Today the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced an investment of C$10 million for the Waterloo Accelerator Centre (Waterloo AC) to launch the Venture Studio Innovation Program.
The program will help startup technology companies across southwestern Ontario scale-up and bring products to market faster through access to mentorship and financial support.
The Waterloo Accelerator Centre will lead on the delivery of the program, in partnership with five southwestern Ontario-based partners. These partners are WEtech Alliance (WEtech), Innovate Niagara, SnapPea Design, Conestoga College and Uvaro.
The program is looking to speed up the growth of high-potential start-up companies in the clean sustainability tech, nanotech, and health tech sectors. Successful applicants will receive financial support, mentorship, marketing, sales, and investment expertise to help them grow and develop innovative technology solutions to help drive Canada’s economy.
The FedDev Ontario investment will support up to 100 startups, create and maintain up to 1,000 jobs, and commercialize 75 new products or services.
“As with all our programs, we’re committed to ensuring that the AC studio addresses equity and diversity in our community,” said Jay Krishnan, chief executive officer of the Accelerator Centre said. “As members of the Government of Canada’s 50—30 challenge and through our own action plan, we will be working to ensure that 50 per cent of our programming is offered to women- led businesses and 30 per cent of those resources are directed to startups that have been founded by members of equity deserving groups.”
The Waterloo AC ranks among the top accelerators in Canada, having been named Accelerator of the Year in Canada in 2018 and 2019. The centre has also been recognized by UBI Global, a Swedish intelligence company specializing in innovation hubs, as one of the top five private business accelerators in the world.
“Today’s investment in the Waterloo Accelerator Centre and the Venture Studio Innovation Program will provide Canadian entrepreneurs with the access to the support, mentorship and services they need for growth and success,” said the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “Supporting Canadian jobs and economic growth in Canada’s technology sector is a priority for the Government of Canada. We are proud to support this program that will create good jobs for Canadians and help secure Canada’s place as a global leader in the technology sector.”
Applications for the Venture Studio Innovation Program are being accepted until July 1, 2022.
For more details and information on the application process, click here.