Business accelerators and incubators provide innovative, early-stage entrepreneurs with resources, facilities and expertise to help them develop their business plans and seek follow-on financing. They play an important role in the venture capital system, helping innovators gain strategic advantage in a competitive international marketplace.
In 2013, the Government of Canada established CAIP to help accelerators and incubators deliver their services to promising Canadian firms. CAIP is delivered on behalf of the Government by the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), which evaluated all proposals based on strict eligibility and selection criteria. Eligible proposals were then presented to the independent Canadian Venture Capital Expert Panel for their review and recommendations. NRC-IRAP is conducting a thorough due diligence process to establish contribution agreements with the selected organizations.
The following organizations have been chosen to advance in the selection process under the CAIP:
- BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) (Accelerator)
- Bioenterprise Corporation (Accelerator)
- Centre d’entreprises et d’innovation de Montréal (CEIM) (Incubator)
- Centre for Drug Research & Development (CDRD), in collaboration with CDRD Venture Inc. (Accelerator/Incubator)
- Communitech Corporation, in collaboration with University of Waterloo Velocity, Laurier LaunchPad and the Waterloo Accelerator Centre (Accelerator/Incubator)
- Corporation Inno-Centre du Québec (Accelerator/Incubator)
- GrowLab Ventures Inc., in collaboration with Extreme Startups (Accelerator)
- Invest Ottawa, in collaboration with Wesley Clover, PARTEQ Innovations and InnovationPark at Queen’s University (Accelerator/Incubator)
- Manitoba Technology Accelerator (MTA) (Incubator)
- Prince Edward Island BioAlliance Inc. (Incubator)
- Propel ICT (Accelerator)
- RyersonUniversity, in collaboration with SimonFraserUniversity and University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Accelerator/Incubator)
- The Next 36 (Accelerator/Incubator)
- University of Alberta, in collaboration with TEC Edmonton and Innovate Calgary (Accelerator/Incubator)
- Wavefront Wireless Commercialization Centre Society (Accelerator/Incubator)
- CAIP provides support over a five-year period in the form of non-repayable contributions to a small and select number of accelerators and incubators. Maximum contributions to accelerators and incubators under the program are up to $5 million per year for each selected outstanding organization.
- Recipients will be required to demonstrate matching contributions on at least a 1:1 basis during the period of the contribution funding.
- 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.
“It is critical for Canada’s small- and medium-sized businesses to harness innovation and get their ideas to the marketplace so that they can grow, create jobs and contribute to the economy. Accelerators and incubators have the experience, tools and know-how to help get small Canadian start-up businesses up and running. Our Government is pleased to be supporting private sector-led initiatives that further strengthen our venture capital market.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper