The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN), organizers of the popular Soft Landing Program for startups, has announced today $8.75 million additional dollars of funding, to be spread out over five years.
Greg Rickford, Minister of State for Science and Technology, announced today that the CDMN was awarded the new funding after a competition was held by the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program.
“The Government of Canada invests in federal R&D to support jobs, growth and the long-term prosperity of all our communities right across Canada, including right here in the Waterloo Region,” said Rickford. “The Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research program helps bridge the gap between ideas and the marketplace, providing funding for product and business development early in the innovation process, when it can often be more difficult to attract the private investment needed to secure the development of products to that next stage of growth.”
Just six days ago the CDMN announced that it had selected ten companies to take part in a new joint initiative with the Brazilian Comitê Gestorda Internet (CGI), called Brasil-Canada 3.0. The ten Canadian startups named will travel to Brazil to engage in a pitch off with ten Brazilian companies, followed by the Brasil-Canada 3.0 conference taking place in Joao Pessoa from December 4 – 6.
The CDMN is most known for its Soft Landing Program, the initiative that brings in foreign companies to connect and work with Canadian incubation centres while sending Canadian startups off to foreign countries to do the same. The CDMN’s Kevin Tuer said in September that the program is generating a return of more than 30 times on the investment made. Moreover, the 34 companies that have gone through the program have reported new opportunities and sales and established key partnerships in their regions, “showing that even modest funding at a critical time can have tremendous impact.”
Today’s news follows the programs success. “This funding will allow us to continue to strengthen the network across Canada, while at the same time expanding our international strategy” said Tuer. “To date, 47 companies have had the opportunity to enter 17 foreign markets and identify more than $30 million in new business and investment opportunities – representing a return on investment of greater than 30 to 1.”
The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) was founded in 2009 to connect entrepreneurs, companies, and research institutes to accelerate the delivery of digital solutions to the marketplace. Since then, the CDMN has brought together 25 regional hubs, developing an online platform designed to share services across the country.
The CDMN was founded by Communitech to provide commercialization support to Canadian technology companies. “We set out to build a world-class commercialization centre at the Communitech Hub, and to connect that to a world-class network through the Canadian Digital Media Network,” said Communitech CEO Iain Klugman. “And the economic impact of those investments has proven to be really powerful for Canada. With this funding we will be able to provide startup assistance to even more Canadian firms as they scale, creating the next generation of Canadian tech companies.”