SmartStart Seed Fund

The SmartStart Seed Fund (SmartStart) program supports new ventures led by Ontario's next generation of entrepreneurs to help transition their start-ups from product development, to market entry and company building. The program provides seed funding and support for entrepreneurship skills training and professional advisory services to for-profit start-ups that are based in Southern Ontario and less than four years old, helping them grow their start-up and make them investment- and customer-ready. The SmartStart program is delivered by OCE on behalf of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

Program Summary

Program Name

SmartStart Seed Fund

Program Status and Submission Deadline

✓ Open for Applications

Deadline to submit an Eligibility Questionnaire: February 1, 2019, 11:59 pm ET

What it Supports

Seed financing and funding for entrepreneurship skills training to help grow start-up companies and make them investment- and customer-ready

Project Sector

All

Basic Eligibility Criteria

(A full list of eligibility requirements is available.)

Start-Up Company:

  • For-profit, incorporated for up to four years
  • Based in an
    eligible Southern Ontario Census DivisionIncludes the following census divisions:

    Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Prescott and Russell, Ottawa, Leeds and Grenville, Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Hastings, Prince Edward, Northumberland, Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Durham, York, Toronto, Peel, Dufferin, Wellington, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, Brant, Waterloo, Perth, Oxford, Elgin, Chatham-Kent, Essex, Lambton, Middlesex, Huron, Bruce, Grey, Simcoe, Haliburton, Renfrew

  • Has less than $250,000 in revenue and/or investment combined
  • Endorsed by a Regional Innovation Centre (RIC), OCE-supported Campus-Linked Accelerator (CLA) or OCE-supported On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) program recipient. 
  • Actively engaged (for a minimum of four months within the past 12 months) and/or recently accepted into a program involving a selection process (such as an accelerator, a bootcamp/pitch competition winner, recipient of an embedded executive, etc.) with the endorsing RIC, CLA or OCEA

Applicant:

  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident, at least 18 years old
  • Holds equity and key position in the company

OCE Funding

Up to $30,000, including up to $7,500 for entrepreneurship skills training and professional advisory services within the seed funding amount
  • Funds are released on a reimbursement basis at interim and final reporting

Project Duration

Up to 10 months

Matching Requirement

1:1 cash from the applicant (from non-governmental sources)

How to Apply

See details on the How to Apply tab.

Contact

Search OCE’s Knowledge Base of Frequently Asked Questions. For further assistance, see details on the Contacts tab.

More program information

Program Overview and Benefits

The SmartStart Seed Fund (SmartStart) program supports new ventures led by Ontario's next generation of entrepreneurs to help transition their start-ups from product development, to market entry and company building. The program provides seed funding and support for entrepreneurship skills training and professional advisory services to for-profit start-ups that are based in Southern Ontario and less than four years old, helping them grow their start-up and make them investment- and customer-ready. The SmartStart program is delivered by Ontario Centres of Excellence on behalf of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

Start-up Company Suitability

The SmartStart program is intended for early-stage opportunities in the Start-up Validation Stage, when the scientific, technical and commercial merit, as well as the feasibility of the Applicant's product or service has been determined. Projects should be technology- and innovation-focused, developing prototype products, sourcing first customers and solving real business needs in Ontario.

Applicant companies should:

  • Have a strong team (generally a minimum of two people, with demonstrated aptitude and capability to lead an entrepreneurial venture)
  • Be developing a disruptive, technology-based, scalable business focused on a fast-growing or new market
  • Have a minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Be able to articulate a product-market fit and sales process

A strong preference is given to applications that show proof of market traction through an arm’s-length, third-party investment and/or customer sales. Applicants have the option of including signed term sheets from arm’s-length, third-party investments, customer purchase orders with proof of payment, or other relevant documentation to strengthen their application for funding.   

Start-ups may apply only once to the current funding round. Start-ups that have been previously declined for funding two or more times are not eligible to apply for the program.

All start-up companies receiving SmartStart funding MUST attend the Founders' Forum at OCE Discovery. See How Funding Works tab for details.

