Supporting innovative projects and businesses within Ontario’s digital media industry, the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) provides a variety of Ontario government funding and business resources to media companies within the province. One of their small business funding programs, the Interactive Digital Media (IDM) Fund supports cultural digital media research and development projects with grants up to 50% of project expenses to a maximum contribution ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 in value depending on the stream.
Ontario government grants will be provided to companies developing and producing digital media content within the province, however businesses must apply to the program based on recurring intake periods. Currently, the Interactive Digital Media Fund will support the processing of government funding applications on May 9 and October 11, 2016.
Ontario digital media development and production projects must be approved for funding before committing to project expenses; doing so will ensure the greatest return in Ontario business grants. Ensure your business applies for the Interactive Digital Media Fund prior to May 9th to avoid deferring your project until the October intake.
Interactive Digital Media Fund: Streams of Ontario Small Business Grants
Potential applicants who are considering the IDM Fund as a source of project funding will need to apply for either its (1) Concept Definition, or (2) Production streams. The following classifications will help your business to better realize its Ontario government funding opportunity.
Stream 1: Concept Definition
Conceptualizing and planning a market-ready interactive digital media project can be a significant challenge for many Ontario businesses. To assist and incentivize businesses that are planning digital media projects, OMDC will provide up to $50,000 per project, including prototyping, pre-production, and business planning. Projects must submit at least $20,000 in eligible expenses to qualify.
Stream 2: Production
Ontario business grants will also support the production of Ontario digital media content that will be ready for end-users by the project’s completion. Mobile content, applications, web series, and video game production projects may receive up to 50% of expenses to a maximum $250,000.
How to Apply for the Interactive Digital Media Fund
Application intake dates have been announced for the 2016 intake periods of OMDC’s Interactive Digital Media Fund. Potential applicants should submit their application packages (including company financials, proof of incorporation, and a business case supporting the project’s use of funds) no later than:
Intake Period 1: May 9, 2016
Intake Period 2: October 11, 2016.
Ontario Business Funding Resources
To help businesses choose the best intake period for them, Mentor Works has developed a resource entitled When to Apply for Canadian Government Funding. By accessing this planning document, business owners and executives will develop a greater understanding of when they should be accessing grants and loans.
Want to discover your business’ government funding potential over the next 1-3 years? By accessing our newest government funding resource, the Project Expense Planning & Funding Calculator, businesses will be able to identify the overall value of Canadian government funding programs for their strategic investments. How much could your business receive?
Requirements to Receive Interactive Digital Media Funding
To receive small business funding from the IDM Fund, Ontario companies must ensure that their business and project are both eligible.
- Ontario-based, Canadian-owned incorporated for-profit businesses;
- At least 3 years’ experience in digital media products;
- At least 50% of the company’s expenditures must come from interactive digital media projects (in the previous 2 years); OR
- At least 25% of the company’s revenue must come from the creation of screen-based content products (in the previous 2 years); OR
- At least 50% of company’s revenue must come from eligible publishing activities related to digital media (in the previous 2 years).
- Be revenue-generating;
- Must inform, entertain, or educate;
- The content must be unique and be released on interactive digital media platforms (ie. Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Sony Playstation Store);
- The company must own the related IP;
- Can be designed to be consumed by educational institutions’ students, as well as other individuals; and
- Consist of at least two mediums, including text, sound, and images.
Ineligible Projects include the development of advertising platforms, interpersonal communication platforms, catalogues, databases, repurposed content, and any content that is not made for the general public.