Category Archives: Funding

OCE and Futurpreneur team up to support 10 tech startups

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TORONTO, July 31, 2014 – Building on an existing relationship, Ontario Centres of Excellence and Futurpreneur Canada (formerly Canadian Youth Business Foundation) are making it easier than ever for young entrepreneurs to apply for and access startup funding.

Under a new agreement, successful applicants of OCE’s SmartStart Seed Fund program can also apply for a Futurpreneur Canada loan of $15,000.

“I’m pleased we are able to make the process of accessing vital seed funds easier for qualified applicants,” says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of OCE. “With the simple check of a box, SmartStart applicants will be directed into the Futurpreneur application system. This is another example of how OCE is working with our many partners to reduce gridlock and paperwork for Ontario’s many promising entrepreneurs.”

Futurpreneur Canada will approve loans for up to 10 tech startups led by post-secondary students or recent graduates. Additional applications beyond those 10 may be considered on a case-by-case basis as well.

“Time and again, we see how much young people can do for their communities and the economy when they are equipped to launch and grow their businesses,” said Julia Deans, CEO of Futurpreneur Canada. “We are thrilled to partner with Ontario Centres of Excellence on the SmartStart Seed Fund so that more innovative, passionate young entrepreneurs will have access to the seed funding they need to start successful businesses.”

Part of the Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy, the SmartStart Seed fund is an exciting new opportunity for Ontario’s next generation of entrepreneurs to access much-needed funding to take their companies to the next level. Open to young entrepreneurs from the ages of 18 to 29, the program provides both seed financing and financing for entrepreneurship skills training to help recipients grow their companies and make them investment and customer ready.

“It is encouraging to see organizations working together to keep Ontario’s young entrepreneurs competitive, not only within Canada, but around the world,” said Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. “By working together, OCE and Futurpreneur Canada are ensuring our province’s business leaders of tomorrow are getting the support they need to succeed today.”

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. (www.oce-ontario.org)

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario’s global competitiveness. OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario’s industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, domestic and foreign investors, and government ministries. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices, innovation, entrepreneurship and research, OCE invests in such areas as advanced health, information and communications technology, digital media, advanced materials and manufacturing, agri-food, aerospace, transportation, energy, and the environment including water and mining. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario’s Innovation Agenda as a member of the province’s Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), which helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs and industry rapidly grow their company and create jobs. Learn more at www.onebusiness.ca

About Futurpreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada (formerly the Canadian Youth Business Foundation or CYBF) has been fuelling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise for nearly two decades. We are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,800 volunteer mentors. Futurpreneur Canada is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of The Prince’s Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week. www.futurpreneur.ca. Facebook: Futurpreneur  Twitter: @Futurpreneur.

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Media contacts:

Ontario Centres of Excellence
Stuart Green
Manager, Media Relations
416-861-1092 x 1022
stuart.green@oce-ontario.org

Futurpreneur Canada
Lesley Wilmot
Director, Communications
416.408.2923, ext. 2203
lwilmot@futurpreneur.ca

Summer Company still open for applications

 

Source: investinhamilton.ca/small-business/youth-programs

summercompanySummer Company is a key component of the Ontario government’s young entrepreneurs programs, which aims to encourage more young people to turn their talents into creative and innovative businesses. Summer Company provides hands-on business training and mentoring, together with awards of up to $3000.00 to help enterprising students start up and run their own summer business.

Eligible candidates must be between 15-29 years of age, a student returning to school in the fall of 2014, a resident of Ontario, Canadian citizen or Landed Immigrant and is not to be operating an existing business or be employed full time over the course of the summer. In addition, students must be prepared to commit a minimum of 8 -12 consecutive weeks full-time to the experience.

Students apply to the program by completing a comprehensive business plan and participating in an interview. Visit the provincial webpage for more information.

Summer Company – How it works?

Young Entrepreneurs can get up to $3,000 with Summer Company

Summer Company Success Stories:

Maya Amoah started her retail business called Nebula Artwear with Summer Company – Hamilton

Nathan Jervis started his software business called NVC Software Solutions with Summer Company – Hamilton

Natalie To started her jewellery business called Toto’s Shop with Summer Company – Hamilton

If you have any questions, please contact the SBEC at 905-540-6400 or mail@hamiltonsmallbusiness.ca

Summer Company 2014 is now open!