Benefits to Start-up Companies

  • Complete key milestones to grow the company and make it investment- and customer-ready
  • Gain valuable business and market development skills
  • Learn from peers and network with leading entrepreneurs and investors
  • Establish relationships within the entrepreneurship community and OCE’s networks

How Funding Works

OCE Contribution

50% (maximum) of total eligible project costs, up to $30,000 

  • Up to $7,500 of the $30,000 may be used for entrepreneurship skills training and professional advisory services
  • Funds are released on a reimbursement basis at interim and final reporting

Applicant Contribution

50% (minimum) of total eligible project costs (i.e. minimum 1:1 match to OCE contribution), in cash

  • Matching funds MUST come from non-governmental sources
  • In-kind contributions are not considered as part of the required match

Example

Total eligible project costs: $60,000

  • Maximum OCE contribution: $30,000
  • Minimum Applicant contribution: $30,000

Funding Recipient

Start-up Company (Applicant)

Institutional Overhead

Not eligible

The SmartStart program supports start-ups in three ways:

Seed Funding

Applicants may apply for a non-repayable contribution of up to 50 per cent of the direct eligible costs, to a maximum of $30,000 in OCE funds. Applicants must match OCE’s cash contribution by at least 1:1 in cash from non-governmental sources. In-kind contributions are not considered part of the required match.

Entrepreneurship Skills Training and Professional Advisory Services (Optional)

All SmartStart funding recipients are required to participate in business and market development skills training, including attendance at the Discovery Founders’ Forum (mandatory; see Founders’ Forum section below for details). Additionally, up to $7,500 of the $30,000 seed funding may be used for entrepreneurship skills training and/or fee-for-service professional advisory services (optional). This support is specifically aimed at developing new and/or refining existing skill sets that will augment the entrepreneur’s background and entrepreneurship knowledge and prepare the start-up for investment readiness (see examples in the Project section of the Eligibility tab). Funds may not cover the costs of an individual’s tuition towards a certification or college/university degree or mentoring services as part of a RIC’s core business.

Applicants should specify the details of each training and advisory service item using the “Training/Advisory Support” dropdown menu of the budget table, to a maximum of $7,500 in OCE funding. All training and advisory service expenses must be matched 1:1 by the applicant in cash from non-governmental sources.

NOTE: Approved applicants must complete the training before the end of the project. Applicants are required to submit receipts and bank/credit card records, as proof of training completion, in their interim and/or final project reports.

Founders' Forum (Mandatory)

SmartStart award recipients are among the top entrepreneurs in Ontario. In recognition of this, OCE has developed the SmartStart Founders’ Forum, an exclusive meeting for the leaders of SmartStart-supported start-ups. Recipients of SmartStart funding MUST participate in this mandatory training session (at no additional cost); start-ups that fulfil this requirement are not required to select additional skills training or professional advisory services within their seed funding budget.

The Founders’ Forum is an invaluable opportunity for SmartStart-funded start-ups to learn from their peers and network with leading entrepreneurs and investors. The Forum includes:

  • A keynote presentation and panel discussion with key influencers in the world of entrepreneurship
  • Breakout sessions that address important issues, such as investor pitching, customer development, legal issues, corporate governance and team building
  • Networking opportunities with Ontario’s top young entrepreneurs

The Founders’ Forum will be held on May 12, 2019 in advance of Discovery, Canada’s leading innovation-to-commercialization conference that brings together more than 3,600 entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors, academics, researchers, government officials and students to showcase best practices and leading-edge technologies. 

As an additional benefit, OCE will provide all award recipients with a complimentary kiosk space and two attendee passes to exhibit their respective companies at Discovery on May 13-14, 2019. 

NOTE: Should your application be approved for funding, completion of entrepreneurial skills training and/or professional advisory services, through mandatory attendance at the Founders' Forum plus optional additional training and advisory activities, is required to remain compliant and receive funding through the program. These activities must be completed within the duration of the project. Please plan accordingly. 




Additional Funding

Futurpreneur Financing and Mentorship for Startups

Futurpreneur offers a low-interest loan of up to $45,000 and mentoring services for start-ups. Applicants to OCE’s SmartStart program who submit a complete and eligible application that is externally reviewed have the option to be fast-tracked into Futurpreneur’s program application stream. Visit Futurpreneur's website for more information.


