inclusion | diversity | environment | acceleration

Supporting a more sustainable economy while fostering an inclusive and equitable recovery in southern Ontario


i.d.e.a. Fund is a program that fosters inclusion, diversity, environment and acceleration while contributing to a green recovery, and is delivered in partnership with the following Ontario Regional Innovation Centres (RICs): Innovation Guelph, Haltech, Innovate Niagara, WEtech Alliance, Innovation Factory and TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario, to support a more sustainable economy while fostering an inclusive and equitable recovery in southern Ontario.

This program will provide specialized industry expertise to develop growth plans and related strategies in the areas such as talent attraction, raising follow-on investment, product development and quantification of product benefits/market value propositions, commercialization of intellectual property, and market diversification. Each RIC will distribute up to a maximum of $30,000 in matching seed funding to select innovative businesses in various sectors.

If your company is in southern Ontario, has a project that might fit the criteria and is interested in benefiting from a financial injection of seed funding and executive-level mentorship – keep reading!

| Information Sessions

Join us for a virtual information session to learn more about this exciting new program! There will be an opportunity for live Q&A with the i.d.e.a. Fund team throughout each session. Register for an information session using the links below.

To prepare for the information sessions, you can download our full Program Guide.

March 28, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

April 5, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Info Session Three.png

April 13, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Info Session Two

Seed Funding & Support

You May Recieve

  • Non-repayable seed funding of up to $30,000 with matching funds
  • Up to 40 hours of fully funded, targeted support from business leaders

Expert Help


Our experts have the knowledge and experience to help you address challenges and move your business forward in all areas including:

  • growth plans and strategies   
  • talent attraction   
  • raising follow-on investment   
  • market diversification   
  • product development   
  • quantification of product benefits   
  • market value propositions   
  • commercialization of intellectual property, and  
  • more.

Interested in Applying?

We’re looking for 120 companies that:

  • Employ fewer than 500 employees
  • Are federally incorporated or incorporated in the Province of Ontario
  • Are located in southern Ontario
  • Will develop or redesign new products, services, processes or technologies that focus on a sustainable and green recovery
  • Cohort 1 participants cannot participate in Cohort 2 of i.d.e.a. Fund

The first cohort of this program concluded on February 28, 2023.
Applications for Cohort 2 of i.d.e.a. Fund closed on April 17, 2023. Cohort 2 projects will begin in June 2023 and continue to November 30, 2023.
For full selection criteria, consult the i.d.e.a. Fund Program Guide.

| Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about i.d.e.a. Fund? Are you looking for more information?
Please check out the Frequently Asked Questions available in PDF below. Once you’ve reviewed the FAQs, if you’d like to connect, let’s have a chat!
Email the program manager.

| How to Apply

Applications for Cohort 2 of i.d.e.a. Fund closed on April 17, 2023. Successful applicants will be notified in May and the full list of Cohort 2 recipients will be announced publicly in Summer 2023.

i.d.e.a. Fund Delivery Partners:

This program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Jobs and Growth Fund, which advances economic recovery efforts, supports businesses and organizations to help create jobs, supports the transition to a green economy, and positions local economies for long-term growth.

Innovation Guelph delivery of i.d.e.a. Fund in southern Ontario

On April 29, Innovation Guelph announced that it will lead the delivery of the the Government of Canada supported i.d.e.a. Fund in southern Ontario. The Fund is a southwestern Ontario-focused initiative to accelerate the growth of high-potential clean growth small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in key sectors linked to the green economy, including agri-innovation, clean tech and advanced manufacturing.

To support the delivery of the Fund, Innovation Guelph received a non-repayable Government of Canada investment of almost $10 million through the Jobs and Growth Fund delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

The Fund will leverage the southwestern Regional Innovation Centre (RIC) network of Haltech, Innovate Niagara, Innovation Factory, TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario and WEtech Alliance to provide essential resources like the mentoring and early-stage financing necessary for SMEs to scale-up, create quality jobs for Canadians, and drive green and resilient economic growth across the region.

Eligible SMEs in southern Ontario will be able to apply and, if selected, will be provided with advisory services and non-repayable contributions of up to $30,000, giving them the working capital needed to support commercialization efforts and growth.