Navigating Government Funding and Programming

Startup Gov Roundtable #3 in partnership with Innovation Canada, part of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED).

Through our Startup Gov program, entrepreneurs, community leaders, and ecosystem partners, have the opportunity to meet with key government officials. The purpose of these forums is to provide entrepreneurs the opportunity to share their perspectives and to advocate for the conditions required for entrepreneurial success in Canada. 

Seeking funding remains one of the top challenges for entrepreneurs. In the 2021 Canadian census, 43% of respondents rated experience in accessing or applying to government grants as difficult or very difficult. On June 17, we held our third government roundtable with Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED) to discuss navigating government and accessing their relevant entrepreneur funding and programming to address this concern. 

“Innovation Canada is committed to supporting entrepreneurs throughout their journey. So, it is important to find opportunities to connect with those entrepreneurs and business leaders where there are. Sessions like these allow us an opportunity to better understand the landscape and spread awareness about Government of Canada programs and services that are available to businesses across Canada.” – Sharon Peiris, Innovation Canada

“Creating spaces where entrepreneurs can directly connect with government is critical if we wish to reduce the silos that unfortunately exist in the entrepreneurial ecosystem between entrepreneurs and government decision makers. Opportunities such as our Startup Gov Roundtables seek to remedy two of the top concerns entrepreneurs face, and that is navigating government and accessing funding. We look forward to creating more opportunities for these sessions to occur in our 2023 programming.” – Natasha Morano, Director of Corporate and Government Affairs, Startup Canada 

About ISED

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) works with Canadians in all areas of the economy and in all parts of the country to improve conditions for investment, enhance Canada’s innovation performance, increase Canada’s share of global trade and build a fair, efficient and competitive marketplace. They are the federal institution that leads the Innovation, Science and Economic Development portfolio. From funding to expert advice to driving new collaborations, Innovation Canada’s programs provide funding, support, and services to Canadian entrepreneurs.

Learn more here

Support Available for Entrepreneurs

In this session, the Innovation Canada team from ISED provided an overview of some of the government resources available to entrepreneurs. Here were the key takeaways from the session:

Business Benefits Finder

The Business Benefits Finder at is an online tool that helps entrepreneurs find relevant funding and programming to help start, grow and scale. By answering a few simple questions about your business, sector, and the stage of your business journey, you will receive a tailored list of right-for-you programs and services which may include funding opportunities, wage subsidies, loans, tax credits, and more. You can also subscribe to notifications to stay up to date when new relevant programs are announced, existing programs change, or to be reminded of approaching application deadlines.

Innovation Advisors

Innovation Advisors are former private sector leaders and entrepreneurs with experience and expertise across a wide range of sectors who can support entrepreneurs in navigating the government landscape. There are several innovation advisors in each region across Canada that can meet with eligible founders and business leaders on a one-on-one basis to help you identify the right people and programs, and to provide support and advice to help you grow your business. To find your local innovation advisor, check here

Accelerated Growth Service

The Accelerated Growth Service (AGS) is catered towards scaling companies typically with $5M-20M in revenue. Innovation Advisors will assemble a team of key partners from across 70+ government partners (including Export Development, Trade Commissioners, and more) to support eligible entrepreneurs in their growth journey. To learn more about AGS, click here

Some Additional Government Startup Programs

About Startup Gov

To learn more about our Startup Gov programming at Startup Canada, visit and stay tuned for our annual flagship event Startup Day (formerly Startup Day on the Hill), a one-day hybrid event on October 20, 2022 that gathers entrepreneurs, innovators, industry executives, and government representatives to raise the bar for Canada as a globally competitive and innovative nation.