Futurpreneur

Eligibility Requirements

Start-Up Company

  • For-profit, incorporated for no more than four years as of the application submission date, with a valid
    CRA business number The 9-digit business number (BN) is a common client identifier for businesses to simplify their dealings with federal, provincial, and municipal governments. The BN is the first nine digits of your company’s HST account number. The BN for your company may be verified at one of the following links: Industry Canada or CRA .
    *Note that your CRA designated 9 digit BN will differ from your Government of Ontario designated Corporation number.
  • Using or developing technology-based innovation or innovative processes for competitive advantage in provincial, national and/or global markets
  • Based in an
    eligible Southern Ontario Census DivisionIncludes the following census divisions:

    Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Prescott and Russell, Ottawa, Leeds and Grenville, Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Hastings, Prince Edward, Northumberland, Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Durham, York, Toronto, Peel, Dufferin, Wellington, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, Brant, Waterloo, Perth, Oxford, Elgin, Chatham-Kent, Essex, Lambton, Middlesex, Huron, Bruce, Grey, Simcoe, Haliburton, Renfrew

    . View details of all Statistics Canada Census Divisions to confirm your company location.
  • The combined total of the third-party (e.g. angel/VC) investment and the recurring revenue generated by the company is less than $250,000. “Significant investment” is defined as a third-party investment from a non-governmental source.
  • Endorsed by a Regional Innovation Centre (RIC), OCE-supported Campus-Linked Accelerator (CLA) or OCE-supported On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) program recipient. The endorsement must be provided by a signing officer of the endorsing RIC, CLA or OCEA prior to submitting an application (see How to Apply section for details). View a map of all RICs, CLAs and OCEAs in the eligible Southern Ontario Census Divisions.
  • Actively engaged, for a minimum of four months within the past 12 months, with the endorsing RIC, CLA or OCEA prior to submitting the application, and/or recently accepted into a program involving a selection process (such as an accelerator, a bootcamp/pitch competition winner, recipient of an embedded executive, etc.) within the Endorsing Organization
  • Has unencumbered rights to commercialize the Intellectual Property (e.g. patents, copyrights, trade secrets)
  • Must provide 1:1 matching cash contribution from a non-governmental source
  • Has not submitted another application to the current SmartStart funding round
  • Has not been previously declined for SmartStart funding two or more times
  • Has not received funding from OCE’s Market Readiness or SmartStart programs 
  • Has not received funding from any other FedDev Scientists and Engineers in Business (SEB), Jumpstart (e.g. RIC VentureStart, Next 36, Northumberland Community Futures Development Company, Ryerson or Waterloo FedDev SEB Commercialization Fellowship, etc.) or BURST programs 

Applicant

  • Holds equity and a key position in the start-up company
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident, residing full-time in the province of Ontario, and committed to building an Ontario-based company
  • Must enter into a contribution agreement with OCE and be subject to project and reporting as outlined in the reporting section below
  • Must consent to OCE posting and maintaining information about the project on its website, including the location, amount of funding, date of approval and summary for public release.
  • Must be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE

Project

Eligible activities include:

  • Launching and/or building the start-up enterprise
  • Development of prototype products, sourcing first customers and solving real business needs
  • Entrepreneurship skills development to augment the entrepreneur’s background and entrepreneurship knowledge, and prepare the start-up for investment readiness (e.g. learning conferences, peer networks, one-on-one mentoring with a seasoned entrepreneur, entrepreneurship training workshops, etc.)
  • Fee-for-service professional advisory services to assist entrepreneurs launch and build their businesses and prepare the start-up for investment readiness (e.g. legal services, business registration support, patents, market strategy, business planning, etc.). Mentoring services as part of a RIC’s core business are not supported.
  • View a list of Eligible Project Expenses

Eligibility Map

Please review this map for locations of the organizations able to provide a SmartStart endorsement: Regional Innovation Centre (RIC), Campus Linked Accelerator (CLA) or On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA).

*The endorsement must be provided by a signing officer of the endorsing RIC, CLA or OCEA prior to submitting an application (see How to Apply section for details).

More program information

How to Apply

Program Status: ✓ Open for Applications

Application to the SmartStart program is a three-part process:

  • Eligibility Questionnaire
  • Endorsement by a RIC, CLA or OCEA
  • Application Submission

Eligibility Questionnaire

  1. If you are ready to start applying for SmartStart, start the application process by completing an Eligibility Questionnaire .

