Supporting Innovative Businesses in British Columbia

Content provided by the Government of Canada

Funding will help Canadian SMEs grow, prosper and create jobs

November 21, 2014 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Industry Canada

The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia, today announced a major investment in four British Columbia incubator and accelerator organizations that will help innovative small and medium-sized B.C. enterprises grow, prosper and create jobs.

The funds, distributed under the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program, will ensure Canadian entrepreneurs have access to the resources and expertise needed to develop their business plans, seek follow-on financing and explore new international markets for products and services.

Quick facts

  • The BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) will receive up to $10.4 million. BCTIA supports the development, growth and advancement of B.C. technology companies of all sizes and in all sectors. Through a variety of innovative incubation and acceleration programs, companies have access to the resources that matter most: mentors, customers, partners and investors‎.
  • HIGHLINE will receive up to $600,000. HIGHLINE, formerly GrowLab Ventures Inc., is a start-up accelerator based in Vancouver and Toronto. This venture capital–backed for-profit organization helps digital entrepreneurs build companies that achieve product-market fit and secure institutional capital. HIGHLINE gives digital founders an edge through timely seed funding, intense mentorship, global connectivity, curated workspace and three months of specialized programming.
  • The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), in collaboration with CDRD Ventures Inc. (CVI), will receive up to $10.9 million. CDRD is a robust incubator and Canada’s national not-for-profit drug development and commercialization centre. It aims to de-risk discoveries stemming from academic health research, adding value and transforming them into viable investment opportunities for the private sector. CVI, CDRD’s commercialization vehicle, acts as an accelerator, selecting promising technologies with the goal of advancing them to a stage where they can attract licensing or co-development partners or form new spin-off companies.
  • Wavefront Wireless Commercialization Centre Society will receive up to $9.5 million. Wavefront is Canada’s Centre of Excellence for Wireless Commercialization and Research. It helps accelerate the growth and success of wireless companies, connecting them with critical resources, partners and opportunities, to drive economic and social benefits for Canada.
  • These four organizations will provide entrepreneurs in early-stage companies with invaluable resources and access to world-class mentoring and coaching to ensure their success.
  • On June 20, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the 15 incubators and accelerators that were chosen to advance in the selection process for the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP), which is designed to help outstanding small and medium-sized Canadian enterprises grow, prosper and create jobs.
  • Delivered by the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, CAIP provides support in the form of non-repayable contributions to a small and select number of best-in-class accelerators and incubators. Recipients will be required to demonstrate matching contributions on at least a 1:1 basis during the period of the contribution funding.


“By investing in British Columbia’s incubator and accelerator organizations, we are ensuring local promising start-up businesses have the resources they need to grow, innovate and create jobs. Our government is pleased to be supporting private sector–led initiatives that will further strengthen our venture capital market.”

– James Moore, Minister of Industry

“Vancouver is the place to start and grow a technology company. We are a gateway to world markets, we’ve got access to fantastic talent and our entrepreneurial spirit is globally recognized. Through the support of the Government of Canada and the industry, the BCTIA Innovation Hub has moved from a dream to a reality. The Hub is an open, collaborative place where entrepreneurs and business leaders will make connections, grow companies and create jobs for British Columbia and Canada.”

– Bill Tam, President and CEO, BC Technology Industry Association

“We are thrilled about receiving CAIP support to further expand services to our portfolio companies that are headquartered here with the ambition to grow into global category leaders. In particular, we will be able to provide new specialized programs that will not only accelerate our start-ups to product-market fit but also shine a national spotlight on top program grads to further help them secure institutional follow-on capital.”

– Marcus Daniels, Co-Founder and CEO, HIGHLINE

“It is crucial for Canada’s R&D ecosystem to be adequately resourced. As an enterprise committed to bridging the commercialization gap between early-stage academic research and industry, CDRD/CVI acknowledges and appreciates its partnership with the federal government—one that has been essential in enabling the significant milestones and outcomes we have realized to date.”

– Karimah Es Sabar, President and CEO, Centre for Drug Research and Development

“Recognized as Canada’s Accelerator of the Year in 2014, Wavefront is committed to accelerating the growth and success of wireless companies in Canada. Our programs connect promising technology innovators with critical resources, partners and opportunities. Funding from CAIP will support expansion across Canada of Wavefront’s successful regional programs, helping more Canadian companies gain traction, create jobs and succeed in global wireless and Internet of Things markets.”

– James Maynard, President and CEO, Wavefront Wireless Commercialization Centre Society

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