OCE SmartStart Seed Fund Start-up Funding for ONT Entrepreneurs

Canadian Startup Discussing Small Business Grants

The Ontario Centre of Excellence (OCE) is looking to connect Ontario’s next generation of entrepreneurs with much needed start-up funding in order to help take their companies to the next level. The program is open to young entrepreneurs from the ages of 18 to 29, and provides seed financing and entrepreneurship skills training in order to help grow their businesses to the point that they are investment and customer ready.

Start-up Funding Details: How the SmartStart Seed Fund works

Applicants of the SmartStart Seed Fund will be eligible to receive a non-repayable contribution toward direct eligible costs of up to $35,000 in start-up funding to help them launch and growth their business. This includes:

  • $30,000 in seed financing; and
  • $5,000 in entrepreneurship skills training and professional support services.

Start-up Funding Target: For whom is the SmartStart Seed Fund intended?

Start-up funding provided through the SmartStart Seed Fund is intended for early-stage opportunities in the start-up validation stage. This phase of growth is when the scientific, technical merit and feasibility of a product of service is determined. In order to receive funding provided by the SmartSeed Fund, applicants must receive a cash match of 1:1 by at least one other source, not including other government funding through the province of Ontario (the $5,000 for business training and support services does not require a match).

The SmartSeed Fund Program Objectives

This award offers a new entrepreneur the financial resources to focus on the validation stage of the business, while:

  • Providing youth-led businesses access to regional business and investment networks and resources;
  • Supporting the next generation of technology and innovation-focused entrepreneurs in developing prototype products, sourcing first customers and solving real business needs;
  • Generating economic outcomes which include the creation of jobs, revenue, and follow-on investment;
  • Helping a young entrepreneur to launch and build their enterprise and business venture;
  • Assisting new business to success navigate complex business environments; and
  • Accelerating time to market while improving chances of success.

Learn more about this program by contacting Jennifer Moles, Program Manager. jennifer.moles@oce-ontario.org

Download a Free Government Funding for Start-ups Checklist

Are you a startup interested in becoming eligible for government grants and loans? Please download a free government funding for startups checklist in order to learn more about how to prepare your business to be benefit from funding for small business from federal and provincial sources.


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