Feds support expansion of services at ventureLAB

Southern Ontario is home to some of the most dynamic and diverse technology hubs in North America. Our tech sector plays an important role in the success of our country’s economy.

The federal government is investing in tech companies so they can continue to push boundaries and expand to new markets, creating skilled jobs and strengthening the economy.

Over the past five years, FedDev Ontario has supported ventureLAB to establish the Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI), a state-of-the-art lab and accelerator that is helping Canadian hardware and semiconductor-focused companies grow and scale up to become globally competitive. The lab offers innovative companies resources to get their products to market faster, retain talent, raise capital and attract more customers. The HCI lab is Canada’s only semiconductor and hardware lab and accelerator, supporting companies that produce the technology that is key to high-growth areas like artificial intelligence (AI), medtech and automobility. To date, HCI has supported over 65 businesses, created and maintained 400 jobs, and created or licensed 80 new intellectual property.

Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), joined by the MP Mary Ng,  announced an investment of $4.5 million for ventureLAB. This support will accelerate the pool of investment-ready semiconductor and hardware technology companies via access to specialized equipment and services, to reduce the cost and time associated with getting Canadian-made products to market.

“Today’s investment is helping innovators in the technology sector build on their potential, bring their products to market faster and scale up their operations,” Tassi said. “Our government is pleased to support tech companies and the organizations that support them, like ventureLAB, as they find modern solutions to modern problems while creating a more connected and globally competitive Canada.”

This project will be an extension and expansion of the activities developed since the creation of the HCI. It is expected to build on past success and support 30 more companies, create and maintain over 170 high-quality jobs, and lead to the commercialization of 25 new products. Organizations like ventureLAB enable local semiconductor companies to create new, innovative solutions and a more globally competitive Canada.

“Our government is investing in a robust innovation coordinator right here in Markham, helping hardware technology companies grow to become global,” Ng said. “With the expansion of the Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI), VentureLAB will continue to help more businesses scale up and bring their innovations around the world while creating good jobs here in Ontario.”

Established in 2011, ventureLAB has worked with over 3,500 tech ventures, providing support and direct connections for founders to raise capital, attract and retain talent, commercialize technology and Intellectual Property, and acquire customers.

“At ventureLAB we focus on advancing Canadian hardware and semiconductor-focused companies to compete at the forefront of the global economy,” said Hug Chow, chief executive officer, ventureLAB. “This new investment in our Hardware Catalyst Initiative by FedDev Ontario will have a tremendous impact on our ability to continue to grow and scale these great hardtech companies from Canada, while also building a stronger knowledge-based economy.”

Recently, ventureLAB launched the HardTech Investor Network, a deep-tech-focused investor network backing Canadian pre-seed and seed-stage startups with over 30 investor members.

Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested over $35 million in more than 70 projects in Markham.


Photo: “With the expansion of the Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI), VentureLAB will continue to help more businesses scale up and bring their innovations around the world while creating good jobs here in Ontario,” said MP Mary Ng.

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