Southern Ontario is a hotbed of innovation and technology development. Despite this, few companies from the region have truly “broken through” to achieve success on a large-scale international level. This is a huge untapped opportunity for the tech startups working to improve their competitive positioning. Luckily for 30 southwestern Ontario life sciences companies, TechAlliance’s BURST program can help make the connection to critical funding and mentorship.
The TechAlliance BURST program is a new initiative led by TechAlliance, a not-for-profit corporation with the mandate to help start, grow, and connect upcoming technology developers in southwestern Ontario. TechAlliance BURST will provide medical technology companies up to $30,000 in seed financing, up to $10,000 in mentorship, and connect companies to a range of investors to support future growth.
There are three application intake periods for the 2017 TechAlliance BURST program. At the time of this article’s posting, the first cohort has already passed; however, there are two more opportunities to participate.
Medical technology startups must apply to the program by either July 1 or November 1, 2017 to be considered.
TechAlliance BURST Program Supports Technology Development and Business Growth
The TechAlliance Burst Program is an innovative medical technology (medtech) incubation program for high-potential startups in southwestern Ontario. Focused on supporting London and the surrounding area, BURST will provide funding for 30 businesses (10 per cohort) to scale-up and prepare for the next phase of their company’s growth.
BURST has been supported by up to $1.32 million in Canadian government grants through FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation program.
There are four main concepts supported through the program:
- Market Validation;
- Company Structure;
- Intellectual Property (IP); and
- Investor Readiness.
By participating, businesses will receive up to $30,000 in startup funding, up to $10,000 in professional development (provided by TechAlliance), and will have access to working space at Western University’s Discovery Park. The course also supports a ‘graduation’ ceremony where products/processes can be pitched directly to investors.
Companies maintaining a presence in London for a minimum 24 months following program completion may qualify to receive an additional $30,000 through the London Medical Network.
BURST Program Structure
The BURST program will support a variety of medtech research and development projects where results can be commercialized within the near future. Each participant will navigate the following stages:
- Application: Available online, applicants will complete a registration form outlining technologies being developed and how program funding will be used.
- Space and Programming: Each participant will have access to a shared workshop at Western University’s Discovery Park for programming and BURST program activities.
- Discovery: Work closely with leaders in market research, corporate structure, and intellectual property to solidify growth plans.
- Mentoring: Direct work with a program mentor to finalize growth plans and check-in on a bi-weekly basis to ensure progress is being made.
- Graduation: Participating in a demonstration day, where participants may showcase technologies to investors and other industry representatives.
Apply for BURST Startup Funding and Mentorship
There are three cohorts for companies to submit applications for. Although the first of these three intake periods have already passed, technology developers may be able to access the other two.
The remaining application deadlines for TechAlliance’s BURST program are July 1, 2017 and November 1, 2017.
To apply, potential participants should complete the online application form and submit it no later than the deadlines provided above.
Ontario Government Funding for Technology Startups
Although direct government funding support is generally limited for startups, there are a few programs where startups are eligible. One of these programs is the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG), which can be used to offset as much as 66% of third-party training costs. Funding can offset a significant portion of trainer/course fees, text books, and other necessary learning materials. Ontario startups and established businesses may access up to $10,000 per trainee through the program.
Startup Funding Checklist
Since most government funding programs are reserved for mature, incorporated businesses, startups should focus on what they need to do now from a growth and administrative perspective to be ready for funding in the future. To help bridge this knowledge gap, we’ve developed a Startup Funding Checklist that shows all the top factors you’ll need to address to be successful with grants and incentives.