Skip to Main Content

i.d.e.a. Fund

i.d.e.a. Fund: Empowering Southern Ontario's Businesses

In partnership with Ontario's Regional Innovation Centres, i.d.e.a. Fund accelerates sustainable growth and green recovery. We offer expert guidance in talent attraction, funding, product development, and market diversification.

Benefits Include:

  • Up to $30,000 in seed funding
  • Executive-level mentorship

Applications for Cohort 2 are closed. Stay tuned for updates on successful recipients in Summer 2023.

Seed Funding + Support

  • Non-repayable seed funding of up to $30,000 with matching funds
  • Up to 40 hours of fully funded, targeted support from business leaders

Expert Help

Our experts have the knowledge and experience to help you address challenges and move your business forward in all areas including:

  • growth plans and strategies
  • talent attraction
  • raising follow-on investment
  • market diversification
  • product development
  • quantification of product benefits
  • market value propositions
  • commercialization of intellectual property
  • and more

Innovate Niagara provides 22 companies with $660,000 through Cohort 2 of Government of Canada-funded i.d.e.a. Fund

Across southern Ontario, 125 companies received non-repayable contributions of $3,750,000 in Cohort 2 of the Government of Canada-supported i.d.e.a Fund. View the full list HERE. The Innovate Niagara-supported companies in Cohort 2 are:

Innovate Niagara provides 19 companies with $547,619 through Cohort 1 of Government of Canada-funded i.d.e.a. Fund

Across southern Ontario, approximately 120 companies received non-repayable contributions of up to $3,600,000 through Cohort 1 of the Government of Canada-supported i.d.e.a Fund. View the full list HERE. The Innovate Niagara-supported companies in Cohort 1 are:

For full selection criteria, consult the i.d.e.a. Fund Program Guide.

How to Apply

Cohort 2 applications are now closed. 

Subscribe for updates about i.d.e.a. Fund

We'll notify you when the next round of applications opens

* indicates required

Frequently Asked Questions


  • How many companies will be accepted to i.d.e.a. Fund?

    The i.d.e.a Fund will accept 120 clients into the program cohort.

  • How does the expert-matching work?

    Once accepted into the program, your Regional Innovation Centre (RIC) will determine the best expert/mentor to match you with based on your industry, business stage and specific project goals.  There may be an opportunity to engage more than one expert, depending on project requirements.

  • I am a co-founder/partner in the business. Do we all participate in this program, or is there one point of contact?

    We expect that all decisions around financial commitments, project plans, budgets, milestones and KPIs, and updates will involve a decision-maker in the business.  This is usually the owner/founder/C-Suite. Other members of your team can be involved in these meetings and are welcome. Once projects begin, involvement may be limited to one or more functional area and/or person depending on the project scope.

  • What information will I be expected to provide for reporting requirements?

    You can anticipate providing i.d.e.a. Fund regular project updates as well as general business metrics during your participation in the program, as a requirement to receive funding. Once the project(s) are complete there will also be post-program follow-up reports that will be requested for up to three years. Metrics may include but aren’t limited to: revenues, investment, employment and intellectual property.

  • Which Regional Innovation Centre (RIC) will I be assigned to?

    Your company will be allocated to one of the partner Regional Innovation Centres (RIC) based on a number of criteria including regional proximity and any current or previous history working with a particular RIC.

Eligibility Criteria

Application Form

Delivery Partners

This program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Jobs and Growth Fund, which advances economic recovery efforts, supports businesses and organizations to help create jobs, supports the transition to a green economy, and positions local economies for long-term growth.

How to Become a Client

Becoming an Innovate Niagara client is quick and easy, and there’s no fee. 


Complete the Become a Client form online.


We’ll schedule you a meeting with an advisor.


Meet with that advisor to plan your next steps.


(905) 685-3460 Contact

Open Modal