Posts Tagged ‘business growth’

SWODF New Application Intake Dates Announced

The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) provides support for business growth projects and funding to cover up to 15% of project costs.

SWODF is maintained by The Regional Development Fund which supports eligible small- and medium-sized businesses investing in new equipment and training to expand operations in these regions, and also supports municipalities and not-for-profit organizations investing in economic development projects.

Funding

Loans

Up to 15% funding to a maximum of $5M, interest free-during the project period (up to 4 years). Up to 30% of the loan ($500,000 maximum) may be forgiven if investment and job targets are achieved.

Grants

Grants are available only for specific circumstances, up to 15% to a maximum of:

  • $500,000 for rural Ontario businesses with less than 100 employees.
  • $1.5M for strategic projects that are foreign direct investments or from companies competing against other jurisdictions.

* SWODF funding cannot be combined (“stacked”) with other provincial programs.

Eligibility

To be eligible, businesses must be:

  • Investing a minimum of $500,000 in their project ($200,000 for rural Ontario).
  • Employing at least 10 people ( 5 for rural Ontario).
  • Committed to creating at least 5 new jobs (or 30% increase for companies with fewer than 15 employees).
  • Able to provide 3 years of operations/financial statements.
  • Located, or plan to be located, in Southwestern Ontario.

Applications

There are four application intake periods per year for full applications. Applicants will be notified of decisions within 60 business days of the application deadline.

Eligibility checklists may be submitted at any time.

Application PeriodAssessment PeriodNotification Date
December 2, 2019-January 20, 2020January 21, 2020-April 16, 2020April 16, 2020
March 5, 2020-April 20, 2020April 21, 2020-July 15, 2020July 15, 2020
June 5, 2020-July 20, 2020July 21, 2020-October 15, 2020October 15, 2020
September 3, 2020-October 19, 2020October 20, 2020-January 15, 2021January 15, 2021

To find out more about SWODF and other sources of funding to offset the costs of business growth, workforce development and innovation contact us today for a free consultation.

What Every Canadian Startup Needs to Know About Non-Dilutive Financing

When it comes to starting a Canadian business, especially one with expensive R&D aspirations such as those in the high tech industry, it’s of crucial importance that a startup leverages government funding to extend the runway of its venture.  

A startup that doesn’t capitalize on the wide range of government funding opportunities is putting itself at a huge disadvantage, which can not only limit profitability but also undermine innovation and relinquish equity that would otherwise remain centralized.

In order to maintain the vast majority of control in a company during the startup process, it’s important that funding leverages non-dilutive financing when possible. While dilutive funding can be advantageous to get over fiscal hurdles requiring a quick injection of revenue, dilution will affect executive discretion and detract from long-term profits as financers exercise their power as shareholders or seek high returns on their investments. Venture capital and angel investors should, therefore, be tentatively used during the startup process until after the risk surrounding commercialization has been surmounted and any leverage held by financers is obviated. The SR&ED tax credit program, in combination with the other sources of non-dilutive government funding, can maximize a startup’s potential for success by reducing the risk of research and development.

Maximizing Profits and Mitigating Risk with SR&ED

Canada’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program provides an amazing means of funding a business every fiscal year with tax incentives. That means small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can start collecting substantial returns up to 35% on qualified expenditures following their first year of research and experimentation, as long as program criteria are met. The Canadian government’s commitment to supporting innovation ascends beyond almost every other industrialized nation in the world, as demonstrated by the more than $3B paid out each year to participating companies. A startup that structures their business to meet SR&ED requirements from the start will be all the more prepared to save countless dollars that can accelerate business growth and product development as the money is reinvested into further project innovation.

To qualify for SR&ED, first and foremost a company must be a Canadian-controlled private corporation with a total net income below $800k and taxable capital employed in Canada not exceeding $50M. A company can claim expenditures related to experimental development, applied and basic research, and support work by ensuring that these expenditures meet the three criteria of SR&ED’s assessment on scientific or technological eligibility. That is, a company must establish that their claimed project (1) has technological uncertainty that can only be overcome through (2) systematic investigation and that hypothesis formulation and experimental analysis during development (3) generates information that advances understanding of the underlying technologies.

Another critical requirement to claiming SR&ED is ensuring that the necessary information is collected throughout the year to comprehensively file a claim, which is why structuring a startup to track experimental development, employee labor, material expenditures, etc. is essential for maximizing business efficiency. With a practical tracking system in place, claiming SR&ED tax credits can be a lucrative strategy for financing prototype and minimal viable product (MVP) development, as well as funding clinical trials (in the medtech industry for example), because it affords a company the opportunity to take risks in their experimentation to improve new technologies and approaches, and ultimately help form and articulate patents/IP to garner further investment.

