Acceleration Program (IAP)

Innovation Acceleration Program (IAP)

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In Northern Ontario, many startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face difficulties funding the initial commercialization steps required to accelerate product development and marketplace positioning. NORCAT’s Innovation Acceleration Program (IAP), funded by FedNor, is designed to fund early-stage technology startups in the City of Greater Sudbury with the development and commercialization of new innovations and to promote economic prosperity in the region.

Funded by FedNor

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Applicants must be a growth-oriented for-profit (registered sole proprietor, partnership or corporation) located within NORCAT Innovation’s service area, seeking assistance for developing and commercializing an innovative (service, product or process), with the potential to contribute to increased sales and employment. Applicant must be a registered NORCAT Innovation client.

This program is not intended to support, nor is it applicable to, operating as resellers or distributors.

Eligible Projects

Eligible projects must demonstrate economic development objectives and create short-to-medium, measurable results for the communities and businesses of the region.

Eligible projects could include:

I. Planning and Development
  • Business planning
  • Market research
  • Product development
  • Product testing
  • Export development
  • Feasibility analysis
  • Certifications
  • In-market licenses
  • IP research and protection
  • Productivity research
  • Market entry fees
II. Sales and Marketing
  • Trade show exhibiting and travel
  • Sales training
  • Test marketing
  • E-commerce and promotions, including any form of e-business enabling technologies, website enhancements, added functionalities that can provide a competitive edge
  • Export market development
III. Business Management and Enhancement
  • Management support/training
  • Business capacity development
  • Productivity or lean production implementation

As a guide, the proposed project must be a new impactful strategic initiative to support development and commercialization of innovation/invention not covered by any of the funding programs approved in prior fiscal years. It must not be a project already in progress.

Ineligible Activities

Ineligible activities include capital and any on-going operational costs of the startup or SME including existing staff wages, administration costs, rolling stock etc.

Contribution Requirements

Maximum financial assistance eligible under the program is 50% of approved Total Eligible Project Costs or up to $10,000 per SME, whichever is lesser in any given fiscal year.

The SME must pay the project service providers 100% of invoices, including any HST applicable, before submitting for reimbursement.

Other Program Requirements

  1. The Applicant must undergo the NORCAT Innovation client intake process and submit a completed Discovery Document (for new and inactive clients only).
  2. Except for IP Research and Protection projects, the Applicant is required to submit at least two quotes from two independent and unrelated service providers detailing the scope of work, rate per hour and the number of hours required to complete the project.
  3. Funding recipients must provide feedback on the project's impact on their business within three months of completing the funded project.
  4. Applicants will be required to complete a final survey which will provide statistics on the success of the project and the impact it had on the business. Applicants may be asked to provide feedback up to five years after project completion.

How To Apply

Applications are now open for NORCAT Innovation’s IAP program!

  1. Double check your eligibility - you MUST be a current client of NORCAT Innovation to apply for IAP funding. If you are not currently a client, please complete our discovery document form.
  2. Reach out to your mentor or advisor and they will provide you with the IAP application form.
  3. Submit your application through your mentor or advisor.
  4. Following your application submission, if eligible, a member of the NORCAT Innovation team will reach out to schedule a meeting and discuss the next steps.