We are now accepting applications:

http://www.ontariocanada.com/screen/eligibility_questionaire.do?language=en

Application deadline is May 23, 2014.

Interview with Jim Rudnick of FundHamOnt

Check out the interview below with Jim Rudnick (@JVRudnick), founder of the new FundHamOnt (@FundHamOnt) local crowdfunding platform! He’ll be giving a talk + Q&A about the new service at StartupDrinks this Wednesday March 12th at The Pheasant Plucker too!

 

jimrudnickWhat is FundHamOnt?

It’s my attempt at trying to help the hundreds of new start-ups that I hear from on a daily basis who have an idea, the passion to try to make it come true….but not the access to seed funding to get any traction. I hear them pitch, I chat with them at DemoCamps, StartUpDrinks, IF events, BizSmartz events in fact almost everywhere I go in the city somebody says “hey, got an idea but where do I find funding?” And now, we have an answer….

 

Why did you decide to create FundHamOnt?

To help all the entrepreneurs here in our own HamOnt community find a way to ask for the support of their community. To try to validate that “idea” via just such a crowdfunding Campaign which I think is a great way to see if that idea has both the legs and the rationale of our whole community. I believe that no one would ever fund a bad idea…so this helps in many ways!

 

What is the current state of startup / early seed funding in Hamilton?

As far as I know – other than the traditional friends, family and fools – there is no real funding group for startups at all. Yes, there is our own AngelOne group but they are looking well downstream from a funding viewpoint….in fact there’s few opportunities at all for that seed funding…the first say $10k to get you started…

 

How important is it that we fix the local early funding gap?

Absolutely important – in fact most likely as I see it, the reason that we even exist is to get our community support offered to our own community entrepreneurs! Without us, where would one go?

 

What is the first project being funded on FundHamOnt?

We are so proud that our first Campaign is from our own Hamilton literary group, the gritLIT Festival group and we’re so happy to have them too! If you’re like me, you too wouldn’t even know but #HamOnt has some damn fine writers and authors…and this is the group that supports same too! And while it’s a bit outside your question, we’ve turned down now 11 other Campaigns that did not have a “local” POV….we love our city and this is for our city!

 

gritlit

 

Are you worried about ‘competing’ with Indiegogo, Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms?

Not in the least. These large non-geo-synched sites have raised hundreds of millions for their own demographic and that’s not at all what we’re about. Instead, we are trying to build our community by offering up our own local entrepreneurs and causes and groups to look for support here….not in San Francisco! We want to raise support here for startups and entrepreneurs who are here…the real strength of being “local!”

 

What type of projects do you think are going to be popular on FundHamOnt?

I think it will be that there will be a mix of both ’causes’ and ‘startups’ and yes, even ‘politics’ too that will all rise….As long as the Campaign has a local #HamOnt rationale, we’d welcome them….

 

fundhamtonWhere would you like to see FundHamOnt 5-10 years from now?

Still building our city! With even second generation Campaigns too….that spin off a successful startup we helped fund earlier too!

 

What else do we need to do locally to improve early stage funding for local businesses? For instance, would a Hamilton-based angel investment group make sense as a next step?

Oh yes it would – but a real early-stage Angel group I’d think… and I’d love to help someone get that community building idea some traction too!

 

How can the Hamilton community help you make FundHamOnt a bigger success?

Just by dropping by to see what’s new occasionally; by reading the Campaign notices about new ideas looking for support; by listening within your own circle of friends and if you hear of someone who need seed funding, then send them to www.fundhamont.com!

 

FundHamOnt launches

Originally posted on CanuckSEO.com

 

CrowdfundingWe thought that as we launched our new site, www.fundhamont.com just a couple of days ago, that we’d put the same blog post about that launch up here on our Canuck.SEO.com for our readers to look over and see if the idea works for them too!

