Ontario Creates Interactive Digital Media Fund

Receive up to $300k in Government Funding.

The Interactive Digital Media (IDM) Fund is an Ontario government grant that offsets a portion of costs directly related to concept definition and production projects. Through this program, digital media developers can leverage government funding to accelerate their growth. This helps get products to market faster so that the company can generate revenues and continue developing innovative media projects.

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Interactive Digital Media Fund: Ontario Creates

Amount of Funding

The Interactive Digital Media Fund is a primary support mechanism for Ontario-based developers of interactive digital media content including software and other gaming products. As administered by Ontario Creates, the government funding program is comprised of several streams of funding support.

Two of the most popular streams of funding provided through the program are:

Stream 1: Concept Definition

Offers Ontario government grants to support early-stage activities such as prototype creation, preparing pre-production documents and concept pitches, and business planning. Through the program, applicants will move towards the production stages of a market-ready product.

The Interactive Digital Media Fund’s Concept Definition stream provides up to 50% of Ontario expenses to a maximum $50,000 per project.

Stream 2: Production

Supports the creation of market-ready content that will be released/sold to end users after production is complete. This includes developing video games, mobile applications, websites, and web series.

Through the Interactive Digital Media Fund’s Production stream, applicants may receive up to 50% of Ontario expenses to a maximum $300,000.

Stream 3: Discoverability and Commercialization Program

The DCP is designed to further progress projects by providing funding that will make products more visible and financially viable to commercialize.

Receive up to 50% of eligible project costs with a minimum contribution of $15,000 to a maximum of $50,000 per project per application.

Stream 4: Global Market Development

Successful applicants are eligible to receive up to $15,000 capped at 50% of the total costs for all activities.

Amount of Funding from the Canadian Government

Interactive Digital Media Fund: Ontario Creates

Eligible Applicants

Since Ontario’s digital media industry encompasses such a variety of businesses, from startups to mature businesses, the Interactive Digital Media Fund offers flexible eligibility criteria:

Financial Eligibility – All Applicants

All applicants of the Interactive Digital Media Fund must meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • At least 25% of company revenue in the last 2 fiscal years has come from the creation of complete screen-based content products;
  • At least 50% of company expenses in the last 2 fiscal years has come from the production of interactive digital media content projects that would have been eligible for the IDM Fund; or
  • At least 50% of company revenue in the last 2 fiscal years has come from publishing activities and other brand extensions (trade shows, website development, television).

Business Eligibility – Established Digital Media Companies

To be successful recipients of the IDM Fund, established digital media production and publishing companies must:

  • Be based in Ontario, but can be Canadian-owned;
  • Be incorporated federally or provincially, or have plans to upon program approval;
  • Have at least one owner or full-time employee with a minimum 3 years of experience in the creation or distribution of interactive digital media content; and
  • Be in a stable financial situation and have financial documentation to support claims.

Business Eligibility – New Digital Media Companies

New digital media companies, those with less than one year in operations and no released products, must:

  • Have an owner or full-time employee with a minimum three years of professional experience in digital publishing or interactive digital media development.
  • Be an Ontario owned and operated company; and
  • Be able to incorporate immediately if application is successful (businesses can be approved but cannot receive funding until incorporated).

Stream 3: Discoverability and Commercialization Program

Successful applicants must be applying for a project already approved for the Production Stream already be receiving funding from the IDM Fund Production Program.

Stream 4: Global Market Development

  • Canadian-owned organizations that is based out of Ontario;
  • Incorporated in Ontario or at the federal level, or be prepared to incorporate your business immediately;
  • Be in a sound financial position and in good standing with Ontario Creates at time of application submission.
Eligible Applicants for Canadian Government Funding

Interactive Digital Media Fund: Ontario Creates

Eligible Activities

For projects to be deemed eligible for the Interactive Digital Media Fund, they must meet the following eligibility criteria, including that the content must:

  • Support cultural connections;
  • Consist of a combination of at least two of text, sound, and images;
  • Entertain, inform, or educate;
  • Be unique and be released on interactive digital media platforms such as the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Sony Playstation Store as the primary Canadian distribution channel;
  • Target consumers, groups of consumers, or educational institutions; and
  • Be revenue-generating.

Ineligible Projects

Likewise, there are certain project themes that are not well suited for the Interactive Digital Media Fund. These include:

  • Content geared toward enterprise users;
  • Advertising software or that intended to sell products/services/companies;
  • Interpersonal communication platforms;
  • Catalogues/databases;
  • Repurposed physical or offline content that is not augmented or enhanced; and
  • Are not for the general public and/or are offensive.

Stream 3: Discoverability and Commercialization Program

Successful applicants will be working on projects in the following criteria:

  • Projects must impact product engagement, reach, and revenue generation in a measurable way;
  • Projects should take place during or after Public Launch;
  • Projects begin within 18 months after Public Launch and finish within one year;
  • Should not be for activities taking place at time of application submission or projects already in progress. Also, applications should prove how funding may improve the scope and positive impact of the activity; and
  • Ontario suppliers must be used where possible.

Stream 4: Global Market Development

  • Virtual and in-person participation in key international industries markets and events;
  • Planned sales trips or media tours to key territories to meet with identified leads; and
  • Participation in trade missions organized by industry associations and government agencies.

Proposed activities must take place outside of Ontario. All activities, whether virtual or in-person must focus on international audience and business development opportunities.

Eligible Expenses for Canadian Government Funding

Interactive Digital Media Fund: Ontario Creates

Program Deadline

The Interactive Digital Media Fund supports the intake of applications through a bi-annual call for proposals. To access funding, software and digital media developers must submit an application through Ontario Creates’ online portal on or before an application deadline.

Speak with a member of our team to find the latest intake period info for this program or subscribe to our newsletter to be notified.

Comprehensive application packages are typically up to 40 pages or more in length and should clearly show the number of jobs expected to be created/maintained. Applications are usually reviewed within 12-14 weeks.

Program Deadline for Canadian Government Funding
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