What’s your government funding pathway? November 5, 2012 RICCentre By: Matthew Kert This Wednesday, the RIC Centre will be hosting their monthly Growing Your Business seminar which helps local technology entrepreneurs get more information about how to commercialize their business. The event, which happens every month with varying topics, includes 3 speakers (an academic, an industry specialist and an entrepreneur). This month’s topic is on access to government funding. Entrepreneurs can always use financial aid when starting up but getting this extra boost can be difficult. There are lots of programs within Southern Ontario which support great ideas and young entrepreneurs. Our experts include Dan Mathers (MaRS) and Stuart McKeen (FedDev Ontario); who each have amazing programs within their organizations which support local entrepreneurs. Our third speaker, Alex Hodgson (1DegreeBio) is an entrepreneur case study that will share her government funding success story. MaRS, which is an innovation centre located in Toronto, works with local entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and get them into the global market. Their Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF), sponsored by the province of Ontario, invests up to $500,000 in funding so that new companies can grow and prosper, accelerating their growth. As well, this program connects entrepreneurs with potential angel investors and venture capitalists for further funding. The IAF provides resources and market connections to grow your business and increase global success. Just like the IAF, SOFII (Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation) provides $20 million in funding for local entrepreneurs. Focusing on small to medium enterprises, the program offers $150 to $500 thousand in funding. Some of the steps this program tries to finance are “late stage commercialization, service development, new applications, or development of new processes.” SOFII acts as a facilitator for further development and increases exposure for possible outside investment. Another program for entrepreneurs in Sothern Ontario is Venture Start. Administered through the RIC Centre, Venture Start provides business skill training, mentoring and up to $30,000 in seed capital. In the first stage of the program (Business Skills Development), the entrepreneur is given the tools and knowledge about how to start up, creating a solid business plan. In the next stage (Business Launch Support), the program provides the entrepreneur with expert mentorship with possible seed funding. Want to learn more about access to government funding? Attend the Growing Your Business Seminar! Matthew is a final year undergraduate student majoring in Communication, Culture & Information Technology and Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. He is interning at the RIC centre and is responsible for managing various social media events the company has to offer. He is very interested in advertising and marketing with a strong background in online marketing. The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.