    *You will need the following information to submit the questionnaire:

    • Name and email address of the start-up company’s advisor at the endorsing RIC, CLA or OCEA
    • Census DivisionIncludes the following census divisions:

      Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Prescott and Russell, Ottawa, Leeds and Grenville, Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Hastings, Prince Edward, Northumberland, Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Durham, York, Toronto, Peel, Dufferin, Wellington, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, Brant, Waterloo, Perth, Oxford, Elgin, Chatham-Kent, Essex, Lambton, Middlesex, Huron, Bruce, Grey, Simcoe, Haliburton, Renfrew

      where the company is based
    • Canada Revenue Agency Business Number The 9-digit business number (BN) is a common client identifier for businesses to simplify their dealings with federal, provincial, and municipal governments. The BN is the first nine digits of your company’s HST account number. The BN for your company may be verified at one of the following links: Industry Canada or CRA.
      *Note that your CRA designated 9 digit BN will differ from your Government of Ontario designated Corporation number.
    • Date of incorporation

    Note: Submission of the Eligibility Questionnaire does not constitute an application for funding.

  2. OCE will review the Eligibility Questionnaire within two business days.

    Applicants may submit an Eligibility Questionnaire at any time between December 7, 2018 and February 1, 2019.

Endorsement by a RIC, CLA or OCEA

  1. If the Applicant meets all of OCE's eligibility criteria, OCE will send the Eligibility Questionnaire to the RIC, CLA or OCEA to be endorsed. The endorsement form requires a support letter from the start-up’s advisor, and a signature from the endorser (signing authority) of the RIC, CLA or OCEA. A sample endorsement form is available.
  2. The endorser must send the completed endorsement form to OCE. Once it has been received and reviewed by OCE, OCE will initiate an application in OCE's online application system, AccessOCE, in two business days. The Applicant will receive a notification with their login information.

    The endorsing RIC/CLA/OCEA must provide their endorsement to OCE by February 11, 2019.

Application Submission

Applications are only accepted through OCE's online system, AccessOCE, where all application requirements are listed. Download instructions to complete the application.

  1. The Applicant logs into AccessOCE and completes the application by the deadline.

    You will need the following supporting documentation to submit an application:

    • Canada Revenue Agency business number The 9-digit business number (BN) is a common client identifier for businesses to simplify their dealings with federal, provincial, and municipal governments. The BN is the first nine digits of your company’s HST account number. The BN for your company may be verified at one of the following links: Industry Canada or CRA.
      *Note that your CRA designated 9 digit BN will differ from your Government of Ontario designated Corporation number.
    • Proof of citizenship status: passport, birth certificate, citizenship card, or permanent resident card
    • Resumes, CVs or LinkedIn profiles of the Applicant and key team members
    • Completed Start-up Endorsement Form from a RIC, CLA or OCEA
  2. OCE will internally review the application within approximately one week for eligibility, completeness and financial compliance. A list of any deficiencies will be sent to the Applicant for revision. Revisions must be completed within two business days otherwise the application may be withdrawn.
  3. Once the application is deemed complete, it will be sent for external review. A funding decision will be provided within approximately six weeks.

After the application is initiated in AccessOCE, Applicants may submit their applications at any time between January 8, 2019 and February 19, 2019 (2 pm ET). Late submissions will not be accepted.

Timelines

Application Step

Date

Program open; Eligibility Questionnaire available

December 7, 2018

Endorsed applicants may begin submitting applications in AccessOCE

January 8, 2019

Final deadline to submit Eligibility Questionnaire

February 1, 2019, 11:59 pm ET

Final deadline for RIC/CLA/OCEA endorsement

February 11, 2019, 11:59 pm ET

Final deadline for endorsed applicants to submit application in AccessOCE

February 19, 2019, 2:00 pm ET


SmartStart- Timline Application Graphic Nov 2018

If you have reviewed all of the information on this page and would like to apply for the SmartStart Seed Fund, please click the button below to complete the Eligibility Questionnaire.

Reference Documents

Assessment Process and Criteria

SmartStart is a discretionary, non-entitlement program with limited funding. All eligible applications undergo a review process where the applications are assessed against program objectives and other criteria. Not all eligible applications will be approved for funding.

  1. Complete applications will undergo a written external peer review by three business and/or domain experts. Reviewers are contractually bound by confidentiality and conflict of interest requirements.
  2. Recommendations from the peer review process will be assessed by OCE’s Internal Review Panel, which will have responsibility for the final OCE decision. Decision notifications are typically provided within six weeks of receipt of a complete application. 

