Being an entrepreneur in our mind and then becoming one takes a lot than just thoughts. While motivations from our family and friends count. Availability of resources and right guidance makes a lot of difference. Canada is North America’s up-and-coming startup center. Canada also boasts incredible support for entrepreneurs, both homegrown and international.
Many household names, such as Slack, Hootsuite, and Shopify – Which may be mistakenly considered as U.S products – hail from north of the border.
It’s no surprise that startups excel in the country.
There are multiple organizations in Canada helping and supporting the entrepreneur in turning their thoughts into reality.
Few of them are mentioned below for quick references.
Business Development Bank of Canada
As the only bank to cater to entrepreneurs, BDC offers a range of services to help businesses throughout their entire lifecycle. The three main pillars of support they offer are financing, advisory services and capital. BDC Capital is the country’s most prolific investor, funding both venture capital firms and individual companies.
In recognizing the increase in businesses using a subscription-based model, they launched the Recurring Revenue Pilot. Eligible companies can receive up to half a million dollars if they meet some criteria, including generating at least $75k in MRR and reporting a minimum of 12 months in consecutive sales.
BDC also began the Startup Tech Pilot for early stage ICT companies that have generated a minimum of $500k in sales. There also has to be either venture capital or angel investment in the company.
Now in its second mandate that will extend until 2019, FedDev Ontario runs a variety of programs to help boost and support businesses in Ontario.
The Ontario Centres of Excellence delivers the SmartStart Seed Fund, one of several third-party programs. Both young and mature entrepreneurs looking to scale their early-stage companies can take advantage of the SmartStart Seed Fund, provided they demonstrate market traction and can match the contribution. The program offers seed funding, training, and advisory services as well as exclusive access to a network of their peers.
The Investing in Business Innovation (IBI) is another program that can help early-stage businesses with business development, marketing, and distribution strategies, as well as hiring.
Information and Communications Technology Council
ICTC is a not-for-profit that serves as a “center of expertise for the digital economy” conducting research and producing reports on market trends, providing advice on policy and offering talent solutions.
Ontario Career Connect is a wage subsidy program allowing companies to receive up to $12,000 to hire young professionals under the age of 29.
The organization also spearheads the Small Business Digitization Initiative (SBDI) which connects youth with small businesses who are looking to overcome the challenges associated with adopting digital technology. Youth go through 24 weeks of training which includes a work placement. This initiative is currently being piloted in North Bay, Ottawa, and Toronto.
Ottawa’s Regional Innovation Centre provides an array of services for startups. Early-stage companies can tap into mentorship and business advice on things like investor readiness, pitching, and PR. Invest Ottawa also offers office and meeting space at their newly opened headquarters at the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards.
The team also offers robust market analysis and research capabilities, offering companies the chance to tap into important insights about new industries or markets they’re pursuing.
The ‘Work in Ottawa’ campaign highlights the many benefits of working in Ottawa and offers a centralized job board for startups to post jobs and recruit talent.
Additionally, Canada has an organization like MaRs and help one to find Angel investors.
MaRs: It works with an extensive network of partners to help entrepreneurs launch and grow the innovative companies that are building our future.MaRs brings together educators, researchers, social scientists, entrepreneurs and business experts under one roof. Founded by civic leaders, they have a mission that is equal parts public and private – an entrepreneurial venture designed to bridge the gap between what people need and what the government can provide.
MaRs has become the world’s largest urban innovation hub, a place where today’s moonshots become tomorrow’s breakthrough. Its a launchpad for startups, a platform for researchers and a home to innovators.
Angel Investors: An angel investor is a wealthy person who invesr\ts his/her own money in a company – usually a start-up that is in the early stages of development. The goal of an angel investor is to help business get establishes. NACO (National Angel Capital Organization) support Canadian Angel investors, incubators and accelerators as they help entrepreneurs turn good ideas into great businesses. By connecting individuals, groups, and other partners that support Angel-stage investing, NACO accelerates a thriving, early-stage investing ecosystem.