Investment & Financing: Easier Than Expected Hunt?


Halifax start up pulls in $1.13 million. EASIER than expected hunt?
For LeadSift, it was. This is not the usual case – for most start ups, investment may take up to a year or more.
LeadSift is a company whose software combs through Twitter and Facebook data to generate sales leads and is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Funding and investment can be key to a start up’s survival. The following lists some financing and investment opportunities for start ups.

Canadian Youth Business Foundation young entrepreneurs (aged 18 to 34)
o Start-up resources to perfect your business plan;
o Mentoring – hand-match you with a mentor in your community;
o Financing of $15,000 to $45,000;
o Expertise and Resources to help get you connected and grow a successful business.

• Seed Capital Initiative Young entrepreneur If you live in Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton, Halifax or St. John’s, (between 18 and 34) the Seed Capital Initiative may be able to help you start, expand or modernize your business. (Older than 35 still might be able to help)
• Young Entrepreneur Development Initiative (YEDI) offers financial support to not-for-profit business organizations, colleges and universities and municipalities for business skills training and financial support to Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs under 35 years of age.

• CDBC First-Time Entrepreneur Loan (Atlantic Canada) – provides small business loans for first-time entrepreneurs starting or purchasing their very first business. Loans and equity financing for the creation and expansion of small businesses in rural communities throughout Atlantic Canada.

• Women In Business Initiative (WBI) To help women entrepreneurs find the resources they need to grow their businesses and compete.
Money, money, money to help with marketing, sales, consulting support and grants.
Business Development Program offered through ACOA set up, expand or modernize your business. It can also provide financing to develop your innovative ideas and improve your competitiveness. Focusing on small- and medium-sized enterprises, this program offers interest-free loans.
Expanding or modernizing, ACOA cover some of your capital costs with unsecured, interest-free loans and flexible repayment terms. They also offer related operational costs for training, research, marketing, productivity, quality assurance and environmental management.
For business sectors such as manufacturing, business services, tourism and information technology, Acoa’s Business Development Program may be a potential source of funding for expansion.
Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) encourages partnerships among private sector firms, universities, colleges and other research institutions to develop new or improved products and services.
Free Market research (knowing and understanding your market, your competitors, and your customers is half the battle)

Canada Business Centre offers local free assistance ranging from research to help through business plan courses.
Canada-Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development (IBDA) helps established exporters expand their activities into new and more diversified markets. It also helps new exporters get started.

The Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF) supports the improvement of existing community infrastructure facilities and provides economic benefits, including job creation, to communities across Canada.
Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) invests in strategic projects that build the economies of Atlantic Canada’s communities.
Going global requires specialized knowledge. ACOA helps with advice, training, internships, market research, business planning and interest-free loans. Also, training programs and seminars across the region on topics such as: trade awareness, export assessment and counseling, market information and trade missions.
• Business loans and investment
The Canada Small Business Financing Program And the Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBF) provide term loans of up to $500,000 to help finance fixed asset needs through business loans made directly by a qualified lender (such as a chartered bank, or credit union).
Small Business Financing Program
New businesses and entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia can apply to the Small Business Financing Program for loans of up to $500,000 to start or grow a business.

Immigrant Small Business Loan Program
Recent immigrants to Nova Scotia can borrow up to $500,000 over seven years to start, expand, or buy a small business through the Credit Unions of Nova Scotia – Immigrant Small Business Loan Program.

Film and TV Development Loan
Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia provides interest-free loans to local film professionals or companies to support the development of a film or television project. Funding is available for research, writing, market analysis and project costing.

Clean Technology Fund
Innovacorp venture capital invests in early stage, clean technology companies in Nova Scotia that have a high growth potential and attractive risk-return prospects. Investments range from $100,000 to $3 million over the lifecycle of the investment.

Eastlink TV Independent Production Fund
Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia administers this fund supporting the television sector of the audiovisual industry in Nova Scotia, this fund will provide equity investments of up to $300,000 in eligible productions, to a maximum of 20% of the total budget, for television productions produced by Nova Scotians. In order to be eligible for the fund, productions must have a high Canadian content and have already obtained a broadcast license.

Film and TV Equity Investment
Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia Equity Film and Television program helps qualified Nova Scotia producers and production companies finance their productions through equity investment.

Tourism Development Investment – Destination Development
The Tourism Development Investment – Destination Development Program invests in the development and enhancement of tourism attractions, sites, and experiences with the aim of helping destinations create products and services that are unique to their area.

NSBI Venture Capital
If your company is rapidly growing in its market, you may be eligible for venture capital. NSBI Venture Capital provides $1 to $3 million in growth capital to companies in the information technology, defense, energy, advanced manufacturing and life sciences industries to help them grow and explore new markets.

Nova Scotia First Fund
Innovacorp manages a venture capital fund, the Nova Scotia First Fund. The fund targets emerging venture-grade technology companies with high growth potential and attractive risk-return prospects. Target industries include clean technology, information technology, and life sciences. The fund has capacity to invest in new opportunities. Nova Scotia First Fund investments range from $100,000 up to $3 million over the life cycle of the investment.

