VentureStart offers business skills training and up to $30,000 seed capital for innovative technology entrepreneurs in Southern Ontario
Mississauga, ON – March 16, 2012 – The VentureStart program, supporting entrepreneurs who have developed innovations for business start-ups, was announced today by the Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre and WEtech Alliance. VentureStart is designed to enhance the success rate of start-up enterprises in Southern Ontario through entrepreneurial training for technology entrepreneurs, and an opportunity of matching seed financing up to $30,000 to launch their new venture.
To be eligible for the VentureStart program, the entrepreneurs must be university or college graduates of a science, technology, engineering or mathematics program, and must reside in southern Ontario. Full details of the program and sign-up forms are available at www.venturestart.ca.
The program is comprised of two phases, an entrepreneurial training phase and a business launch phase. The enrollment cost for eligible entrepreneurs is only $1,700 since VentureStart covers half the cost of the training phase. There are no other costs for the entrepreneur to continue in the program, other than the requirement of matching funds for any seed financing ultimately received, up to a maximum of $30,000.
For entrepreneurs who successfully complete the first phase, WEtech Alliance and its partners from the Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE), will provide mentoring by their Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs), together with an extensive portfolio of the key support services that are typically required for the successful launch and operation of a new business.
To qualify for seed financing, the entrepreneur must complete the entrepreneurial training program, which provides the foundation for creating a business development plan for their new venture. They must also participate in a full Critical Factor Assessment (CFA) conducted by the Canadian Innovation Centre which evaluates their plan against 42 factors that have been identified as critical for venture success. The CFA identifies flaws to be addressed in order to provide the venture the best likelihood of succeeding.
“WEtech Alliance is thrilled that the Federal government recognizes the value in investing in innovative technology startups,” said Karen Behune Plunkett, President and CEO, WEtech Alliance. “We are very pleased that WEtech Alliance will be adding VentureStart to our portfolio of programs and services which are designed to benefit our dedicated entrepreneurs in achieving successful commercialization.”
Funded through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and with support from the Canadian Innovation Centre (CIC) and a consortium of other non-profit organizations, the program expects to train as many as 450 entrepreneurs over 15 months, and provide as much as $4 million in seed financing to qualified applicants.
About WEtech Alliance: WEtech Alliance is Windsor-Essex’s Technology Accelerator; an industry-led non-profit organization focused on driving the growth and success of Windsor-Essex’s technology centric companies and entrepreneurs through leadership, connections and promotion. WEtech strives to identify, find solutions and foster the development of the technology industry in Windsor-Essex by engaging companies in the technology and innovation sector, as well as companies who utilize technology.
The Alliance’s mission is to nurture innovation and technology by providing the tools, programs, resources and support that entrepreneurs and technology-centric companies require for sustainable growth, development and success.
Contact: Karen Behune Plunkett President/CEO, WEtech Alliance 519-997-2865 firstname.lastname@example.org
With the support of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.