Ecosystem & Growth
5 Funding and Program Supports for BC Cleantech Startups
It’s no secret that organizations small and large can benefit from clean technology, whether meeting regulatory requirements, improving global competitiveness or reducing climate impacts. However, it can be challenging for cleantech startups to find early adopters willing to take a chance on new technology – indeed, many cleantech companies struggle to find grants or opportunities to demonstrate or scale up their solutions.
Luckily, Vancouver is home to one of the world’s top cleantech clusters, and offers access to many supports – whether funding, programming or both – created to help accelerate cleantech adoption within the region. Keep reading to learn about five programs designed to identify promising new technologies and facilitate their adoption among large enterprises.
What it is: Technology demonstration platform that connects enterprises with innovators to fast-track pilot projects and accelerate innovation.
Innovator opportunities: Project Greenlight’s ongoing calls for innovation challenge cleantech startups to propose solutions to challenges outlined by program members such as City of Coquitlam, City of Vancouver, TransLink and FortisBC.
News for innovators: Current calls for innovation include the City of Vancouver’s challenge seeking novel ideas addressing sustainability goals and digital priorities (deadline: April 30); FortisBC’s challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the transformation to a lower carbon economy (deadline: May 31); TransLink’s call for improved sustainability, operational performance and customer experience (deadline: May 31); and City of Coquitlam’s search for innovative ideas to reduce energy and emissions in its operations while increasing the resilience of city services (deadline: May 31).
Eager to pilot your technology solution?
Angels for Climate Solutions
What it is: Vancouver Economic Commission program that takes a cohort-based approach to training with intersecting investor and startup streams. Participating startups receive at minimum six weeks of intensive training; after a finale pitch night, one startup is granted $150,000 in seed funding.
Innovator opportunities: The current Angels for Climate Solutions cohort has unveiled five finalist startups that will engage in a dynamic pitch night on April 25, where the winner of the $150,000 investment will be revealed.
News for innovators: The winner of the Angels for Climate Solutions competition will be automatically nominated to receive additional seed grant funding of up to $100,000 from Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
What it is: Convenes innovators, industry, investors, government and academia to address urgent climate issues and support the global transition to a green economy.
Innovator opportunities: Foresight’s Innovation Challenges connect companies or governments facing sustainability hurdles with market-ready cleantech innovators.
News for innovators: Recently, Foresight received $5.2 million in funding from Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), together with $2.3 million from the Province of BC, to establish the BC Net Zero Innovation Network (BCNZIN), helping to accelerate the development of competitive cleantech solutions and move them to market. The initial focus will be on solutions for BC’s forestry, mining and water sectors.
What it is: Helps companies start and scale, trains talent to meet labour market needs, and encourages technology development, commercialization and adoption.
Innovator opportunities: Innovative BC’s ScaleUp program supports companies that have completed product market validation and are ready to ramp up development, manufacturing, marketing and sales, as well as scale business opportunities to the point where growth is self-sustaining.
News for innovators: Innovate BC has opened applications for its 2023 New Ventures BC Competition, which encourages early-stage ventures to apply and compete for the title of BC’s top tech startup. Competitors will have access to events, mentorship opportunities, an educational seminar series, and more than $250,00 in cash and prizes. Deadline for application submission is April 11, 2023.
Innovative Solutions Canada
What it is: Federal government support designed to stimulate technology research, development and commercialization of Canadian innovations.
Innovator opportunities: The program’s Challenge Stream and Testing Stream help startups and small- and medium-sized businesses overcome technology testing and development hurdles so they can produce products and services at scale.
News for innovators: Challenges currently posted to the Innovative Solutions Canada website include optical sensing technology solutions required by the Department of National Defense, and pre-commercial digitization and cybersecurity prototypes that can be tested in real-life settings within the federal government.