We’ve searched high and low and connected with our innovation partners to give you the most comprehensive list of Canadian Innovation Funding programs we could find to help your startup on its path to commercialization and scale up. Keep this post bookmarked for updates and new programs as we discover them!

Need help finding funding? If you’re growing an innovative tech company you might be a great fit for ventureLAB. Come out to an orientation to learn more!

Canadian Innovation Funding Programs:


Concierge is a branch of the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) that offers free supports like one-on-one assistance from expert advisors and customized guidance in selecting the most relevant Canadian innovation funding programs to help you grow your business.

Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)

IRAP provides customized Canadian innovation funding programs to help startups and entrepreneurs accelerate the growth of their businesses through innovation and technology. Fun fact: IRAP also has an office at the IBM Innovation Space – Markham Convergence Centre where ventureLAB is co-located.

Canada Foundation for Innovation

The Canada Foundation for Innovation has several programs including:

  • Innovation Fund: A program to support the development promising technologies to become competitive on a global stage
  • College-Industry Innovation Fund: A Canadian innovation funding program to enhance the capacity of colleges to support business innovation
  • Cyberinfrastructure Initiative: A program that supports research data infrastructure projects that develop data resources that are capable of enabling leading-edge research on significant scientific, social and economic questions
  • Exceptional Opportunities Fund: A case-by-cases basis funding program that allows for time sensitive research projects that support innovation

International Innovation – The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service offers several Canadian innovation funding programs including:

Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program

A federal tax incentive program that supports Canadian innovation through R&D.

BDC Technology Financing

BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) provides technology loans that support technology investments in hardware, software and consulting services which could function as an incentive for companies to purchase from innovative companies.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada

A Canadian innovation funding program to develop clean technology projects that show strong market potential.

Idea to Innovation Grants

The Idea to Innovation program accelerates the pre-market development of promising technologies and promotes adoption into Canadian companies.

Next 36

Next 36 accelerates the growth of young Canadian entrepreneurs by providing mentorship, capital, and unparalleled founder development.

Ontario Specific Innovation Funding Programs:

IBM Innovation Incubator (I3) Project

  • Stream 1 (or, the Customer Demonstration Program) aims to demonstrate the value of a smart computing product/service with a strategic customer by matching market leaders and market disruptors.
  • Stream 4 (or, Disruptive Technologies and IBM Bluemix Platform) offers Access to IBM Bluemix platform for 1 year for free (which is equal to a $120K credit) and up to $5000 in travel costs covered for its Soft Landing program with international IBM locations.

Advanced Manufacturing Fund

The Advanced Manufacturing Fund (AMF) is a $200-million fund delivered throughout Ontario province-wide by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). The Canadian innovation funding program promotes continued growth of Ontario’s advanced manufacturing sector by supporting the development of innovative new technologies cutting-edge technologies.

Ontario Research funding

Funding to support research and innovation in Ontario.

Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs

A network of services and funding programs for researchers, entrepreneurs and tech companies.

Embedded Executive Funding

A program that provides up to $50,000 toward the cost of an Embedded Executive’s salary. This program requires a contribution of $15,000 cash (or 30% of amount requested). This program is best suited for novel Ontario-based tech ventures in a later discovery stage or approaching validation and efficiency stage of development.

Did we miss a program? Have a suggestion? Leave a comment below or send Emily an email at [email protected]