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SDTC Seed Fund Program supports promising early-stage Canadian cleantech entrepreneurs by providing grants of $50,000 to $100,000 to innovative technological projects with environmental and sustainability benefits. Potential applicants must be nominated by one of our accelerator partners.  

Submitting accelerators and applicants should familiarize themselves with the Information and Eligibility Criteria below.

Information and Eligibility Criteria

INFORMATION FOR ACCELERATORS

Invitation-only: SDTC works in partnership with a select group of Canadian accelerators which refer applicants to SDTC for seed funding.

Recommendation Letter: The nominating accelerator must submit a letter of recommendation on behalf of the applicant clearly articulating the following points:

  • Rationale for why the applicant should be considered for SDTC seed funding, including its key strengths and potential risks (please use the format provided by SDTC).
  • Confirmation the applicant is, or has been in the last 12 months, a member of the accelerator program. As such, the Applicant should benefit from the accelerator’s services and support such as business advisory, funding assistance, mentorship, and in-kind services.
  • Certification that no commission or finder’s fee shall be deducted from SDTC’s grant to the applicant.
  • Acknowledgment that accelerators and applicants must obtain SDTC’s written consent prior to issuing any publicity related to seed funding.

INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS

Accelerator referral and membership: The applicant must be referred to SDTC for seed funding by an SDTC-invited accelerator from which it is currently, or has been, a member in the previous 12 months.

Canadian company: the applicant must be Canadian owned and incorporated in Canada prior to applying.

Innovation: The applicant must be developing a solution with intellectual property potential.

Environmental or sustainability benefits: The project should have potential for clear and broad environmental and/or sustainability benefits.

Grants: SDTC Seed Fund will award non dilutive contributions of $50,000 to $100,000 each.

Private EquityApplicant must have raised in private equity funding (without recourses) at least twice (200%) the amount requested as a grant from SDTC in the last 9 months. 

Acceptable funding: Company must have CLOSED at least 2x the grant amount with a minimum raise of $100k from a non-government and non-related party IN CASH within the past 9 months. Investment must be for equity without recourse – no royalty, no provision for repayment ahead of return of funds to SDTC for any reason.

Not acceptable funding: Government funding, debt, Friends and Family’s or applicant’s own funds, convertible notes or debt.

No prior funding from SDTC: Applicant should not:

  • have secured prior funding from SDTC,
  • have been rejected for seed funding by SDTC in the prior year,
  • apply simultaneously to SDTC Seed Fund and SDTC Tech Fund.

Timing: SDTC has developed a swift and efficient selection process and intends to be providing funding of these projects within 8 weeks from initial application.

Confidentiality: All material and information submitted by the applicant will be treated as confidential by SDTC except if required by the law.

Publicity and Announcements: Any public releases about SDTC funding from accelerators or applicants will require prior approval from SDTC.

HOW TO APPLY

With up to 100 companies funded annually, funding rounds open every 3-4 months with a timeline of just 8 weeks to move from application submission to payment.

Phase One: Referrals 

  1. Seed Fund applicants must be nominated by invited accelerators.  
  2. An accelerator partner must provide the applicant with a recommendation letter

Phase Two: Applications  

Once nominated by a partner accelerator, applicants will be invited to complete their application in two steps:

  1. Applicants will receive a personalized web link to complete an online application form. Please note that this form cannot be modified once submitted. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the questions in advance and prepare their answers prior to completing the online form. Click here to view a read-only version of the application form.
  2. SDTC will send an invitation to each applicant to join a Team. Applicants will find supporting documents required to complete the application in their Team under the <Guidelines and Applications Documents> Tab and should upload all documents under the “Application Documents UPLOAD” Tab. The list of required supporting documents, in addition to the Application Form include: 
    1. Letter of Recommendation from accelerator partner (This is a sample read-only PDF for reference purposes)
    2. Investor/ Pitch Deck
    3. Signed Investors Agreements/ Subscription Agreements
    4. Bank Statements (last 3 months)
    5. CV of Key team members
    6. Financial statements and Financial Model (if available)
    7. Declaration of SDTC ineligible costs (This is a read-only PDF document. Please DO NOT fill out this form.)
    8. Acknowledgement and Acceptance of SDTC terms and conditions (This is a read-only PDF document. Please DO NOT fill out this form.)
    9. Other relevant documents shared with other investors

Phase Three: Presentations & Deliberations

  1. If the application is eligible, candidates will be invited to a pitch session where they will have the chance to deliver a 5-minute pitch followed by a Q & A session with the Seed Fund Jury. Presentation times will be confirmed in the week before jury week.  
  2. The pitch is your chance to convince the Jury of how you will leverage SDTC’s support to advance your business.  The pitch should showcase for the jurors your:  
    1. Value Proposition, including an understanding of the market opportunity and size  
    2. The competitive landscape and customer acquisition plan (including Intellectual Property Strategy)
    3. Team and advisor capability and skills 
    4. Articulating how you plan to deliver environmental benefits. 
  3. Following the pitch sessions, the jurors will deliberate and make recommendations to SDTC’s Board of Directors for a final funding decision. Please refer to Important Dates.

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