Export Prospector Program
If you want to discover new business opportunities and find qualified leads in markets outside of Nova Scotia, the Export Prospector Program can help by sending you on a customized trade mission to your target foreign market or by helping you to have an effective presence at a trade show.

ExportAbility Program
The ExportAbility Program helps both active exporters and those that want to develop their export opportunities become more export-ready. The program can help cover up to 75% of the costs of market readiness and export development workshops, course materials, and exam fees.

International Development Opportunities
Nova Scotia Business Inc’s private sector liaison service can help Nova Scotia companies gain access to World Bank Group business opportunities, services, and knowledge, including involvement in international financial institution-funded projects.

Small Business Development Program
The Nova Scotia Business Development Program provides assistance for eligible business activity that increases productivity, explores product innovation, delivers strategic planning, implements operational efficencies to improve competitiveness, and expands the international commerce participation of a business. Support is for up to 50% of eligible project costs, to a maximum of $15,000.

Productivity Investment Program (CII)
The aim of the Capital Investment Incentive is to help businesses become more productive, innovative, and internationally competitive by providing up to $1 million toward technologically-advanced machinery, clean technology, equipment, software, and hardware.

Productivity Investment Program (WIPSI)

The Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive provides funding to companies to encourage them to invest in skills development and certification, adapt to new technology, improve productivity, and improve their international competitiveness. Companies can apply for up to $5000 to cover the cost of training for management skills development, skills development training leading to certification, and training that supports workplace diversity.

Service Export Program
The Service Export Program (SEP) provides funding to Nova Scotia service companies that are in the final stages of an export deal. Activities that qualify for funding include in-market meetings, the development of proposals, presentations, and collateral materials, and visits from potential clients.

START is available to businesses, not for profit organizations and social enterprises that have business locations and jobs in Nova Scotia. The START program focuses on small to medium sized enterprises and encourages employers to hire eligible Nova Scotians requiring work experience or apprenticeship support.
Student Employment Programs – Strategic Cooperative Education Incentive
The objective of the Strategic Cooperative Education Incentive is to help high value businesses and organizations recruit and retain university and community college students for work placements by offering a quality work experience as part of university or community college co-op program. Approved projects will receive $7.50 per hour (50% of the required minimum hourly wage of $15.00 per hour) to a maximum of 40 hours per week.

The Student Career Skills Development Program is available to qualified not-for-profit organizations in Nova Scotia that hire students who will be attending or are returning to a post-secondary institution in the fall. Positions paying $10.50 per hour or more will be considered, with up to $8.50 per eligible hour worked being reimbursed.

Student Employment Programs – Students In Business Program
The Students in Business Program helps students start their own business in Nova Scotia by giving them start-up information and advice, mentoring and up to $5,000 as an interest-free loan.

Tourism Development Investment – Destination Development
The Tourism Development Investment – Destination Development Program invests in the development and enhancement of tourism attractions, sites, and experiences with the aim of helping destinations create products and services that are unique to their area.

Tourism Industry Development Program
Provides cost-sharing assistance to enhance the quality of tourism services, businesses and products through market readiness initiatives, such as study tours and best-practice missions, seminars, workshops, conferences, mentoring, and mystery shop assessments.

Trade Missions
If you would like to explore new export markets, a Nova Scotia Business Inc trade mission will give you an opportunity to network and attend business meetings in destinations as diverse as Alberta and Abu Dhabi.
For more information on NSBI trade missions
The BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) supports business with several programs that directly address start up business loans, such as their CoVision program, which provides customized term financing up to $100,000 for new businesses demonstrating long-term viability. The Business Development Bank of Canada provides financial and management services to small- and medium-sized businesses. There are 13 branches in Atlantic Canada.

• Contests, Incubators (money & in-kind)

Incubators – (increase chances of success for business owners)

Down in the Valley
Applications are now open for the next “48 Hours in the Valley” mentorship program run by The C100.

Twice a year, it takes 20 promising Canadian startups to Silicon Valley for a couple of days packed with workshops, mentoring, meetings with investors and other networking.

Applications for the next trip, taking place from June 10 to June 12, are open until March 28 at midnight. For more information.

Innovacorp in our universities and colleges
I-3 competion: $100,000 seed investment from Innovacorp. Supporting Nova Scotia’s Start-Up Community
In addition to their core business of investment, incubation and expert advice for individual companies, Innovacorp also supports the start-up community and culture across Nova Scotia.
Early Stage Commercialization Fund
Through the Early Stage Commercialization Fund (ESCF), Innovacorp reviews, advises and supports the early stage technology commercialization of post-secondary institution research with a high probability of commercialization in the subsequent five years. The ESCF provides funding and go-to-market expertise to research projects across the province.

See more at:

Some of our Angel Networks locally & internationally


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