Grants for Canadian Startups

Grants for Canadian Startups

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To get any startup off the ground, funding is essential. Specifically, funding can give you access to resources that you otherwise would have never been able to use. While startups and support centres are more common in larger cities in Canada, it leaves little for those located outside of these cities. In addition, the current landscape can be somewhat challenging to navigate, resulting in lost opportunities.

For these reasons, FlashBox wanted to create a list of Grants for Canadian startups. Because, who doesn’t like free money? Read on to learn more about grants available for your startup venture.

Top 5 Canadian Startup Grants

Canadian Startup Grant 1: The Canada Job Grant (CJG)

Let’s start with Government funding. In short, this Federal government grant is used to grow your workforce. Growing your workforce can mean providing extra employee training, developing skill sets and enhancing performance. Learn more about the Ontario CJG grant here

Grant Amount: 

Up to $10,000

Grant Highlights:

  • Every province has their own version of the CJG, excluding Quebec
  • Generally used for training costs for employees

Where is it available?

Available in every province except Quebec. 

Grant Eligibility:

  • Must be used to purchase training to grow your workforce
  • And, a third party must execute training

How to apply:

  1. Visit your province CJG website 
  2. Fill out their application

Canadian Startup Grant 2: Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)

IRAP is another Government subsidy program created by the National Research Council (NRC). This Canadian startup grant aims to support small and medium-sized businesses across Canada. Learn more about this grant here

Grant Amount: 

$50,000 to $500,000

Grant Highlights:

  • For small and medium-sized businesses in Canada to 
  • It aims to develop, research and commercialize technologies

Where is it available?

Available across Canada

Grant Eligibility:

  • Must have at least one full-time employee, but less than 500
  • Must generate profits through the development of a technology-driven product, services or processes
  • And, must be a Canadian startup

How to apply:

  1. Contact a local IRAP representative at 1-877-994-4727
  2. They will discuss the next steps upon verification of eligibility

Canadian Startup Grant 3: Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)

This government-funded grant aims to support large-scale, transformative and collaborative projects. These projects must help position Canada to succeed in the global knowledge-based economy. Learn more about this Canadian startup grant here

Grant Amount: 

Request a minimum of $10,000,000 with total costs of at least $20 million

Grant Highlights:

  • Business Innovation and Growth (Stream 1 to 3)

  • Collaboration and Networks (Streams 4 & 5)

Where is it available?

Available across Canada

Grant Eligibility:

  • Stream 1, 2 and 3
    • Must be for-profit
    • The recipient is responsible for managing the project
  • Stream 4
    • For-profit or not-for-profit
    • Can include research institutions and post-secondary
  • Stream 5
    • For-profit or not-for-profit
    • Must be from a research institution or post-secondary
    • And, must aim to benefit the ecosystem

How to apply:

  1. Submit a Statement of Interest (SOI) with a high-level overview of the proposal
  2. SIF will review the SOI and notify applicants to proceed with a full application

Canadian Startup Grant 4: Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED)

The Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax incentive program is not a grant. Instead, you can claim this tax incentive when you complete your taxes. This program aims to encourage Canadian businesses of all sizes and industries to conduct research and development in Canada. Learn more about this grant here

Grant Amount: 

Up to 35% of your research and development costs

Grant Highlights:

  • Pool your SR&ED expenditures and deduct them against your current-year income or deduct them in a future year
  • Earn the SR&ED investment tax credit (ITC) and use it to reduce your income tax payable

Where is it available?

Available across Canada

Grant Eligibility:

  • The project aims to gain new knowledge that helps solve your problem or achieve your goal
  • And, in relation to science or technology and conducts a systematic investigation through experimentation or analysis

How to apply:

  1. During tax season, include form T661 and form T2038

Canadian Startup Grant 5: SD Tech Fund 

Sustainable Development Technology Canada is looking for startups to create clean technology. Geared towards businesses, this fund works towards clean energy, air, water, and climate change solutions. Learn more about this Canadian startup grant here

Grant Amount: 

Up to 40% of eligible project costs

The average contribution is $2 million to $4 million, with funds being distributed for up to five-years

Grant Highlights:

  • Continous funding for up to 5 years
  • The goal of the fund is to create clean energy, and as a result, improve the environment

Where is it available?

Available across Canada

Grant Eligibility:

  • A Canadian startup with a defined project
  • A strong value proposition for the end-user 
  • The potential to attract a consortia partner to validate the market need
  • And, demonstrated environmental and economic benefits for Canadians

How to apply:

  1. Download their how to apply booklet
  2. Set up an introductory call with SDTC

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