Combining Sources of Early-Stage Funding

Depending on the size of a startup and the stage of business development, companies can also avoid dilution by applying for multiple government loans and grants. Loans bear the cost of interest in return for less operational oversight, while grants serve as a non-repayable contribution that is contingent on meeting various qualifications.

The National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) offers an especially rewarding means of financing SMEs qualifying in technology innovation. IRAP funding typically ranges between $50k-250k, making it a great opportunity to subsidize research and experimental efforts without diluting shares or falling beholden to acquisitive creditors. The Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) is another great source to receive innovation funding through industry-specific programs with special emphasis on digital and software work within the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.

Acquiring Private Sources of Funding

Whenever a business does decide that private investment is the best way forward or bridge funding is required to overcome particular fiscal restraints, SR&ED financing can help to fill the funding gap in a non-dilutive manner, prior to subsequent funding rounds.

While the SR&ED tax credit program is critical for the viability of startup companies in Canada, the main challenge with the SR&ED program is that it often takes over one year before the funds can be received by the applicant. SR&ED financing helps to facilitate and alleviate existing cash flow issues in early-stage businesses, as startup companies often have difficulty commercializing their concepts after exhausting their previous rounds of funding. In this way, accrual debt financing in the form of SR&ED financing allows early-stage companies to bridge the funding gap and extend the runaway until the next funding round, thereby bolstering their business plans.

Moreover, a successful track record of securing government funding, such as SR&ED tax credits, can appeal to private investors by reducing the perceivable risk for funding product development.  

All of this funding information is sometimes a lot to process, but NorthBridge Consultants is here to help. If you have any questions or want to learn more about SR&ED for startups, please contact us.

Co-authored by Philip Finkelstein, Technical Writer, and Ela Malkovsky, Technical Writer/ Editor–in-Chief at NorthBridge Consultants.

Bridging the Commercialization Gap- Funding Opportunities

Is your company investing heavily in R&D but struggling to commercialize your innovations?

Read our latest Excellence in Manufacturing blog series to learn about various non-dilutive financing options available to Canadian companies that can help close the gap between performing R&D to commercialization in the ICT, Manufacturing, and Agri-food sectors.

To learn more about various funding options that can help your company to innovate and grow, contact us today to arrange for a free, no obligation consultation with one of our government funding experts.

Vancouver Agri-food EUREKA! Event About International R&D Collaboration

Join Dutch EUREKA! expert Arnold Meijer and learn about how Eureka! can help you collaborate with 40 countries worldwide.

EUREKA! - International collaboration in R&D and Product Development.

EUREKA! / Eurostars is a program that supports Canadian small & medium enterprises (SMEs) wanting to collaborate with partners in around 40 other countries, in Europe and worldwide, to conduct R&D and develop technologies for new products or processes.

Arnold Meijer, coordinator Eurostars and subject-matter expert from The Netherlands Enterprise Agency, will be in Vancouver next week, and has kindly agreed to join us at The Profile to clarify how EUREKA! / Eurostars can help Canadian businesses, and to answer any questions.

Arnold will also take this opportunity to specifically discuss the recently announced call for R&D Proposals in Agri-Food. The objective of this call by Canada, The Netherlands, France, Hungary, Spain and Israel is to support the competitiveness of the agri-food sector.

Where: The Profile, 535 Thurlow Street, Vancouver (Map)

When: Tuesday, May 15, 4 – 5 PM

Get your free tickets here

Organized by:

Jaap Siekman, Regional Manager at NorthBridge Consultants.

NorthBridge is an expert consultancy firm assisting businesses throughout Canada with Government Funding that supports R&D, Innovation and Growth, such as SR&ED, IRAP, Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP), Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC), Canada Agricultural Partnership (CAP), SDTC/ICE Fund and CanExport.

In cooperation with the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Vancouver.

This event is sponsored by and takes place at the fabulous event space of The Profile

LoungeDowntownApples

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5 Essential Tips for Maximizing Government Funding

By leveraging the right sources of government funding at the right stage of growth, you can significantly maximize your returns from government funding programs, while minimizing your investment in time.

Read our latest article in Small Business BC to find our how you can leverage government funding for your company or contact us today to arrange for a free, no obligation consultation to determine your eligibility for government funding programs.

NorthBridge is involved with a broad array of emerging industries throughout Canada. The Principals of NorthBridge are angel investors themselves with extensive experience in raising both debt and equity. This, coupled with NorthBridge’s expertise in various government funding programs, provides an unparalleled combination to assist Canadian technology companies with their growth trajectories.

 

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