At Invest Ottawa, we passionately foster entrepreneurship, accelerate startups and scale established businesses.
Small Business Enterprise Centre
Our Small Business Enterprise Centre serves ideation, early-stage and established entrepreneurs and business owners who aim to start or grow a product or service-based business. With the advice of our impressive roster of experts and our various programs, entrepreneurs and business owners work to address critical roadblocks, identify and seize new opportunities, and overcome challenges.
Venture Acceleration and Scale-Up
The Venture Acceleration and Scale-Up teams aim to enable and accelerate the development and success of high-growth Ottawa technology firms. To support these clients, our teams deliver an integrated suite of programs and services that catalyze growth, customer, market and investor-readiness, and commercial success.
Digital Main Street
Digital Main Street (DMS) offers funding and services that help main street businesses adopt digital tools and technologies. From building a website or online store, to introducing a point of sale system, to attract new customers with digital marketing campaigns, DMS services are completely cost-free. Digital Main Street was introduced to small businesses in Eastern Ontario in June 2020 to help them survive COVID-19 economic impact, generate new revenues, and thrive in the new economy.
Starter Company Plus
Starter Company Plus is a three-month training program for entrepreneurs who are just starting a new business. The program is open to product makers, service providers, and retailers. Starter Company Plus participants receive exclusive access to a series of online live-recorded training sessions as well as access to a business mentor. At the conclusion of the training program, graduates will pitch a lean business plan to a panel of judges for an opportunity to be awarded a grant of $5000 towards business startup costs.
Note: This program is not designed for tech and software startups. If you are an early stage tech startup, The IO Pre-Accelerator or Accelerator might be right for you.
The Summer Company Program offers students who are between semesters, either in secondary or post-secondary education, the skills and knowledge to start up a successful business during the Summer break. You will receive dedicated workshops, hands-on mentorship and funding to help your business thrive. If your application is accepted, you will be eligible to receive an award of up to $3000, with up to $1,500 up front to help underwrite start-up costs, and up to $1,500 upon successful completion of the program.
Offering unbiased advice and guidance and a community that holds you accountable, the IO Peer Group is a program for business owners looking to work through professional challenges and tackle tough business issues in a group of peers who face similar challenges. These groups are facilitated by industry leaders who have started and scaled their own ventures and are prepared to lead you through your toughest challenges.
The IO Pre-Accelerator is a 10-week boot camp designed to help founders at the early stages of building a tech startup to validate their ideas and solidify their business foundations. During the 10 weeks, founders gain access to 10 workshops, drop-in access to Invest Ottawa’s accelerator space, one-on-one mentorship hours with former entrepreneurs and industry experts, and networking opportunities with other tech startup founders.
The IO Accelerator is designed to rapidly and systematically accelerate the development and commercial success of high growth tech startups. In a phased and milestone-based approach, founders push themselves over 12 to 18 months to create a scalable and globally competitive technology company. Founders receive a minimum of 5 hours of mentorship per week from experts in a variety of management fields, guidance and introductions to investors, curated market research, as well as access to the IO accelerator space and startup community.
Designed for high-potential product-based technology firms, the Scale-Up Platform provides advisory services, networks and programming to help overcome three key challenges to rapid growth and market success – customers, revenue and talent. The platform is jointly delivered by Invest Ottawa, Communitech, and MaRs Discovery District to help scale-up firms rapidly scale revenues or teams and increase their potential of becoming $100M companies.
Next Generation Networks Program
The Next Generation Network Program helps small- and medium-sized enterprises accelerate their commercialization by offering no-cost access to enterprise-scale, distributed computing and networking testbed. In addition, program participants receive funding, business advisory services, as well as resources for hiring interns and skill training. Whether you have a SaaS product and you are reaching for the next million downloads, a system that facilitates end-to-end connectivity, or an IoT product, this program could be for you.
The ENCQOR 5G Program provides open access to state-of-the-art-5G radio, infrastructure (iPaaS) and technology that enables pre-commercial development, testing and demonstration. Program participants receive access to a pre-commercial 5G wireless platform that comes with access to developer toolkits, open APIs, cloud services, and 5G handsets. In addition, advisory services, customized market research reports are provided to program participants at no cost.