The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology, and Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario), today announced the next step in implementing the Harper Government’s Venture Capital Action Plan by helping to ensure that Canada’s promising innovative start-up firms have the resources required to grow and succeed.
The National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) today issued a Request for Proposals under the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP) to solicit applications for funding support from leading business incubators and accelerators in Canada. CAIP represents a significant investment by the Government of Canada to support the growth and development of promising entrepreneurs and start-up firms.
“Business accelerators and incubators are long recognized as crucial players in the venture capital system,” said Minister Flaherty. “These organizations bring entrepreneurs together and provide them with hands-on mentorship by successful innovators and access to specialized business services to develop their ideas and grow their businesses and the jobs of tomorrow. Graduates of these programs will be better prepared to attract customers, form strategic partnerships and secure private investment.”
The Request for Proposals is the latest step in the Venture Capital Action Plan, a $400-million strategy launched in January to help increase private sector venture capital investments in Canada. Economic Action Plan 2013 provided $60 million over five years to help outstanding and high-potential incubator and accelerator organizations expand their services to worthy entrepreneurs.
“Our Government is strongly committed to initiatives that support science, technology and the growth of innovative Canadian firms, which strengthen our communities,” said Minister Rickford, highlighting CAIP during his visit to TeraXion Inc. in Québec City. “The Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program will be a boost to organizations that provide the tools Canadian entrepreneurs need to grow, innovate, bring ideas to the marketplace and create jobs to secure Canada’s long-term prosperity.”
Guided by feedback from venture capital stakeholders during government consultations last year, the new incubator and accelerator program will maximize the impact of new funding by focusing on proven, best-in-class organizations and providing them with the support needed early on to scale up their activities for the benefit of Canadian entrepreneurs.
Financial contributions would support new, incremental activities at outstanding and high-potential accelerators and incubators that promote:
- The development of investment-ready early-stage firms by accelerators and incubators;
- An increased range, availability and quality of services available to innovative early-stage firms, such as mentorship and business plan development; and
- Stronger entrepreneur networks that link recipient organizations with other important innovation organizations in Canada and internationally, including other accelerators and incubators, public research institutions, investor networks and venture capital funds.