So…without further ado, here’s our launch notice…

After much insight over the years on how a new website gathers momentum when it comes to launch time, I know that the normal methods will not work for our own FundHamOnt site, not in the least…and that’s not a concern…

In fact, what we’re trying to do is to “soft launch” and for the most part we’re right on target. Consider what we’ve done and the rationale behind same…

We did not ask a for a single “prompted” Campaign – we felt (and still do) that for a site like this one it has to speak to our HamOnt citizens on it’s own and therefore must be as “un-prompted and real” as can be. From day one!

We have a local list of over 1000 Hamilton citizens we know personally who are involved in either a business, our startup community, our various mentoring groups, our post-secondary institutions, our local and regional media – reporters, editors, videographers, copy editors and yes friends and family too. In thinking about the real “who” to contact with the launch news, we drilled down on what we figured were the top 100 locally of same…so those folks got the site Launch Announcement you can see here if you’d like.

We also of course have fielded many “congrats” and “kudos” emails from many who were on that list – so thank you one and all…

We also have had some media attention (we’re waiting for the story in the next few days!) about what it is we’re attempting here with FundHamOnt and our own local business community – and that’s great.

Have we attracted any real live new Campaign Creators? Yes, and that’s an issue…in that we got 4 contacts with one of same entereing a brand new Campaign on the site – but there was a problem with these 4 “eager to get started” entrepreneurs….they were not from our own Hamilton area. All 4 were from the US with the “eagerest” of them being from Buffalo and while I did empathize with his startup needs….in all good conscience, we can’t get to any marketplace that is not HamOnt based – at least to start!

We turnd down those four and interestingly they were all American….hmm…is there a lesson there I wonder – but back to our own HamOnt community.

We’re up….we’re live…and yes, we’re looking for HamOnt businesses who need some seed money.

Got a new cupcake bakery opening up on James St North and need funds? Pick us. Got a software app for the iStore and need some capital to add an Android version too? Pick us. Need a new kiln for your pottery business or want to finance a trip to Montreal for an art conference? We can help.

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No matter what the need, if you’re a Hamilton based business or citizen looking for crowdfunding….we’d love to help!

 

Final call for ICTC CareerConnect wage program

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There’s still time to apply for ICTC’s CareerConnect program! CareerConnect is a wage subsidy program designed to encourage private sector employers to hire post-secondary graduates for full-time ICT positions.

Over 100 post-secondary graduates from across Canada have already started their placements. They are gaining valuable work experience and are helping to build great Canadian companies.

Find out if you qualify and apply today to receive one of the few remaining grants.

Here’s what employers are saying about the CareerConnect program…

“The ICTC program provided us with the opportunity to add a young and bright individual into our organization to…embrace the online world of Social Media and online marketing.  The participant’s efforts have allowed us to establish a corporate presence on…and made our Principals among the Top 5% of viewed LinkedIn members.  We would not have taken the first step without the ICTC funding to help us invest in online marketing and are grateful for this program.”

“Without the ICTC support we would not have been able to make this (employment) offer for another six months at least, and this is a huge advantage for a company that is seeking to bring a new innovative technology product to the market and maintain its 20% growth year after year…the support from ICTC was phenomenal in every sense. The process was completely streamlined, the expectations were conveyed clearly and the administrative and operational support was timely.”

“The ICTC program has given our organization the ability to grow our technical and sales departments while investing in our youth. We’ve gained numerous employees through this program and it has opened many doors for us to hire in various positions. The staff and organization is wonderful to work with and we look forward to a continued partnership.”

With Canada’s youth unemployment at about 14%, the CareerConnect program offers a practical solution for youth to gain valuable industry experience. Mentorship, team-based knowledge sharing, hand’s on training and shadowing help participants bridge the gap between their education and the world of work.

Here’s what participants are saying about the program:

“(CareerConnect) is allowing me the opportunity to work at a job I am very passionate about while developing new skills within the workforce. This program is making my development as a professional and GIS Technical Analyst possible, providing me an opportunity I would not have otherwise. The program has been so beneficial and I am grateful to be a part of it.” 

