thriveFORWARD funding for Southern Ontario

thriveFORWARD funding for Southern Ontario

NCFDC has launched thriveFORWARD to accelerate sustainable industrial investment in innovation capital across southern Ontario. By making forward investments in the talent, technology and industries of the future, we can enhance entrepreneur-led growth in strategic sectors and across multiple priority pathways.

Eligible projects include the commercialization of innovation or the adoption of an innovation by a startup or SME, prioritizing critical sectors, diverse organizations and equity-deserving entrepreneurs that are investing in clean inclusive growth. Funding amounts and conditions vary in each case (see below). For more information about equity and diversity, we encourage entrepreneurs to explore GBA+ and the Government of Canada’s 50–30 Challenge.

The thriveFORWARD initiative will help participants future-proof their businesses, build resiliency and prepare for long-term growth by transitioning to a green economy, fostering an inclusive recovery, enhancing competitiveness, and by creating jobs across southern Ontario.

Non-repayable performance-based funding of $25,000 is available for Startups (matching) and $100,000 for SMEs (reimbursing 50 percent of eligible and approved costs). Applications are received for both streams on a continuous open intake until the program is fully subscribed. Additional terms and conditions apply.

Both startups and SMEs (small- and medium-sized Enterprises) are eligible for thriveFORWARD.

There will be a continuous open intake until thriveFORWARD funding is fully subscribed, or by December 31, 2023. Applications will be assessed in priority order based on the date of receipt of a full and complete application

“Startup” means an early-stage technology-driven company that is:

  • A registered for-profit incorporated business, partnership or cooperative;
  • Located in southern Ontario;
  • Formed on or after January 1, 2020; and
  • At the pre-revenue/prototype stage to early commercialization stage.

Approved startups receive performance-based funding matching up to $25,000 in certified incremental private investment as of April 19, 2021, with funding released based upon satisfactory achievement of agreed-upon major milestones demonstrating investment in the adoption of advanced technologies. The leverage minimum is 1:1.

“SME” means:

  • A registered industrial for-profit incorporated business, partnership or cooperative;
  • Located in southern Ontario;
  • Having fewer than 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees; and
  • Having $100,000 to $100 million in annual revenue declared in Canada during its last complete tax reporting year (or during the last 12 months for monthly and quarterly filers).

Approved SMEs will receive performance-based funding for incremental project activities that invest in innovation capital (talent and technology) with 50% reimbursement of eligible and approved costs up to $100,000 (project leverage minimum 1:1).

How to Apply

Create an account and submit your full online application. There are different application portals for each stream:

The PDF is for preview only.

Only complete applications will be considered.

Your application will be reviewed by NCFDC and funding decisions will normally be made within 30 days from submission of a complete application.

What you will need to complete your application:

  • Business information (articles, registrations, business number, and other key documentation);
  • Financial information (historical financial statements for the last 2 fiscal years and the most recent interim financial statement—YTD Profit & Loss and Consolidated Balance Sheet);
  • Project summary and rationale;
  • Key personnel;
  • Any other documentation or substantiation you may wish to include with your application (project proposal and/or company backgrounder, pitch deck, business plan, links to websites and social media, etc.);
  • List of any government funding (including tax credits, e.g. SR&ED Program) currently received or anticipated to be received by your organization;
  • Additional relevant business documentation that may be required.

Startups only must also provide proof of non-government-sourced Private Investment of at least $25,000 in total (as of April 19, 2021). You will be asked to provide a copy of associated term sheet(s) and a copy of your bank statement showing deposit of the proceeds of the Private Investment.

“Private Investment” means non-government-sourced equity or financing inclusive of:

  • Commercial loans;
  • Convertible debt;
  • Venture debt;
  • SAFEs;
  • Founders Share Capital; and
  • Other Venture Capital and Private Equity instruments.

For more information and to view the full program information, click here:

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