Archive for the ‘Startups’ Category

Techtoberfest – Investment and Funding Opportunities for Startups

Communitech will be hosting its Techtoberfest 2015 event from October 13 – 14. This two-day conference is geared towards CEOs and founders of startups that are looking to learn more about investment opportunities. In addition to the multitude of presentations offered, this event is a great networking opportunity that will allow startups to connect with potential investors.

In the tech industry, Communitech is a well-established technological hub in the Waterloo Region that provides support to tech companies throughout all stages of business development. This means that emerging startups as well as large, globally competitive firms can receive support from Communitech.

2015 Waterloo Innovation Summit: What Drives Leading Innovative Ecosystems?

The 2015 Waterloo Innovation Summit begins today as a three day event that features a guided tour of the Waterloo Region ecosystem as well as a distinguished lineup of keynote speakers, firesides chats, and panel sessions at the main summit locations.

Home to Canada’s most innovative University and over 500 tech companies, Waterloo Region boasts a highly entrepreneurial community and has gained a reputation as one of the fastest growing startup ecosystems in the world.  It is from this powerful marriage of ground breaking research and globally competitive entrepreneurship that the Waterloo Innovation Summit was born “to facilitate the expansion of an innovation culture through the continued development of technologies, approaches, and industries.”

The Waterloo Innovation Summit is an annual conference created in partnership between the University of Waterloo and Communitech as a platform for fostering global innovation by bringing together leading innovators, global thought leaders, policy makers and academics with the power to influence change and drive prosperity.

This year the Summit will explore ‘What Drives Leading Innovative Ecosystems’ with kenote speeches from the Godfather of Silicon Valley, Steve Blank as well as Salim Ismail, Global Ambassador and Founding Executive Director – Singularity University, author of Exponential Organizations, and Mariana Mazzucato, author of The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public Vs. Private Sector.

During the week of the Waterloo Innovation Summit, the Waterloo Region will be hosting several additional technology and cultural events including Accelerator Centre Showcase (September 16), Hack The North (September 18-20), Doors Open Waterloo Region (September 19), and Maker Expo (September 19).

Innovation through research and development is critical to the growth and competitiveness of companies both big and small; however, financing for innovation or growth has always been a challenge for many companies in Canada. The Provincial and Federal government work together to deliver funding programs to encourage companies to invest in innovation.  The federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program provides up to 35% return in the form of a tax credit for costs incurred in the development of new or improved products or processes in Canada . The Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) offers direct funding for Canadian labour and subcontractor costs associated with projects that lead to the commercialization of innovative products, processes, or services.  IRAP is ideal for companies that require funding for early-stage R&D and prototyping, while the SR&ED program provides more extensive coverage that also includes experimental development.  Applicants may apply to both IRAP and SR&ED programs as long as expenditures are not double-claimed.

Student Start-ups: Success of Velocity

Velocity was created for the purpose of giving students at the University of Waterloo access to resources to turn their innovative ideas into successful start-up businesses. Through Velocity, students at the University of Waterloo are fostered as entrepreneurs through first-hand experience and interaction with successful industry professionals, and are supported with the tools to learn, network, and share ideas with their peers. In 2008, Velocity branched out to create Velocity Residence, which provides an opportunity for University of Waterloo students to engage in their entrepreneurial interests. Students have the opportunity to network with others from a variety of disciplines, and this experience culminates in a one week boot camp where students learn how to solve problems associated with running a business.

Today, Velocity has a total of six interlinked branches: Velocity Residence, Velocity Garage, Velocity Alpha, Velocity Science, Velocity Foundry, and Velocity Fund Finals. These branches support students by giving them funding opportunities, mentorships to help them build their startup businesses, and the equipment necessary to run their start-ups.

Northbridge Consultants has over 20 years of experience assisting clients in digital media and manufacturing companies with grant applications to hire and train recent graduates, secure tax credits, and build their businesses. Notable examples of grants include the ICTC – Career Connect Program, the Youth Employment Fund, and the Canada Jobs grant. Northbridge Consultants assists successful Information and Technology (ICT) startup firms secure the maximum amount of funding from programs such as the SR&ED tax credit program, which gives eligible companies up to a 35% tax credit for R&D work conducted. For companies that want to build their advantage over their competitors, contact Northbridge Consultants and see how we can help you grow your business.

Early Stage Exporters Fund

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has released a new funding program called Early Stage Exporters (ESE). The ESE program will assist early-stage post-revenue companies to attend international trade shows, participate in outgoing or incoming missions, develop marketing tools, invest in market research, and participate in foreign bidding projects.

The program will fund up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $30,000. The maximum amount of funding available per company is $150,000 and each application can include up to 3 activities.

The eligibility criteria is listed below:

  • Manufacturer in Ontario with an export mandate
  • Incorporated for at least 2 years
  • Minimum of 3 full time equivalent employees
  • Annual sales between $300,000 and $500,000
  • At least one year of reviewed financial statements
  • Operate in one of the priority sectors (advanced manufacturing, aerospace, construction, clean technology, professional services, information communications technology, digital media, and life sciences)

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Start-Up Companies and Government Funding

Start-up companies are a popular topic of conversation these days, especially in Southwestern Ontario. There are many resources for these new companies including government funding and tax credit programs. It is critical that these companies are made aware of programs and services that can help them reach their business objectives.

The Scientific Research & Experimental Development program becomes available to start-up companies once they hire new employees and develop a payroll system. It is critical that new companies develop tracking systems for their R&D work in order to develop a strong SR&ED claim. First-time applicants are more likely to be audited by the Canada Revenue Agency so it is very important that supporting documentation is ready and organized.

Government funding programs become available to companies that can demonstrate revenue, reach 10-15 employees, and develop at least a two year track record of success. It is critical that companies understand the programs that may be applicable to their projects or initiatives on an on-going basis.

Our NorthBridge team of business analysts can help identify eligible projects for both SR&ED and grant funding programs. We also assist with the completion of application information, preparation of financial information, creation of business plans, and required reporting after application submission.

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