Start-up grants presented in the following categories: agriculture, Aboriginal, and technology
Three secret gems
Other start-up resources
Do grants exist for start-up companies?
Are there many?
Where are they?
Further down in this blog.
Contrary to what you probably heard, you will find few grants for start-up companies. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Governments are risk adverse; they are reluctant to give money to start-up businesses.
Everyone knows that most businesses start and fail within a couple years.
Most grants are for established businesses (and established non-profits).
Some grants do exist for start-up businesses, and we present them here for your convenience.
3 Grants You Need To Know About
1. AGRICULTURE | PRODUCTS TO MARKETS PROGRAM
Value: The Program provides grants on a cost-shared basis to cover Eligible Expenses for approved Projects up to a maximum of $50,000 per Applicant per Fiscal Year. Eligible Capital Expenses shall be cost-shared at 25% grant and 75% Applicant; and b) Eligible Non-Capital Expenses shall be cost-shared at 50% grant and 50% Applicant.
The purpose of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Products to Markets Program is to support growth of Alberta’s agricultural industries by supporting development of New Products and/or processes, commercialization of products in New Markets, and expansion into local, domestic and international markets.
New Entrants; and
Producers who are: i. adding value past primary agricultural production; or ii. involved in international market development activities.
Product and Process Development
Label and Package Development (must be supported by marketing plan)
Processing Capacity Expansion
Export Preparation and Planning
Activities to Support Aggregation and Distribution of Food
2. ABORIGINAL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT (ABED) | INDIGENOUS AND NORTHERN AFFAIRS CANADA:
Value: Funding maximums are up to $99,999 for Aboriginal individuals and incorporated businesses and up to $250,000 for community owned businesses.
ABED works with Aboriginal entrepreneurs, communities, and organizations to achieve their business goals by providing a range of services and support that promote the growth of a strong Aboriginal business sector. Support will vary depending upon the needs of the client, the availability and sources of funding, the eligibility of costs, the economic benefits, and the project viability.
Clients must be individuals of Canadian Aboriginal heritage — Status or Non-status Indian (on or off-reserve), Métis or Inuit — or a majority-owned Aboriginal business, or an Aboriginal community and/or development corporation
To be eligible for support, clients should also be involved full-time with the proposed business in a management capacity and must be able to provide some level of cash equity to support the project
Establishment (capital) costs
Marketing initiatives that are local, domestic, or export oriented
New product or process development
Adding technology to improve operations and competitiveness
Operating costs in association with capital costs
Financial services, business support, business-related training, and mentoring services
Micro-Voucher | Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF):
Value: Up to $10,000, paid directly to a Service or Product Provider.
The Micro-Voucher is designed to support technologies in the early developmental stages, from TRL 2 to TRL 4 inclusive – for early start-up development. The Service or Product Provider provides any one or more of the following items for the benefit of the Applicant:
Business plan development
Intellectual property assessments
Acquisition of materials and/or equipment critical to the Applicant’s operations
The Applicant must pay a minimum cash contribution of 25% of the Project Costs directly to the Service or Product Provider. Strategic Timelines Inc. is a service provider for this program.
The Service or Product Provider (applicable for the Micro-Voucher Program only) – the person or entity named in the Application who is providing services and/or products to the Applicant during the course of the Project must meet the following criteria:
Must have demonstrated qualification, capabilities and capacity to successfully perform the work required or deliver the applicable product in or for the Project in a timely manner
Must be Arm’s Length from the Applicant (cannot have any legal relationship with the Applicant
Does not have an outstanding balance or otherwise owe money to an Alberta Innovates organization, subsidiary, or partner
Must provide the service(s) and/or product(s) at reasonable market rates
Finding grants can be time consuming and painful, so I put my entire grant database online for you for FREE! Enjoy.
GRANT GEM THREE
I really want to help you guys start or grow your businesses using government grants! I’m teaching you all about government grants on my YouTube channel!
Please subscribe, like, and comment on the videos.
OTHER START-UP GRANT RESOURCES
While few grants exist for start-up businesses, Alberta has several government-funded and private organizations to help you get started. Here is a list to help you get started:
Business Link is Alberta’s entrepreneurial hub. We are a non-profit organization that helps Alberta entrepreneurs start their own businesses. You’ve got an innovative idea and the motivation to take the next step. Now what? We’ll give you the tools to make your business idea a reality, and connect you with the most relevant small business resources to help bring your idea to life.
Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enabling women to build successful businesses. AWE provides unique programs and services to women at all stages of business through advising, financing, mentoring, and skills and network development.
We believe our communities and economies are stronger when women are full participants in entrepreneurship.
Startup Canada is a grassroots network of entrepreneurs working together to build an environment for entrepreneurship in Canada. Through online platforms, grassroots Startup Communities and cross-sector initiatives, Startup Canada is advancing entrepreneurial momentum and a culture of entrepreneurship, as the voice of Canadian entrepreneurs.
Many programs focus on building better businesses, giving advice and consulting to help make the company stronger and more successful. VMSA Mentors support the individualentrepreneur. We ask “what’s keeping you up at night?” and dive into sorting through noise and distractions to address the challenges and opportunities entrepreneurs face. https://www.vmsalberta.org/
Formed as an independent corporation in 2008, Alberta Enterprise is a key component of the Government of Alberta’s goal of building a more sustainable, diversified technology industry in Alberta, one where home-grown innovation is encouraged and technology entrepreneurs have greater access to venture capital.
Our mission is to promote the development of Alberta’s venture capital (VC) industry. We achieve this by investing in VC funds that finance early stage technology companies and that have a commitment to Alberta – including a full-time presence in the province. We also support Alberta’s VC ecosystem by connecting investors, entrepreneurs, and experienced technology veterans who share our passion for building a bright, innovative Alberta.
In the long term, our activities will help Alberta claim a larger share of the venture capital invested in Canada. We anticipate venture funds will be more active in pursuing investments here with local lead investors and in looking at Alberta-based companies and technologies. Alberta’s investment community will also be better networked within Alberta, across Canada and internationally.
Our intensive, 14-week business accelerator program supports Albertan entrepreneurs from diverse industries, who are in the market validation stage, with a curriculum, connections and community.
If entrepreneurship is the path you’ve chosen, you don’t have to go it alone. That’s why we created ATB X—a three-month accelerator program built and operated by ATB, exclusively for our early-stage entrepreneur clients.
What you get:
Dedicated 24/7 office space.
Tailored networking opportunities and weekly workshops.
Access to our Advisory Panel for one-on-one support.
Celebrate the journey and the wins.
We’re here to support you from a 360 degree perspective with:
Curriculum. Validate your business model and target customers while you test your go-to-market strategy.
Connections. Grow your network in a meaningful way by tapping into ATB’s connections.
Community. Co-work and collaborate with other ambitious Alberta entrepreneurs.
Western Innovation Initiative (WINN) | Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD):
WINN is a $100 million five-year federal initiative that offers repayable contributions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with operations in Western Canada, in order to help move their new and innovative technologies from the later stages of research and development to the marketplace. The intent of WINN is to promote the development and diversification of the western Canadian economy by providing financial support to qualified SMEs to help them accelerate the commercialization of innovative products, processes and services in Western Canada, and by stimulating greater private sector investment in western Canadian commercialization activities.
For-profit businesses incorporated to conduct business in Canada
Less than 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (parents and subsidiaries included in final FTE count)
Have been in operation for at least one year
Have operating facilities located in Western Canada (defined as British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba)
Have a viable plan to commercialize (i.e., generate revenues from sales) an innovative, technology-driven, new or improved product, service or process within three years of project commencement
Have sufficient intellectual property rights to carry out the proposed project and to commercially exploit the results of the project
Have provided a current business plan, that includes elements of the proposed project and recent financial statements
Have confirmed, at the time of application, funding from all other sources, including government and non-government (non-government funding must represent at least 50 percent of the proposed project costs)
Are requesting no more than $3.5 million in WINN support
Contact: Western Economic Diversification Canada | 1-888-338-9378
For 30 years, Community Futures has been supporting small business development and rural economic diversification in Alberta. We are a community driven, non-profit organization with 27 offices in rural areas throughout Alberta. Each office is staffed by local business professionals and guided by a volunteer Board of Directors.
In other words, we live where you live, and reap the benefits of a strong local economy created by business entrepreneurs just like you! Read about some of the many successful businesses we have helped start-up and grow over the years.
We provide a wide range of small business loans, business coaching/training services and business management tools for people wanting to start, expand, franchise or sell a business.
We also run a number of specialized business programs, and actively work with community and business leaders to foster rural economic growth.
For over 26 years, the Northern Alberta Business Incubator (NABI) has offered entrepreneurs and small businesses the office spaces, marketing resources, path finding advised, coaching, inspiration, capital and networking connections they need to improve their chances of survival and success at 5 years to 80%. Grow your business, manage the risk with NABI.
