As startups mature and grow they require capital from different sources. Early on, grant funding is essential. These non-repayable investments help get technologies from the lab into the hands of customers and investors. As startups continue to develop, angel, venture capital and institutional investments become more important. These types of funding are often used to refine products, apply for patents and build out teams. All of these activities and funding rounds lead to piloting the technology with real users.
Different types of technologies have unique challenges when it comes to pilots. For example, many cleantech ventures face regulatory hurdles and high-capital costs of equipment and land. They also face technical risks associated with scaling their technologies. Finding funding for demonstration projects can be extremely difficult.
Thankfully, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) exists, providing funding to help companies complete projects, de-risk technologies and bring innovative ideas one step closer to the market. SDTC invests in projects that have strong consortiums, comprised of both academic and industry members, and contributes cash and in-kind support to complete the pre-commercial demonstration of cleantech solutions.
SDTC has recently announced over $70 million in funding for cleantech companies across Canada, including investments into seven Ontario ventures, five of which are engaged with MaRS.
These projects, in addition to others across Canada, will join the SDTC portfolio of about 300 projects, together leveraging over $1.8 billion in project financing. If past investments are any indicator, we’re likely to see great things from these companies in the future.