MaRS wants to give startups up to $20,000 to hire a young entrepreneur

MaRS Toronto

MaRS is calling on startups to apply for its Embark Funding program, which gives ventures up to $20,000 to hire a full-time young professional between the ages of 22 to 29.

The money is meant to go towards the employee’s salary, with companies expected to contribute $2,500 cash (or 12.5 percent of amount requested) over the program’s six-month period.

“Embark funding provides young people the opportunity to gain experience in a startup environment where they can develop entrepreneurial mindset that will help them for the rest of their career,” said Shirin Habibi, Manager of Funding Programs in the MaRS Business Acceleration Program (BAP). “This is particularly important as the demand for this skillset increases.”

Eligible ventures should be pre-revenue or have under $1 million in revenue, raised up to $2 million in funding (with exceptions for cleantech and health sciences ventures), and must be part of a regional innovation centre like Communitech.

The program is delivered through BAP, which works to support the growth and development of regional innovation ecosystems across Ontario. It’s funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, and works to create, share and integrate coordinated entrepreneurship services across the province.

“In smaller companies, young people are often able to be more involved in key initiatives and can make a noticeable impact,” said Habibi. “The funding provides an opportunity for the early stage start ups to bring on young talent, which in many cases they wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise on tight budgets.”

Learn more about the program on the MaRS website. The deadline to apply is January 11, 2017.