Venture Studio Innovation Program launched in KW Region
EP&T MagazineElectronics Engineering innovation start-ups tech-hub
FedDev Ontario investment to support up to 100 start-ups
The Waterloo Accelerator Centre has received an investment of $10 million from FedDev Ontario to launch the Venture Studio Innovation Program, aimed at helping start-up innovation and 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: WEtech Alliance (WEtech), Innovate Niagara, SnapPea Design, Conestoga College and Uvaro. The program aims to fast-track the growth of high-potential start-up companies in the cleantech, nanotech, and healthtech sectors. Successful applicants will receive financial support, mentorship, marketing, sales and investment expertise to help increase their ability to grow to develop innovative Canadian technology solutions sooner, create quality jobs for Canadians, and drive growth for Canada’s economy.
The program will support up to 100 high-growth start-ups, and will provide high potential businesses with additional, specialized opportunities to build, grow and scale their technologies. These participating businesses are expected to create and maintain up to 1,000 jobs and commercialize 75 new highly innovative products or services. Applications for the Venture Studio Innovation Program are currently being accepted until July 1, 2022.
“There is no doubt, the number one thing start-up founders need is enhanced access to capital, particularly seed funding. The AC has long played an important role in providing that access to start-ups in Waterloo and across southern Ontario,” says Jay Krishnan, CEO, Accelerator Centre. “We’re proud to be able to continue working with our partners to advance innovation in the cleantech, nanotech, and healthtech sectors. Through this program we will provide founders with the funding, mentorship, and tactical supports they need to build business that thrive and create global impact.”
- Founded in 2006, the Waterloo Accelerator Centre (Waterloo AC) is a not-for-profit organization that enables clients to become sustainable innovative businesses that create jobs and stimulate economic activity.
- The Waterloo AC ranks among the top accelerators in Canada, having been named Accelerator of the Year in Canada, both in 2018 and 2019. The Waterloo AC 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.
- The Regional Innovation Ecosystem initiative, delivered by FedDev Ontario, aims to create, grow and develop strong and inclusive regional ecosystems that support business growth and innovation, as well as the
entrepreneurial environment necessary to foster more innovative regional economies and increase the competitiveness of SMEs.
- Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested over $400 million in almost 180 projects related to technology in southern Ontario.
“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,” says 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.”