Ontario Creates is an Ontario-based government agency that supports media developers across the province. Its government funding programs, such as the Interactive Digital Media (IDM) Fund, provide software and game developers with the financial resources to bring their products to market faster, leading to enhanced project outcomes. One incentive offered through the IDM Fund is Ontario Creates’ Global Market Development program, which provides funding to help media developers complete targeted sales trips and attend international market events.
The Global Market Development program can provide Ontario interactive digital media developers with up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $15,000 in export grants.
The program accepts applications during scheduled intake periods. Those interested in accessing export grants for their media projects this year should apply by April 30, 2019. The online application process requires applicants to submit documentation about their company, product, and export project. These details are used to assess the impact of the project and ensure that the most competitive projects receive funding.
What is the Global Market Development Program?
The Global Market Development program is a stream of funding offered through Ontario Creates’ Interactive Digital Media (IDM) Fund. For years it has been a pivotal source of funding that software and game developers can use to generate sales outside of Canada. It is ideal for trade shows and planned sales trips abroad that lead to new customers and enhance brand exposure.
Companies can receive up to $15,000 in export marketing grants. Applicants receive funding once they have demonstrated costs through incurred project expenses.
The current round of funding provided through IDM Fund’s Global Market Development program supports international business and market development activities between August 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020. Expenses incurred prior to August 1, 2019 or the date of an approved Contribution Agreement are not likely to receive funding; applicants should be mindful of these dates when developing a project, as timelines have a significant impact on funding potential.
Applicants Eligible for the IDM Global Market Development Program
To qualify for the Interactive Digital Media Fund Global Market Development program, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:
- A minimum 25% of company revenues in the last two fiscal years have been derived from the creation of complete screen-based content products; or
- A minimum 50% of company expenses in the last two fiscal years have come from the production of interactive digital media content.
Eligible applicants must also:
- Be an incorporated, for-profit company;
- Have a permanent head office in Ontario;
- Be Canadian-owned;
- Have at least $2 million general liability insurance during the project; and
- Have at least one employee or owner with minimum three years’ experience in interactive content, platforms, or devices.
Projects Suitable for Ontario Software Export Grants
Companies may apply for up to five “marketing activities” taking place outside of Canada per application to the Interactive Digital Media Fund Global Market Development program. All projects should assist the business in executing a formal market development strategy.
Some of the marketing projects businesses may submit for consideration of export grants include:
- Attendance at key industry events (up to three reps);
- Participation in government-organized trade missions;
- Planned sales trips; and
- Media tours.
How to Apply for Export Market Development Grants
Companies can submit one application per government fiscal year (April 1 – March 31). Applications are available online via the Ontario Creates website and can be submitted through the organization’s application portal. Once the application period is finished, Ontario Creates will evaluate the merit of all applications and call forward those that are most competitive and likely to yield positive results.
The deadline to apply for Global Market Development funding is April 30, 2019. All applicants must have a project proposal submitted by this date to be considered.
Applicants must submit a comprehensive application package that includes a full evaluation of proposed activities, including a project budget that clearly evaluates the costs and intended outcomes of each activity.
To optimize the application process and ensure your organization submits a competitive proposal by the program’s deadline, please contact Mentor Works.