Ontario Scale-Up Vouchers Program: Accelerating Ontario’s growing ventures

TORONTO, September 21, 2017 – The Ontario Scale-Up Vouchers Program (OSVP) announced today its official launch, as well as the first companies to receive support.

OSVP was created to help Ontario’s technology- and innovation-based firms to grow into globally competitive companies. The program provides access to capital and a network of growth coaches with proven expertise in areas including managing talent, revenue generation, intellectual property protection and innovation.

Coaches introduce firms to valuable networks and guide them through the voucher application process. Eligible companies use the voucher funds — ranging from $150,000 to $250,000 — to offset the costs associated with increasing sales, building talent, developing intellectual property and raising capital. A selection committee of industry leaders award the vouchers based on predefined selection criteria, such as market opportunity, revenue growth and whether the company offers a product or service.

Five companies have received vouchers to date.

  • Assent Compliance is a software and data company that helps firms ensure their products comply with market-access regulations.
  • Bioconnect is working to create a safer and more efficient world by transforming the way that people identify and authenticate themselves.
  • ScribbleLive is a leading content experience platform that helps brands and sports and media organizations to manage the full life cycle of their content.
  • Wattpad is the world’s largest community for readers and writers, helping people to discover, share and create stories.
  • You.i TV is a video software platform that simplifies how TV and media companies build immersive user experiences and does so in a way that delivers quality at a reasonable cost.

“Scaling up high-growth firms is essential to creating a dynamic, competitive and innovative economy,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Growth. “This new initiative is a great way to make sure our businesses and entrepreneurs can grow right here in Ontario. I would like to congratulate the first five voucher recipients and I look forward to their exciting achievements in the months and years to come.”

“Startups need both capital and mentorship to succeed at every stage of their development,” said Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “OSVP addresses that need, helping companies grow, meet demand, and create jobs right here in our province. The businesses selected to participate in this program have all shown great potential and it is our goal to help them flourish.”

“Ontario’s fast-growing young firms are powering our economy,” said Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS. “OSVP was created to support these companies as they expand in international markets. We have seen strong interest since the program’s soft launch in May, highlighting the demand for scale-up support in the province. MaRS and other partners provide services that are complementary to the OSVP to help accelerate the growth of our most promising companies. I have no doubt that they will become the next $50 to $100 million businesses.”

“The Ontario Scale-Up Vouchers Program is a great step in supporting the growth of Ontario companies within our communities. This is what our companies have been asking for and it will help them reach global potential,” said Iain Klugman, president and CEO of Communitech.

“Invest Ottawa is proud to work with the Government of Ontario and fellow innovation hubs to deliver the Ontario Scale-Up Vouchers Program and to accelerate the growth, success and economic impact of our most promising small to medium sized enterprises,” said Michael Tremblay, president and CEO of Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards. “This program is already helping high-growth Ottawa firms to build greater scale-up capacity and increase their global competitiveness in emerging technology markets. Spanning mobile transportation, the Internet of Things, software as a service, multimedia and next-generation networks, these companies are creating new jobs, exports and revenues that strengthen Ottawa’s technology ecosystem and fuel our regional economy.”

Quick facts

  • Canada’s fastest growing firms were responsible for nearly 50% of net job creation, despite comprising only 5% of businesses.
  • The OSVP has received 103 applications to date from the information and communications technology, life sciences, advanced materials and manufacturing, and clean technology sectors from across Ontario. All applicants are small and medium-size enterprises with less than 500 employees.
  • Five companies have been awarded $250,000 in vouchers during the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year, for a total of $1.25 million in disbursed funds.

About OSVP
OSVP is a four-year, $32.4-million initiative funded by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth and the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, and delivered through MaRSCommunitech and Invest Ottawa. The program aims to accelerate the growth rate of Ontario’s high-potential technology- and innovation-based firms into globally competitive companies that drive disproportionate growth in revenue, exports and employment.

Media contact
Lara Torvi
MaRS Discovery District