New Ontario Program to Help Start-Ups & Small/Medium-Sized Businesses

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Source: Ontario Centres of Excellence

A new program that will help start-ups and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Ontario increase their global competitiveness while solving public sector business challenges.

Delivered by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) on behalf of the Government of Ontario, the Small Business Innovation Challenge (SBIC) is a $28.8-million program that seeks high-potential, technology-driven start-ups and SMEs with up to 500 employees to solve public sector business challenges and drive economic benefits to Ontario.
Part of Ontario's Business Growth Initiative, SBIC continues Ontario's support for the development and demonstration of innovative technologies with high potential for public procurement and diffusion. SBIC provides direct funding to Ontario start-ups and SMEs to address pressing public sector business challenges in an applied setting, while also providing them with a platform to springboard their technology innovations from the conceptual stage to globally competitive products and services.
Modelled after successful programs in the United Kingdom and the United States, SBIC will:
  • Provide start-ups and SMEs with an opportunity to develop, test, demonstrate, and introduce their products in an applied setting with an eye towards eventual market entry;
  • Increase commercialization opportunities for start-ups and SMEs through direct funding support; and
  • Provide a stronger footing for Ontario start-ups and SMEs to compete domestically and abroad in both the public and private sectors.
Inaugural call for proposals

The first two areas of interest identified by Champion Ministries are Digital Identity, from the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) and Vehicle Occupancy Detection, from the Ministry of Transportation (MTO). Application intake begins on February 14, 2017 and ends at 2 p.m. on March 31, 2017 for Digital Identity and 2 p.m. on April 21, 2017 for Vehicle Occupancy Detection.

OCE will host an SBIC Partnering Forum on March 1 from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. in Toronto. Please share this with companies in your network you think may be a fit for this event. If you would like to participate in the Partnering Forum, you can sign up on the registration page.


For more information about this initiative, please visit the SBIC web page or contact Laura Yu, Business Development and Innovation Procurement Manager, Ontario Centres of Excellence, at or 416.861.1092 x 9 1015.