Today in FedDev funding: VentureLAB ($5M), Waterloo EDC ($3M)

Waterloo EDC and VentureLAB

Today, the federal government announced two financial contributions to accelerators and startups across Ontario through FedDev Ontario, totalling to $8 million. Here’s the latest on FedDev funding.

VentureLAB receives $5 million hardware lab and incubator

The Markham-based innovation centre VentureLAB is receiving a FedDev Ontario investment of $5 million to establish the Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI), a lab and incubator that will help hardware technology companies scale.

“The HCI will enable tech companies to create transformational technologies that form the core of AI, VR, and quantum computing.”

This project is aimed to support companies that produce the foundational technology for artificial intelligence, machine learning, and quantum computing. The government said over 40 businesses will gain access to new equipment in an expanded facility focused on designing, prototyping, and producing innovative new technologies. VentureLAB will also offer specialized programs, training and mentoring, and connect companies with industry experts to accelerate the commercialization of their technologies.

“The HCI will enable tech companies to create transformational technologies that form the core of AI, quantum computing, virtual reality, and beyond, powering the future of advanced medical devices, connected transportation and next-generation communications in Canada and around the world,” said Melissa Chee, president and CEO of VentureLAB. “With this support from the federal government, through FedDev Ontario, we will be able to leverage York Region’s existing rich history in silicon and hardware to strengthen southern Ontario’s technical and leadership talent, and help tech companies scale locally and compete globally.”

RELATED: VentureLAB looking for entrepreneurs to develop affordable housing solutions for York Region

Since it was founded in 2011, VentureLAB says it has helped over 2,000 tech entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized enterprises generate over $100 million in public and private investments. VentureLAB provides advisory, educational, and informational services which may include information about business planning, sales, marketing, financing, and funding strategies.

Waterloo EDC secures $3 million to organize regional investment missions

The Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation (Waterloo EDC) will receive a FedDev Ontario contribution of $3 million to attract global investors from a wide range of sectors to Waterloo Region.

“This is ultimately about launching a new federal-municipal partnership for economic development.”

With this investment, the government intends for Waterloo EDC to organize up to 45 investment missions in the region, and work with up to 80 local companies to introduce them to global investors and export opportunities.

“This new funding from FedDev Ontario will enable us to expand our programs to attract foreign direct investment and increase local job creation and support for companies as they scale up,” said Tony LaMantia, president and CEO of the Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation. “This is ultimately about launching a new federal-municipal partnership for economic development, one that will help to ensure we continue to deliver growth and prosperity for the people of Waterloo Region.”

RELATED: FedDev Ontario dedicating $8.9 million to 3D printing lab at University of Waterloo

Founded in 2015, Waterloo EDC is a non-profit organization focused on helping businesses relocate or expand in the Waterloo Region. Through this new investment, the government also aims for businesses in the region to gain access to enhanced export opportunities and new supply chain relationships.

As a result of this project, Waterloo EDC is expected to attract up to eight new investments into the region, with a total value of $40 million. To do so, Waterloo EDC says it will continue to work organizations and municipalities within the Innovation Corridor, including the City of Guelph, Toronto Global, and the City of Hamilton.

Image courtesy FedDev via Twitter

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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