Feds Invest $52.4M in MaRS, Communitech, and Invest Ottawa for New Scale-Up Program

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the federal government is investing $52.4 million in a Scale-Up Platform, which will see CommunitechMaRS Discovery District,and Invest Ottawa come together to support Canadian tech companies, including those in the water sector.

Labelled as the first of its kind, Trudeau stated the new program will give startups and scale-ups alike new opportunities, create 18,000 jobs, and $11 billion in revenue, as well as attract $4 billion in investment.

The three organizations, spanning Kitchener-Waterloo, Toronto, and Ottawa, will pool their resources to implement the program. The Scale-Up Platform plans to help 30 Ontario companies scale up, with the goal of helping those companies achieve revenues of $100 million or more, by 2024. The program will also look to provide services, including advice on accessing capital, talent, and global markets to thousands of other companies, as well as building stronger partnerships with post-secondary institutions.

The program, which was a joint proposal from the three above mentioned hubs, will also promote an integrated, collaborative angel and venture capital investment ecosystem, as well as provide market intelligence resources to support companies as they enter new export markets and find new customers.

While each hub has built out its own plan for how the funding will be used, they will work together to implement these programs, with the mandate of creating those 18,000 jobs. Funding will also help add more physical spaces and lab resources for deep tech companies, such as those at Velocity, and Waterloo Accelerator Centre.

Additionally, the three hubs will also ensure that innovation centres in smaller communities in Ontario will have access to scale-up programming, advisory services, and support.

The $52.4 million investment is being made by the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario. The money will be spread over five years, with Communitech receiving $18 million, MaRS receiving $17.5 million, and $16.9 million set aside for Invest Ottawa.