“It’s often difficult to get employers to give you a chance when you have not worked in an industry in some time, or even just when you’re unemployed. The chance to prove that you have the necessary skills, build references, build your resume, and improve your capabilities is extremely valuable, and I’m thankful for it. My work has without question been one of the most intense learning experiences I’ve had so far.”

“(CareerConnect) is making a huge difference in my career, it’s a great place to learn about a new and emerging field that all companies will be implementing into their marketing programs in the near future …It’s an amazing experience being on the ground floor of such an amazing opportunity to learn, and have great mentors to learn from.”

Please note ICTC considers applications for the CareerConnect program on a first-come-first-serve basis. Funds are limited and eligibility does not guarantee approval. For further information on the program please e-mail careerconnect@ictc-ctic.ca.

Mabel’s Labels receives $145k in IRAP funding

mabelsHAMILTON, ONTARIO–(Marketwired) - The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario), today met with senior representatives of Mabel’s Labels Inc. This Canadian company, which was founded in 2003 by four young mothers, produces labels for children’s clothes and personal belongings.

“Our government is strongly committed to initiatives that support the growth of innovative Canadian firms,” said Minister of State Rickford. “Like so many small and medium-sized businesses in Ontario, Mabel’s Labels is using innovative methods to make new products that consumers in Canada and around the world need. These businesses are critical to the Canadian economy, and our government will continue to open new markets and put in place the winning conditions for products so Canadian businesses can grow, create jobs and secure long-term prosperity.”

Mabel’s Labels provides personalized clothing, school and name labels for kids and adults. The company will receive up to $145,450 from the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to enhance its infrastructure and production capacity, thereby supporting business growth while enabling the company to maintain its high level of service. This funding is in addition to a contribution of $49,700 that Mabel’s Labels received last year through NRC IRAP to find better ways to improve workflow and, in turn, increase capacity and reduce costs.

“The financial support provided by the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program has enabled us to improve our infrastructure and find efficiencies in manufacturing, which has created jobs and allowed the business to grow,” said Julie Cole, Vice-President of Public Relations for Mabel’s Labels Inc.

NRC IRAP provides a range of technical and business-oriented advisory services, as well as necessary financial support, to qualified innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Canada. It engages in cost-shared research and development projects with its clients. Firms helped by NRC IRAP are better equipped to perform basic research and development, commercialize new products and processes, and access new markets.

Economic Action Plan 2013 is providing $20 million over three years for a new pilot program delivered through NRC IRAP. The program will help SMEs commercialize their products or services more quickly. It will provide them with credit notes to help pay for research, technology and business development services at the universities, colleges and other not-for-profit research institutions of their choice. The new funding will enable hundreds of Canadian businesses to access the highly qualified talent found in Canada’s world-class universities and colleges and will also help create high-value jobs for Canadians.

With a focus on getting more ideas to market, NRC will work with industry to bridge technology gaps, helping build a more innovative Canadian economy that reflects today’s global realities.

NRC is a research and technology organization focused on real-world applications and the needs of Canadian businesses. NRC provides Canadian industry with access to the strategic research and development, technical services and specialized scientific infrastructure it needs to excel on the global stage.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Greg Rickford
Minister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal
Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)
613-943-6177

Media Relations Team
National Research Council of Canada
613-991-1431
1-855-282-1637
media@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

 

Applications open for province’s Youth Employment Fund

Applications Open for Province’s Youth Employment Fund

September 24, 2013

Ontario Government Helping Young People Find Work

Young people can now apply to Ontario’s new Youth Employment Fund to find jobs and gain valuable work experience.

Businesses and eligible youth aged 15 to 29 can apply to the fund by making an appointment with a local Employment Ontario service provider. The fund helps employers offer four- to six-month job and training placements for young people looking for employment.

Ontario is providing up to $7,800 to cover a range of supports and services for each eligible young worker under the fund. That includes up to $6,800 to help cover wage and training costs, and up to $1,000 to help young workers pay for job-related costs like tools and transportation to work.

The fund is part of the new Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy, which will help more young people find jobs or start their own businesses, and ensure that employers can find the skilled workers they need to grow their businesses.