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated against assessment criteria including:

  • Strength of team – ability to build a company and deliver the product/service, aptitude for entrepreneurship, plan to build up appropriate expertise and resources, guidance from advisors or other experts
  • Problem and solution (product-market fit) – understanding of customer pain point and willingness to pay, demonstration of solution and its value proposition, product development path, competition
  • Customers and revenue model – identification and plan to access target customers, market size, scalability
  • Channels and demand creation – go-to-market strategy, revenue model, proposed pricing, understanding of sales cycle
  • Plan and budget – clarity, feasibility and appropriateness of milestones, value for money, plan for next steps
  • Overall quality of the application – level of detail, completeness, cohesiveness 
More program information

Project Activation

Successful Applicants must complete the following requirements within 30 days of award notification:

  • Signature of OCE’s standard, non-negotiable funding agreement. Please do not fill out this template; a copy of the agreement will be generated through AccessOCE and sent to the Applicant upon project approval.
  • Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)/Direct Deposit form and void cheque
  • Company’s logo, website link, 100-word public description of the company/technology, links to any active social media channels, information/promotional video links, and links to any news stories and/or awards the company has received, to be included on OCE’s website
  • Registration for OCE’s Founders’ Forum and Discovery conference

The project will be activated upon completion of the above requirements. The start date of the project will be by default the date of activation and may not be changed.

Flow of Funds

  • OCE funds will flow directly to the company on a claims and reimbursement basis. Funding will not be released at the project start. Claims for reimbursement can be made when submitting an interim report, and the final report required at the end of the project.
  • OCE will release a payment of up to 50 per cent of the total OCE award upon receipt of the company’s interim report and all accompanying proof of expenditures and receipts.
  • OCE will release the remaining OCE funds (holdback) upon project completion and receipt of the following: final report including progress and metrics, financial attestation, and proof of all expenditures from the company.
  • For example:
  • OCE award amount

    $30,000

    Applicant contribution

    $30,000 cash

    Fund released upon mid-term reporting

    $15,000 (maximum)

    Holdback

    $15,000


Project Reporting Requirements

The following project reports will be required. Details and instructions on report submission will be sent to the Applicant upon activation of an approved project.

Please note that completion of all required reports is a contractual obligation to receive funding from OCE.

Interim Project Report

  • Applicants may submit up to one interim report, to claim up to 50% of the OCE funds (up to $15,000). The report, including progress against milestones, and back-up and evidence of payments for all expenditures from the project (including the seed funding from OCE, plus the minimum 1:1 matching contribution according to the project budget), must be submitted before any funds can be released. Acceptable proof/evidence of expenditures must be uploaded to the report; these include payroll records and cash payments of all salary-related expenses, and receipts and bank/credit card records for all other purchases relating to operational costs, entrepreneurship training and professional advisory services. Please be advised that this is a cash-based program, as such evidence of cash payments made must be provided; OCE does not recognize in-kind contributions as eligible OCE- or Applicant-funded project expenses.
  • Applicants will receive a notification and link to complete and submit the interim report from OCE’s online system, AccessOCE. Applicants will be able to complete this report mid-way through the term of their funding agreement, at any time after June 1, 2019. Please note, attending the Discovery Founders’ Forum in May 2019 is a mandatory requirement of the SmartStart program. In June 2019, OCE will be aware of who has complied with this requirement, and if the Applicant has not attended, the Applicant will be deemed ineligible and all project costs will be denied and unpaid by OCE.
  • Upon receipt of the completed interim report, OCE will review it for completeness and eligibility of the expenses and notify the Applicant if any revisions or additional supporting documents are required. If no revisions are required, OCE will approve your report and remit the payment.

