BC Government Funding for Startups

We have all heard about SR & ED! In fact, I have even heard some entrepreneurs refer to SR&ED as the Canadian version of seed funding.  But there are many programs and resources available to startups.  To shed some light on what is available at various stages of a companies growth, I reached out to Riz Kheraj, Industrial Technology Advisor for IRAP in BC.  Riz came to Bootup on January 19 to share his knowledge and provide more information on the resources available.

Riz broke Goverment funding into 3 stages:

  • Early Stage: (BC – Before Customers)
  • Early Customers (EC)
  • Customers Customers (CC)

There are plenty of programs available in the BC & EC stages.  As your company matures, and you are trying to scale your business – there is not a lot of government funding available to you.   Riz, who has worked in startups before, stressed that it always better to focus on getting real customers for your business rather than chasing and applying for government funding.  Some of the applications do take time to complete and require additional reporting once approved.  Some IRAP programs, for instance, require monthly reports with receipts to release additional funds.

Bootup is in the process of finishing up a handy little spreadsheet on all of the different government programs available, including deadlines and contact information.  Until then, check out Riz presentation below and please share your feedback and experiences on what government programs you may have utilized in the past for fellow entrepreneurs.

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One thought on “BC Government Funding for Startups

  1. Vadim says:

    Thanks for putting this up, Maura! We met with IRAP yesterday. According to the technology dev adviser NRC-IRAP's budget for 2011 is unchanged from 2 years ago (presumably at the height of the financial crisis). The funding for 2011 has already been allocated to existing projects, although if you have a project that meets their requirements it can be put on a sort of waiting pool. The next budget review cycle is in April. It's a great presentation, but the money that's actually available for new entrepreneurs is in the form of a bagel hole. Would be great to hear other people's experiences with these programs.

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