The federal government is delivering on its innovation-driven agenda with a multi-million dollar investment to back 100 domestic startups.
FedDev Ontario announced it is allocating $3.57 million in new funding towards three startup programs led by Next Canada, a non-profit business accelerator based in Toronto.
Through the investment, participants in the accelerator’s three programs—Next 36, Next Founders and NextAI—will each receive up to $30,000 to match seed financing as well as access to training, mentoring and guidance from business experts.
“With this investment, we are leveraging the creative strength of Toronto, which is recognized as one of the 10 most innovative cities in the world, and we are nurturing the development of Canada’s most promising entrepreneurs and innovators,” said Adam Vaughan, MP for Spadina−Fort York. The Liberal MP made the announcement at the opening of National Selection Weekend as Next 36 welcomes its new cohort of student founders.
Through Next’s programs, the new funding will help young entrepreneurs launch new startups, support founders of existing companies looking to scale, and back entrepreneurs building AI-enabled businesses.
“This investment in NEXT Canada is one way we are advancing our vision of Canada as a global centre for innovation–by equipping Canada’s workers with the tools they need to succeed in the economy of the future,” said Economic development Minister Navdeep Bains, who is also responsible for FedDev Ontario.
Through Next’s programs, promising startups and founders are supported through both funding and expert advice to turn business ideas into products, technologies and services. Next Canada expects the latest capital injection will also led to 450 permanent, full-time jobs through the 100 businesses that are selected for its three accelerator programs.
“This funding will provide an essential boost to some of Canada’s most promising entrepreneurs. Thanks to the renewed support of the federal government and FedDev Ontario, these young innovators will have better access to the capital and the tools they need to build globally relevant businesses right here in Canada,” said Next Canada’s CEO Sheldon Levy.
This is the second time FedDev Ontario has supported Next Canada, but the new funding more than triples its 2012 commitment of nearly $788,000 to support 71 entrepreneurs and create 36 new ventures.