NABI provides excellent customer service to meet your needs. We offer flexible month-to-month leases, readily available support services, access to meeting rooms, and opportunities to work with other NABI businesses.
Innovate Calgary is the technology-transfer and business-incubation centre for the University of Calgary working with the Office of the Vice-President (Research) to help bridge the gap between discovery and innovation. We help guide research or innovation-driven enterprises to market or to the next stage of business growth.
From ideation to commercialization, we have successfully supported our innovation-driven community for 35 years. We are proud members of Alberta’s innovation ecosystem and work with local, national and international partners to help you move your ideas forward.
Calgary Economic Development works with business, government and community partners to position Calgary as the location of choice for the purpose of attracting business investment, fostering trade and growing Calgary’s workforce.
Futurpreneur Canada makes it easier for aspiring young business owners to secure financing. And we’ve partnered with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to extend our support to you even further.
We offer collateral-free loans at better interest rates than most banks. But we can’t do it alone. We’re able to finance up to $15,000 per business. If you need more money, BDC may provide up to $30,000.
The Tundra A.C.E program is an exciting new initiative to help fast track the commercialization of near market ready technologies that solve some of industry’s most pressing problems. Learn more about the Tundra A.C.E program.
Twice a year we invest $130k with 10 Canadian food/beverage and health/wellness entrepreneurs in exchange for a minority equity stake of their company.
The founders take part in a 5-month accelerator program designed to rapidly increase valuation through sales, distribution, and marketing support. The accelerator also provides members with access to blue chip service sponsors, like ATB Financial, Bennett Jones LLP, and BDO Canada to deliver workshops on debt financing, legal, and tax and accounting management.
While we encourage all the companies to move to Calgary for 5 months to work alongside their peers, where it is not feasible, we require each company to spend a minimum of one full week per month in the accelerator during programming weeks.
At the end of the program, founders will pitch their companies at Demo Day, where you will be introduced to investors to attract your next round of funding, including the possibility of receiving follow-on investment from District Ventures Capital.
Throughout the course of the program, we will broadcast your company through public relations efforts, a profile on Youinc.com, our website, and on our social channels.
Kinetica Ventures bridges the energy industry and technology innovators to accelerate world-class energy technologies. We support industry partners by working with technology developers who have emerging innovation that addresses industry’s key challenges, lowers costs and improves competitive advantages. This unique industry-driven program works closely with key energy sector partners in four focus areas: hydrocarbon recovery and processing; energy transport; carbon capture, reuse and storage; and renewable energy.
Kinetica Ventures assists entrepreneurs to bring their technologies to market and scale them for industry. We work with clients that:
Have a market demand
Are a technology developer
Are ready to commercialize
Are committed, credible, and coachable
Have a validated prototype
Want to build a business
Contact: Alastair Ross Technology Centre (Main Office) 3553 31 St NW Calgary, AB, Canada T2L 2K7 | 403-284-6400
Western Canadians who have a disability can access a network of business professionals and a world of resources through Western Economic Diversification Canada’s Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (EDP). The EDP provides business information, training and development, mentoring and one-on-one counseling services.
In urban areas, Western Economic Diversification Canada works with organizations to deliver the program. For more information on the program and the services available contact the organization listed below that is nearest to you.
Business Advisory Services
(Through Pinnacle Business Services Ltd.)
Like other business lending institutions, Apeetogosan’s future lies in the success of its clients. The loan process is designed to ensure that the ingredients for profitability are contained in the business proposal. We are here to help you along the path of turning your idea into a successful reality.
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) is a provincial Crown corporation with a private sector Board of Directors that provides producers, agribusinesses and other small businesses loans, crop insurance and farm income disaster assistance. AFSC has provided Alberta farmers with hail insurance for 80 years and has grown into a diverse corporation with several core business areas, including crop insurance, livestock price insurance, farm loans, commercial loans and farm income disaster assistance.
SCALE AI’s Accelerating program is for startups who want to become bigger players in the word of artificial intelligence.
Programs certified through this program may receive up to $50,000 in the form of reimbursement of eligible costs per AI startup or SME focused on building applied AI products and services for supply chains.
Accelerate Fund provides a source of funding as a first step in preparing for VC funding in the future upon execution of your business.
We invest in tech startups that are private, incorporated, and have a head office and more than 50% of employees located in Alberta. Typically, we focus on information and communications technology, clean and energy technology, life sciences, agriculture and biotech.