How it works

SmartStart Seed Fund delivered through Ontario Centres of Excellence.

Through the program, you can get:

  • up to $30,000 in early-stage funding to help you launch and grow your business, providing you get 1:1 matching funds from at least 1 other source
  • up to $5,000 in financing, with no matching funds required, to apply towards business skills training and support services (e.g., workshops and seminars, peer networks, mentoring and other entrepreneurship learning opportunities)
  • access to regional business and investment networks and resources

Who is eligible

You can apply if you’re:

  • a technology or innovation-based entrepreneur, between 18 -29 years old, with an incorporated startup based in Ontario, including 1 linked to – or based in — an Ontario college or university
  • a student or recent graduate affiliated with a Campus-Linked Accelerator or participating in on-campus entrepreneurship activities
  • free to use or develop your startup’s intellectual property with no third-party rights
  • not a previous recipient of Ontario Centres of Excellence funding (e.g., SmartStart, Voucher for Commercialization or Market Readiness Phase 1, 2 or 3)
  • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident with:
    • a viable business plan
    • an aptitude for entrepreneurship
    • a commitment to growing an Ontario-based company

How to apply

You need to apply through the Ontario Centres of Excellence.

Their Business Development Managers are available to help you with your application.