Business Incubation & Commercialization Grant Program
The Business Incubation and Commercialization Grant Program provides financial support to incubators and entrepreneurship organizations interested in creating business formation, innovation, and job creation in Toronto and who provide robust programming to new entrepreneurs, businesses and start-ups.
This program is designed to support not-for-profit entrepreneurship, incubation and accelerator activities whose primary goals are to create businesses and jobs, encourage the development of new ideas, and work towards organizational efficiency, sustainability and while utilizing industry best practices.
This program does not provide grants to individual for-profit businesses, but instead is aimed at not-for-profit organizations that offer entrepreneurship and incubation or acceleration programming to entrepreneurs.
The Business Incubation and Commercialization Grant Program supports the development of entrepreneurship and incubation activity in a manner that is fully accessible, transparent and accountable and aligned with the City of Toronto’s goals of access, equity and inclusion.
There are two streams within the program offering funding:
- Multi-Year Operating (3-year cycle)
- Up to 20% of eligible expenses, to a maximum of $100,000, for applicants in the multi-year operating stream. Grants will be dispensed in two parts: 75% provided upfront and 25% held back until completion.
- Programs and Events
- Up to 50% of eligible expenses, to a maximum of $20,000, for programs. Program grants will be dispensed in two parts: 75% provided upfront and 25% held back until completion; or
- Up to 50% of eligible expenses, to a maximum of $10,000, for events. Event grants will be dispensed in a one-time payment.
Annual operating, project, event or development funding received in one year does not guarantee funding in subsequent years.
Eligibility and Requirements
The Business Incubation and Commercialization Grant Program is available to the following types of not-for-profit organizations that provide incubation-type programming to entrepreneurs:
- Pre-Incubator: an organization that offers programming such as development of client’s business idea. Services typically include: business advisory support, mentoring, networking and market research.
- Incubator: an organization that adds programming such as implementation of a business idea into actual operation while providing various supports throughout the process, such as business advisory support, office or studio space, shared industrial/commercial equipment, product/prototype development, mentoring, networking and market research.
- Accelerator: an organization that focuses on rapid growth through the provision of strategic financing and market readiness strategies. Services typically include financing or investment, business advisory support, mentoring and office or studio space.
- Post-Secondary Education Institution: an academic institution that includes entrepreneurship and business support as part of its curriculum and programming, including campus-led incubators and accelerators. (Only eligible for the Programs and Events Stream and the number of provided grants is capped at four per academic institution.)
- Industry Association: an organization that represents a certain business sector and has a focus on entrepreneurship and sector development.
To be eligible for funding, not-for-profit organizations must also demonstrate:
- Programming that is Toronto-centric and support Toronto-based entrepreneurs and startups,
- Robust business incubation, acceleration and entrepreneurship programming,
- Detailed and comprehensive application and supporting documents, and
- Proof of Not-for Profit Status
- Proof of Charitable or Not-for-Profit status can vary and include articles of incorporation, certificates of incorporation or letters patent. To confirm if incorporated provincially, use the Ontario Business Registry’s search feature . To confirm if incorporated nationally, use Corporations Canada’s search feature . To confirm if a registered charity, look through Canada Revenue Agency’s database of charities .