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AC JumpStart

Grants and In-Kind Services to Ontario Entrepreneurs and
Technology Startups for an Acceleration and Mentorship Program

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

Deadline Date:

08/09/20 11:59 PM


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Grants of $30,000 and in-kind services valued at up to $10,000 to Ontario entrepreneurs and technology startups for an acceleration and mentorship program. Funding is intended to assist entrepreneurs in establishing and growing their businesses. Entrepreneurs must be an early-stage company, have an innovative technology product or process, limited R&D, and working towards commercialization. Eligible companies must be based in Southern Ontario.

AC JumpStart is a technology sector acceleration program designed to assist high-potential startups with the commercialization of new products and the development of new businesses. AC JumpStart will provide qualified companies with mentorship and matching seed financing.

AC Jumpstart's Goal: To help create more market, customer and investment-ready firms in many sectors, enable these companies to achieve rapid traction and commercial impact, and drive their sustainable contribution to the regional economy.

Access to Funding

The program provides seed funding to support eligible, mission critical activities during the formative stage of development.

Dedicated Mentorship

The AC has developed an internationally-recognized mentorship program for startup technology businesses and their founders. AC JumpStart recipients will receive in-kind mentorship services for 12 months from world-class mentors in the following disciplines:

  • Sales and Marketing
  • Public Relations and Communication
  • Technology and Product Management
  • Product Design
  • Finance
  • Human Resources, Leadership, and Culture
  • Customer Experience
  • Digital Demand Generation

Completion of mentorship hours is a mandatory part of the AC JumpStart programming. Participants in the program agree to complete five hours of mentoring with the in-house team per month.

Market Research and Validation

AC JumpStart will provide companies access to the market research and analysis expertise of an AC Market Research Service Provider. Each company will have the opportunity to receive 1) Secondary Market Research and a set of targeted 2) Sales Prospects after completion of an interview and evaluation form.

Linkages to Prospective Investors and Customers

AC JumpStart will broker linkages between companies, and prospective customers, investors, and R&D partners. Each participating company will have the opportunity to tap into the broad and collective regional, national, and international networks established by all partners.

Potential for Incubation at the Accelerator Centre

Participants in the AC JumpStart program may also qualify for acceptance into one of the Accelerator Centre’s additional programs. If accepted, applicants will receive increased mentorship support, turnkey workspaces, and access to networking and educational events. Additional information can be found online at

For information about eligible activities and costs, please see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 158763

Estimated Size of Grant:

- AC JumpStart provides high-potential companies with an initial $30,000 in seed funding at a critical and formative stage of development. A select number of University of Waterloo AC JumpStart applicants are also eligible to receive matching capital from the University (eg. top University of Waterloo applicants may receive a total of $60,000 in seed funding).
- AC JumpStart participants will receive up to $10,000 of in-kind services with a team of in-house mentors.

Term of Contract:

AC JumpStart recipients will receive in-kind mentorship services for 12 months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following are strict criteria for AC JumpStart eligibility:

- Company must be based in Southern Ontario, as defined by FedDev Ontario (see link in Grant Coverage Area section below).
- Company must be incorporated in Canada, or show proof of a plan to incorporate upon receiving the funds.
- Entrepreneur must be an early-stage company, have an innovative technology product or process, limited R&D, and are working towards commercialization (see definition from Investopedia here:
- Company must not have received previous investment from:
- Scientists and Engineers in Business (SEB) fellowship
- NFPs and post-secondary institutions under SEB to deliver seed funding (OCE SmartStart, RIC VentureStart, Next36, BioEnterprise, Northumberland CFDC, etc.)
- Commercialization fellowships (University of Waterloo, McMaster, University of Toronto, Carleton)
- Previous JumpStart funding recipients
- AC JumpStart investment amount must be matched in cash (such as angel/VC investors, friends/family/founders, academic institution, government sources, and/or industry investors). Funds must be shown in the business's bank account.
- University of Waterloo alumni who received their last degree within five years and have technology innovations or ideas suitable for business startups are eligible for the university matching funds. As this is a competitive process, only the top university applicants as selected by a review committee will be invited to present their business opportunity. Please note that University of Waterloo employees (faculty, staff, researchers, etc.) are not eligible for this AC JumpStart stream.
- Conestoga College stream applicants must be in touch with the Conestoga Centre for Entrepreneurship (C4E) before applying.
- Must show proof of funds and project spending plan

Ineligible costs for project activities may include:

- Unreasonable, or costs not related to the eligible activities
- Costs incurred prior to the date of the proposal approval
- Major infrastructure and capital costs such as land, building, and related constructions costs
- Food, accommodation, and entertainment costs
- Tuition costs fees for administrators, including payments to any member or office of the recipient’s Board of Directors

Pre-Application Information:

Applications close Sunday, August 9 at 11:59 pm.

Applicants for the AC JumpStart Program must have access to the required $30,000 funding match at the onset of programming.

AC Jumpstart video:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For additional AC JumpStart and/or program eligibility, please contact:

Chris Leclerc
Coordinator, Programs & Client Experience
Accelerator Centre
295 Hagey Blvd, 1st Floor
Waterloo, ON N2L 6R5

Grant Coverage Areas:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario;

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