MaRS Library How do I fund my startup?
Funding is always a challenge for startups. Below are some general resources you can use to help raise funds for your startup.
This page consists of the following sections:
Visit the following Startup Library pages for more information on sector specific funding sources:
- Cleantech general I. Business of cleantech,
- Commercialization programs and funding,
- Consumer digital health I. Business of consumer digital health,
- Digital gaming I. Business of digital games,
- Digital video and music I. Business of digital video & music,
- Education technology I. Business of education,
- How do I find talent? IV. Funding for talent,
- Mobile industry general I. Business of the Mobile Industry, and
- Research and development (R&D) funding programs
I. Canadian financing leads
Angel groups in Ontario:
- Angel One Investor Network (Oakville)
- Capital Angel Network (Ottawa-Gatineau)
- Georgian Angel Network (Collingwood)
- Golden Triangle Angelnet (Cambridge)
- Maple Leaf Angels (Toronto)
- Niagara Angel Network (Niagara)
- Peterborough Region Angel Network (Peterborough)
- Purple Angel (Ottawa)
- Ryerson Futures (Toronto)
- Spark Angel Network (Whitby, Oshawa, Cobourg)
- Southwestern Ontario Angel Group (London)
- York Angel Investors (Vaughan)
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC): The BDC promotes entrepreneurship by providing highly tailored financing, venture capital and consulting services to entrepreneurs.
Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA): The CVCA represents the majority of private equity and venture capital firms in Canada. This link provides a list of members.
Industrial Research Assistance Program (National Research Council Canada): Through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), Canada’s National Research Council aims to develop technology to accelerate the commercialization of Canadian companies. To this end, IRAP provides advisory services and funding to qualifying businesses.
Market Readiness (Ontario Centres of Excellence): Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) supports the development of intellectual property (IP) from Ontario universities, colleges and hospitals. The Market Readiness program enables the transfer of innovative research to new or existing companies by supporting key activities such as technology and market assessment, IP protection, prototype development, business plan development and more.
MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF): The focus of IAF is to help strengthen many aspects of your business as well as providing early investment. The IAF invests up to $500,000 in Ontario technology companies.
MaRS Funding Sources: MaRS offers a range of products and services to help you find the funding you need to grow your business.
MaRS Centre for Impact Investing (The Centre): The Centre is designed to increase the awareness and effectiveness of social finance to deliver innovative solutions to Canada’s social and environmental challenges.
National Angel Capital Organization: This site provides a directory of angel groups across Canada (registration required).
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE): OCE provides the critical bridge between research at universities to industry who help evaluate the solutions through various programs. OCE has two commercialization initiatives. The first, Collaborative Commercialization program, which is part of the provincially-funded Industry Academic Collaboration Program (IACP), is designed to address specific technical industry challenges through collaborative research involving industry and Ontario’s publicly-funded research institutions. The other initiative is the federally funded Centre for Commercialization of Research (CCR), which works exclusively with early-stage entrepreneurs and innovative enterprises with excellent potential.
The Social Venture Exchange (SVX): An initiative of the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing in partnership with the TMX Group Inc. and the Government of Ontario, the SVX provides an online platform with venture listings, fund listings; allows investors to share due diligence, collaborate on deals, identify opportunities; and provides ventures with increased access to capital and financial expertise.
II. United States financing leads
Angel Capital Association: The Angel Capital Association is the trade association of leading angel investment groups. This link lists angel groups across North America.
III. Online community-based investment leads
Gust: Formerly known as Angelsoft, Gust is an online community that connects investors with startups.
AngelList: AngelList is a community of investors and startups. There is significant Canadian participation in this community, which facilitates connections between startups looking for funding and angels or venture capitalists.
The Funded: TheFunded.com allows entrepreneurs to research, rate and review venture funds from around the world. The site lists over 3,700 funds and has contact information for over 17,000 investment professionals working at those funds.
Funders Club: FundersClub is a venture capital platform that gives members access to startup opportunities and essentially is modeled after crowdfunding. FundersClub vet companies on a weekly basis and post a profile of approved startups for members to browse, screen and invest capital.
MicroVentures: MicroVentures gives startups access to early stage capital investment through peer-to-peer lending micro investments. MicroVentures focuses on early stage startups who need between $100,000 to $500,000 in capital. Their main sector focus includes internet technology, media and entertainment, software, green technology, mobile, social and gaming.
IV. General funding information
AngelBlog: This is the blog of Basil Peters, CEO of Strategic Exits Corp., who writes about many topics related to angel investing.
Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) Industry Statistics: The CVCA provides quarterly investment data, presentations and reports on the Canadian venture capital and private equity industries.
MaRS Library: This set of resources is designed to help entrepreneurs learn more about startup funding, and includes sample funding documents.
V. Startup financing news
FP Startups (Financial Post): FP Startups offers regular coverage of Canada’s startup scene, including financing.
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- Founders’ restricted rights agreement and equity shares for Ontario startups: Sample template.
- Case Studies in Social Innovation: School for Social Entrepreneurs – Ontario.
- Exit strategy planning: IPOs, mergers and acquisitions and licensing.