Final Project Report

  • Forty-five (45) days prior to the scheduled completion date, the Applicant will receive a notification of the project end date from AccessOCE and a link to the final reporting documentation (including progress against milestones, financials and metrics). If an extension is required, the Applicant MUST request it prior to the scheduled completion date, using the Project Administration tab in their AccessOCE project file.
  • The final report, including proof of entrepreneurship skills training and professional advisory services expenditures (if not included in the interim report), must be received by OCE within 30 days of the project completion for the release of the final payment and the maintenance of good financial standing with OCE. The report, including progress against milestones, project metrics, and backup and evidence of payments for all expenditures from the project (including the seed funding from OCE, plus the minimum 1:1 matching contribution according to the project budget), must be submitted before the funds can be released. Acceptable proof/evidence of expenditures must be uploaded to the report; these include payroll records and cash payments of all salary related expenses, and receipts and bank/credit card records for all other purchases relating to operational costs, entrepreneurship training and professional advisory services. Please be advised that this is a cash-based program, as such evidence of cash payments made must be provided; OCE does not recognize in-kind contributions as eligible OCE- or Applicant-funded project expenses.
  • Upon receipt of the completed final report, OCE will review it for completeness and eligibility of the expenses and notify the Applicant if any revisions or additional supporting documents are required. If no revisions are required, OCE will approve your report and remit the final payment.

Project Metrics

  • If the project continues past the fiscal year-end (March 31), the Applicant must complete an annual Metrics survey each April, for the milestones and activities that have been completed since the previous March 31. This annual report is mandatory for OCE to fulfill its contract with the provincial and federal government. Metrics reports are contractual requirements of the award recipient and must be submitted for the company to maintain good financial standing with OCE.

Retrospective Survey

  • At one, two, and three years after project completion, the Applicant will be sent a link to complete a retrospective survey to collect data on commercial outcomes from the project. This information is required by OCE for the assessment of program impact and continuous improvement.

Project Changes

  • For any variances to the OCE budget of $5,000 or greater, or extensions to the project end date, the Applicant must complete a Project Change Request form prior to the project end date, using the Project Administration tab in their AccessOCE project file.
  • For any other material change to the project, including but not limited to changes related to the Applicant/company, scope of work or eligible expenses, the Applicant must contact the Program Manager for approval as soon as the changes are known.

For More Information

Search OCE’s Knowledge Base of Frequently Asked Questions.

For further questions regarding program guidelines, eligibility, and submitting the eligibility questionnaire and application (including budget), please contact:

Application Support Team
Tel: (416) 861-1092 x2400
Email: application-support@oce.zendesk.com

For further questions regarding the application review process, please contact:

OCE Review and Results Team
Email: application-review@oce.zendesk.com

For further questions regarding administration of active projects, please contact:

OCE Project Administration Team
Email: project-administration@oce.zendesk.com

For technical inquiries, please contact:

Management Information Systems
Tel: (416) 861-1092 x1005
Email: accessoce@oce.zendesk.com 

For other inquiries, please contact:

Danielle Graham
Program Manager 
Tel: (416) 861-1092 x1099
Email: danielle.graham@oce-ontario.org


Funding Partner


 Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

How to Apply

Program Status: ✓ Open for Applications

Deadline to submit an Eligibility Questionnaire: February 1, 2019, 11:59 pm ET

Start the application process (Eligibility Questionnaire)*

*Applicants must first complete an Eligibility Questionnaire to start the application process.

You will need the following information to submit the questionnaire:

  • Name and email address of the start-up company’s advisor at the endorsing RIC, CLA or OCEA
  • Census DivisionIncludes the following census divisions:

    Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Prescott and Russell, Ottawa, Leeds and Grenville, Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Hastings, Prince Edward, Northumberland, Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Durham, York, Toronto, Peel, Dufferin, Wellington, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, Brant, Waterloo, Perth, Oxford, Elgin, Chatham-Kent, Essex, Lambton, Middlesex, Huron, Bruce, Grey, Simcoe. Haliburton, Renfrew

    where the company is based
  • Canada Revenue Agency
    Business Number The 9-digit business number (BN) is a common client identifier for businesses to simplify their dealings with federal, provincial, and municipal governments. The BN is the first nine digits of your company’s HST account number. The BN for your company may be verified at one of the following links: Industry Canada or CRA.
    *Note that your CRA designated 9 digit BN will differ from your Government of Ontario designated Corporation number.
  • Date of incorporation

Note: Submission of the Eligibility Questionnaire does not constitute an application for funding. See the How to Apply tab for full details on the application steps, including Eligibility Questionnaire, Endorsement, and Application Submission. Companies who wish to find out more about SmartStart or other OCE programs may submit a generic client intake form.




View a list of SmartStart Seed Fund recipients


Examples of successful SmartStart companies