Helping young people find jobs is part of the Ontario government’s economic plan to invest in people and ensure the province has a strong, innovative business climate that will create jobs and help people in their everyday lives.

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario is investing $295 million over two years in the Youth Jobs Strategy.
  • Last year, 35 per cent of Employment Ontario clients were youth. Sixty-seven per cent of those clients found employment and a further 14 per cent went on to further training or education.

LEARN MORE

QUOTES

“I’m pleased we are going to be able to offer job opportunities to so many deserving young people. When we provide youth of all abilities and backgrounds with the experience and skills they need to succeed, we build a brighter future for young people and a stronger Ontario economy.”
— Brad Duguid, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

“When we help young people enter the workforce, we are helping them and the communities they live in grow and thrive. Connecting Ontario’s youth with meaningful employment will drive innovation and economic growth across the province.”
— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment

Ontario launches collaboration voucher program

oceOntario is launching a new Collaboration Voucher program to give companies a competitive edge by connecting businesses with research institutions.

Through the program, eligible companies can apply for vouchers which can be redeemed for access to the expertise and knowledge at Ontario universities, colleges and research hospitals to help make their businesses more innovative and productive. Four types of vouchers are available:

  • Commercialization – to help companies launch new products

  • Innovation and Productivity – to help companies refine products and processes

  • E-Business – to help businesses take advantage of online tools to drive growth

  • Industry Association R&D Challenge – to enhance competitiveness across industry sectors

Helping businesses become more innovative, productive and competitive is part of the new Ontario government’s plan to strengthen the economy and build a fair society for all. 

Quick Facts

  • Ontario Centres of Excellence is delivering the Collaboration Voucher Program on behalf of the province and is now accepting applications for all four components of the program. Visit the website for details.
  • The Collaboration Voucher program was a recommendation of the Jobs and Prosperity Council.
  • Last year Ontario ranked first for the number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects among destination states/provinces in North America with a population of more than one million.

Quotes

“Our government is committed to promoting collaboration among our innovation partners to address global challenges, create jobs and help Ontario’s businesses get ahead. By connecting Ontario companies with our world-leading researchers and academic resources, the Collaboration Voucher program will help our businesses become more innovative, productive and competitive.”

Reza Moridi
Minister of Research and Innovation

“OCE is pleased to deliver the new Collaboration Voucher program on behalf of the Government of Ontario. This program speaks to the importance of industry-academic collaboration in keeping the province’s economy moving forward and complements OCE’s other programs in this area. The Collaboration Voucher program is going help Ontario businesses succeed by facilitating the transfer of knowledge from academic institutions to industry.”

Tom Corr
President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence

Media Contacts

Sarah McMaster
Minister’s Office
416-326-9492

Brigitte Marleau
Communications Branch
416-325-2479

Precursor Games crowdfunding campaign continues

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With 20 days left to go Precursor Games has raised $268,731 so far in their quest to crowdfund Shadows of the Eternals, a spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness. Shadow of the Eternals will be released for Wii U and PC over 12 episodes, and is described as “a character driven action/horror game that interweaves real historical events with horrific fantasy – making the gamer question the perception of reality”. The company has been releasing regular video logs covering everything from the development of the game itself to the business model…

 

Eternals Showcase Preview

 

Through The CryENGINE Looking Glass

 

Episodic Structure

 

Project Overview and Budget Breakdown

 

They’ve also launched a fairly active web forum community…

forums

 

It looks like Precursor Games is hiring too…

Precursor Games is focusing on the opportunities created by the games industry transition from traditional development models towards digital distribution. Envisioned with an efficient and versatile structure, we have created a development studio in which each person is highly talented, experienced, and diversified. We are looking for people with cross-disciplinary skills and the confidence to transition from skill set to skill set seamlessly: artists who are writers; programmers who are game designers, and much more.

At Precursor Games, we are passionate about creating games of the highest quality. We are a closely-knit team, dedicated to helping everyone professionally grow and flourish. We are avid fans of games, and strongly believe in interacting with our community to design alongside the gamers. If you believe that Precursor Games is an environment in which you will thrive, please send your resume to jobs@precursorgames.com.

 

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