Embark Funding supports novel Ontario-based technology ventures by enabling the engagement of a young professional (aged 22-29) in a business role who will work with the venture to accomplish specific goals or milestones. This competitive funding program will provide selected ventures with up to $20,000 (including costs of HST) in funding. It requires the venture to also contribute a minimum of $2,500 (or 12.5% of the amount requested) towards the young professional’s payment over the contract period.
Embark Funding is a program of the Youth Business Acceleration Program (BAP), supporting entrepreneurs of the ONE network.
- Key dates
- Venture eligibility
- Application requirements
- Candidate requirements
- Regional Innovation Centres
Applications Open: September 22, 2014
Deadline for Application Submission: October 15, 2014
Projects Begin: December 1, 2014
In order to apply to Embark Funding, click the button below to create an account and access the application form.
- Novel Ontario-based technology companies with a clear, sustainable technological advantage.
- Since its inception, the venture may have raised up to $2 million in total funding from sources such as venture capital, angel, personal capital, friends, family, government-funded investment programs and bank loans. This does not include funds raised from government research and development grants. In some exceptional cases, the venture may have raised up to $3 million in total funding. These exceptions include:
- Cleantech ventures developing capital-intensive assets such as energy storage and energy generation technologies.
- Life sciences ventures operating in the drug development, biotechnology, and medical and assistive device industries.
- The venture may be pre-revenue or have under $1 million in revenue for a given year.
- Must be a client with a Regional Innovation Centre (RIC).
- Cannot be a subsidiary of a larger parent company that would be ineligible.
- May not be established for more than eight years.
- Must have at least one full-time employee.
- Ventures that have founders, staff or contractors who may also be a paid advisor, EIR or staff on contract at a RIC are not eligible.
- Applicants must attach a message from their RIC advisor to confirm that they have been referred by their RIC.
- Incomplete applications will not be reviewed (missing pitch decks, incomplete sections, et cetera).
- Applicants must recruit their own candidate for this position; however, recruitment may occur after submitting the application.
- The candidate shall not have an existing relationship with the applicant venture outside the scope of the role and objectives provided in the program application.
- The candidate should not, directly or indirectly, be involved (whether personally or as an employee, agent, consultant, contractor, investor, shareholder, joint venturer, partner or in any other capacity whatsoever) in any enterprise, association, corporation, joint venture or partnership directly or indirectly associated with the applicant venture.
- The candidate should be working at a full-time capacity during the course of this program.
- The candidate should be aged 22 to 29.
- The candidate may not be a paid advisor, EIR or staff on contract at a RIC.
- The candidate’s rate of pay should not exceed the maximum set by the program.
- Please note that eligible funding is for a business role and not for a researcher or a developer.
Note: This program is intended to encourage new growth opportunities for the applicant venture rather than support existing resources in the venture. As such, candidates should be new to the applicant venture. On a case-by-case basis, however, the BAP may consider supporting an existing resource in the organization. For example, in cases where this resource has been recently engaged or engaged on a limited basis, provided that the applicant venture can clearly demonstrate an opportunity for growth and impact during the program contract period.
Volunteer reviewers with related industry expertise will review the ventures, basing their decision primarily on the following criteria (in addition to the company information provided):
- Elevator pitch
- Value proposition
- Product / technology description
- Global market opportunity (include estimated monetary value)
- Competitive advantage
- Revenue model
- Candidate’s title, role description and objectives
- A short pitch deck (maximum 10 slides)
Upon selection, ventures will be conditionally approved, at which time they will be asked to submit their candidate’s resume (if not already provided). This information will be reviewed before final approval is made.
Additional program requirements
- The contract duration for this program shall not exceed four months and must begin upon contract signing, or the client will risk contract cancellation without payment.
- Incomplete contracts will be compensated for costs incurred up to that point in time.
- Compensation cannot be provided for work completed outside the term of the program contract.
- Costs should not exceed fair market value for services; incidentals and other expenses will be paid for by the client. In accordance with Ontario guidelines, ineligible expenses include:
- a) Costs related to proposal development (including related staff costs)
- b) Capital costs (e.g., land, building, vehicles)
- c) Entertainment expenses, gifts and alcoholic beverages
- d) Expenses associated with lobbying or government relations activities
- e) Costs associated with travel, activities or operations performed outside of Ontario
- f) Passport and immigration fees
- g) Reimbursement for airfare purchased with personal frequent flyer points programs
- h) Legal, accounting and consulting fees in connection with financial reorganization, security issues, capital stock issues, obtaining of licenses and prosecution of claims against Ontario
- i) Federal and provincial income taxes, excess profit taxes or surtaxes and any special expenses incurred in relation to taxes
- j) Fines and penalties
- k) Donations in the form of goodwill and other intangibles (such as intellectual property, including licenses and patents)
- l) Opportunity costs
- m) Standard discounts
- n) Interest charges
- o) Allowance for interest on invested capital, bonds, debentures, bank or other loans together with related bond discounts and finance charges
- p) Losses on investments, bad debts and related collection expenses
- q) Losses on other projects or contracts
- r) Amortization of unrealized appreciation of assets
- s) Depreciation of assets
- t) Expenses and depreciation of excess facilities
- u) Any costs, including taxes, for which the organization has received, will receive or is eligible to receive a rebate, credit or refund
Regional Innovation Centres
For further information on this program, please connect with your Regional Innovation Centre at a city near you.
- MaRS Venture Services, Toronto
- Communitech, Kitchener-Waterloo
- HalTech, Halton
- Innovation Initiatives Ontario North (IION), North Bay
- Innovation Factory, Hamilton
- Innovation Guelph, Guelph
- Innovate Niagara, St. Catharines
- Invest Ottawa, Ottawa
- Launch Lab, Kingston-Eastern Ontario
- NORCAT Innovation Mill, Sudbury
- Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (NOIC), Thunder Bay
- RIC Centre, Mississauga-Peel
- Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC), Sault Ste. Marie
- Spark Centre, Durham Region-Northumberland
- TechAlliance, London-Southwestern Ontario
- WEtech Alliance, Windsor-Essex
- ventureLAB, York Region