In the past week, the Ontario and Quebec-based agencies made two announcements to boost companies helping startups. Here are the latest developments.
Ontario contributing $1.3 million to TechAlliance’s BURST program
FedDev Ontario is providing a non-repayable grant of $1.32 million to the TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario, an organization offering services to start and grow businesses across industries, to launch the BURST program.
BURST will provide skills development opportunities, mentorship, and access to capital to innovative early-stage technology companies in southwestern Ontario.
The program will run in three different cohorts. Each BURST recipient will receive up to $30,000 in seed funding (matched by the business); up to $10,000 in training, mentoring and business guidance; and access to workspace at Western University’s Discovery Park.
Eligible healthtech companies will be provided with the required matched seed funding of up to $30,000 from the London Medical Network, a new initiative connecting the city’s medical and healthcare practitioners, researchers, and academics.
The government’s funding is part of the Investing in Business Innovation initiative, which aims to strengthen the innovation ecosystem in southern Ontario.
Applications are being accepted for its second cohort in August 2017. Those interested in getting involved can find out more here.
CRCD, Caisse de dépôt invest additional $90 million into fund for small businesses
Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins (CRCD) and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec announced a $90 million reinvestment in Capital croissance PME (CCPME), a fund created to support Québec SMEs. This brings the fund’s total capitalization to $540 million.
Since 2010, CCPME has helped fund 322 Québec companies; last year, it provided financing for 70 companies. CCPME aims to help companies raising less than $5 million.
“Many Québec SMEs that are among the finest in their field are undercapitalized because they rely mainly on debt to obtain capital,” said Luc Ménard, chief operating officer at Desjardins Business Capital régional et coopératif. “This approach hinders their development and makes them vulnerable to acquisition by foreign competitors. Equity investments, on the other hand, help ensure their longevity. For CCPME investments, we’ve created the SME Equity program, which offers more flexible governance along with a shorter agreement that’s simpler and less costly.”
Last month, Caisse de dépôt committed $500 million to two new Québec funds focused on international growth opportunities and successions.