Funding in Canada

Funding in Canada

Hey folks.

And welcome to this week's episode of the
small tech podcast by Ephemere Creative.

I'm your host Raph.

And today we're going to be talking
about funding sources in Canada.

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So let's start talking
about funding in Canada.

There is a lot of funding
available in Canada.

There's so much from grants, from
foundations and from different

levels of government and all kinds
of other stuff available out there.

But we are going to be talking today
about, a few different grants and tax

credits that we have interacted with on
some level, maybe it's because we worked

with a client who received that grant.

Or tax credit.

Or because we used it ourselves.

They are programs that we have
at least some understanding of.

Specifically also, we'll be talking
about the types of funding that you

can get when working on a tech product.

First, let's talk about the
two big ones SR&ED and IRAP.

People call shred shred, because
it sounds kind of cool, I guess.

And it's easier than scientific
research and experimental development.

So people just shorten SRED to shred.

The program is a federal tax incentive
managed by the Canada revenue agency.

And basically the goal of it is to
incentivize Canadian businesses, to

participate in scientific research
and experimental development.

They want Canadian businesses
to do innovative things.

And basically the program just offers
a tax refund for any sort of eligible

research and development costs
that you might incur as a business.

So let's say you build something
and you did something really

interesting and innovative.

You basically would submit a write-up
to the government explaining why

that was different and innovative And
why it should qualify for a refund.

There are a bunch of different rules about
what sort of expenses actually qualify.

So you can't do standard off the shelf
dev work and submit that for a refund.

But if you did something interesting
where, for example, you took two off

the shelf systems and you needed some
sort of integration and you created a

new system to make these two different
tools, talk to each other and it's not

just off the shelf work but something
that is actually legitimately technically

complex and has some uncertainty to
it, then that is the type of thing

that you might be able to get refunded.

There are all kinds of other things
that qualify as well, but the

things that we've worked on that were
eligible for SR&ED were those types

of projects, basically connecting
different systems in a way that

off the shelf tools just couldn't.

And building something that wasn't
obvious where you really had to think

of a bunch of different approaches
and kind of experiment and see

what worked best and why and then
work through your implementation.

The next one is IRAP.

IRAP is managed by the national
research council of Canada.

It provides funding for a small
to medium size enterprises.

And the program focuses on the
development and commercialization

of innovative technologies.

It offers financial support,
technical services, and business

advice to eligible businesses.

Our experience with IRAP is very much that
you have to have a technology product.

That is either making money or can
make you money and fits into an

existing business that is making money.


There's a lot of emphasis on money.

Like, is this a thing that will
either make money as a product or

increase your revenues as a business?

With shred.

It's a little bit more open-ended you can
spend money on something interesting and

innovative, but it doesn't necessarily
have to be proven to make money for you.

Uh, or as a product or as a part of
your, your business, as long as you've

spent money on building something that
is innovative and interesting, and

that sort of fits all of the ticks,
all the boxes, then you're good to go.

With IRAP they're really looking for
products that can, that can make money.

And with that said, they'll
do a lot of different things.

They will hook you up with
different programs where they will

pay, for example, for you to, go
through like a security course.

And they will help you pay for audits
on your security and maybe architectural

aid if you're building a complex system,
they'll do all that kind of stuff.

But you really have to prove that you
have a thing that is going to make money

or you can sell or something like that.

Okay, next, we are going to talk
about student funding because

it's, there's a lot of it.

There's a lot of those types of programs.

Uh, I think basically Canada puts a lot of
energy into attracting students to Canada

and then wants to build an ecosystem here
with the talent that we have developed.

So first let's talk about, MITACS,
and that's M I T A C S not M Y T A X.

MITACS provides funding for
programs that really target.

Uh, university students I think
you can, you can work with

undergrads and graduate students.

The emphasis that I've seen in the
past was on, oh, you can get a bunch

of funding to hire a master's or a
doctoral student, which is kind of great.

You get access to them and you work
with their professors to build out

really interesting technologies.

They are really aimed at fostering
this sort of relationship

between academia and industry.

So MITACS really wants to build strong
relationships between companies and

universities and get them working
together and fostering like a

really strong bond between them.

Next, I'm going to talk about a program
that we've used a couple of times.

That was pretty great.

Uh, it's a work integrated
learning from ICTC.

Which is the information and
communications technology council.

And basically what they do is they
provide this, this funding called work,

integrated learning, which is you hire
a, current student for something like

a co-op or internship style program.

And for, that student for their term,
they will, they will provide you up

to 50% of that student salary up to
$5,000 or up to 70%, up to $7,000 if

they're an underrepresented group.

So if you're hiring someone who is
underrepresented in technology, you can

get up to $7,000, which is pretty great.

The next one is one that we have
applied for a couple of different

times, but never actually landed
because it is so competitive.

There are so many people applying for
this program because it's kind of awesome.

And it is called the digital
skills for youth program.

DS4Y, as it's referred to allows you to
hire unemployed or underemployed youth

meaning someone between 15 and 30 years
old, at small to medium sized businesses.

I think the cutoff is 500 employees.

So if you're a company under 500
employees, you can make use of this grant.

As long as the.

Youth you are hiring is learning
something about, digital skills

or working in the digital context
field, whatever technology.

So that might mean doing things like
software development or cybersecurity

or machine learning or whatever.

Anything that you can think of
really related to building a tech

product, probably makes sense.

And the great thing about this program
is it offers up to $30,000 per intern.

That includes wage subsidies,
benefits, training, and other costs.

Beyond that there are a wide
variety of more specialized

grants that are available.

There are a variety of funding programs
that you can use to, to help train

employees, there is funding available
from for wage subsidies for people

working in the environmental sector.

And there are a ton of others.

If you search for wage subsidies,
Canada, you will find giant

lists of programs available.

They each have sort of different
eligibilities that are occasionally

hard to navigate, so you'll need to
be careful as you're digging through

all of the details, but check it out.

There's a lot of stuff out there.


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So that's it for this week's episode
and we all want to do good in the world.

So go out there and build something.

Good folks.

See ya.

Episode Video

Creators and Guests

Raphaël Titsworth-Morin
Raphaël Titsworth-Morin
Trying to do good in the world with tech and design. I also take the occasional photograph. Co-founder of Éphémère Creative. He/him.