accelerating the growth and success of wireless companies in Canada. Our programs connect promising technology innovators with critical resources, partners and opportunities. Funding from CAIP will support expansion across Canada of Wavefront's successful regional programs, helping more Canadian companies gain traction, create jobs and succeed in global wireless and Internet of Things markets."

- James Maynard, President and CEO, Wavefront Wireless Commercialization Centre Society

Related product

  • Backgrounder

Associated links

- Prime Minister Stephen Harper helps Canadian start-up companies to grow and prosper

- BC Technology Industry Association

- HIGHLINE

- Wavefront Wireless Commercialization Centre Society

- Centre for Drug Research and Development

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Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP)

British Columbia incubator and accelerator organizations

In 2013, the Government of Canada allocated $60 million over five years through the Economic Action Plan, with an additional $40 million in 2014, to help outstanding incubators and accelerators expand their services to small and medium-sized businesses.

Over the next five years, four British Columbia incubator and accelerator organizations will receive up to $31.4 million in CAIP funding to provide Canadian entrepreneurs with the resources and expertise needed to develop their business plans and seek follow-on financing.

  • The BC Technology Industry Association will receive up to $10.4 million in CAIP funding over the next five years to support the development, growth and advancement of B.C. technology companies of all sizes and in all sectors. Through a variety of innovative incubation and acceleration programs, companies have access to the resources that matter most: mentors, customers, partners and investors.
  • HIGHLINE will receive up to $600,000 in CAIP funding over the next five years. HIGHLINE, formerly GrowLab Ventures Inc., is a start-up accelerator based in Vancouver and Toronto. This venture capital-backed for-profit organization helps digital entrepreneurs build companies that achieve product-market fit and secure institutional capital. HIGHLINE gives digital founders an edge through timely seed funding, intense mentorship, global connectivity, curated workspace and three months of specialized programming.
  • The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), in collaboration with CDRD Ventures Inc. (CVI), will receive up to $10.9 million in CAIP funding over the next five years. CDRD is a robust incubator and Canada's national not-for-profit drug development and commercialization centre. It aims to de-risk discoveries stemming from academic health research, adding value and transforming them into viable investment opportunities for the private sector. CVI, CDRD's commercialization vehicle, acts as an accelerator, selecting promising technologies with the goal of advancing them to a stage where they can attract licensing or co-development partners or form new spin-off companies.
  • Wavefront Wireless Commercialization Centre Society will receive up to $9.5 million in CAIP funding over the next five years. Wavefront is Canada's Centre of Excellence for Wireless Commercialization and Research. It helps accelerate the growth and success of wireless companies, connecting them with critical resources, partners and opportunities, to drive economic and social benefits for Canada.

The one-time request for proposals for the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program was launched on September 23, 2013. It ended on October 30, 2013, with close to 100 applications received. All proposals were assessed and presented for evaluation and recommendations to the independent Canadian Venture Capital Expert Panel, a five-member panel with extensive experience in the venture capital asset class, in business and in finance.

The National Research Council of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) evaluated all proposals based on strict eligibility and selection criteria, including:

  • The extent to which the project will encourage the growth of early-stage firms that represent superior investment opportunities;
  • The potential of the project to develop entrepreneur networks with other important firms and organizations in order to provide entrepreneurs with a broader range of specialized services;
  • The ability of the organization to demonstrate matching resources, either financial or in-kind (i.e. mentoring resources, administrative support), for the proposed activities; and
  • A credible demonstration that the proposed activities will be incremental to existing operations.

Delivered by NRC-IRAP, CAIP provides support over a five-year period in the form of non-repayable contributions to a limited number of best-in-class accelerators and incubators. Recipients will be required to demonstrate matching contributions on at least a 1:1 basis during the period of the contribution funding.

Maximum contributions to accelerators and incubators under the program are up to $5 million per year for each selected outstanding organization.

What is a business accelerator or incubator?

Accelerator: Typically for-profit organizations owned and operated by venture capital investors who intend to generate returns from equity-based investments in their client firms. Accelerators provide a range of services to early-stage firms, including financial support, business advice, office and development space, and complementary services offered by partner organizations.

Incubator: Typically not-for-profit organizations that offer similar services to accelerators but tend to provide longer tenure for participating firms and a broader suite of services in terms of physical space and mentorship. Incubators are often sponsored by universities, colleges and economic development corporations.

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