SmartGrowth Program

By mmuise
Description:

The SmartGrowth Program provides SMEs in southern Ontario’s food and agri-technology sectors access to acceleration financing to support scale-up and expansion projects.
Bioenterprise’s SmartGrowth program is a matching fund that provides eligible enterprises with:
- up to $100,000 in non-repayable funding;
- coaching/mentorship support services .


Comments on Funding:

Applicants can request up to 40% of the total budget (Eligible Project Costs) of the Eligible Project, limited to 20% of the Applicant’s Working Capital raised in the 2021 calendar year:
- Maximum funding contribution from the SmartGrowth Program is limited to $100,000 on projects with Eligible Project Costs of $250,000 or greater;
- Minimum funding contribution from the SmartGrowth Program is $40,000 on projects with minimum Eligible Project Costs of $100,000.
Applicants with approved projects will enter into a Contribution Agreement with Bioenterprise and will be required to pay Bioenterprise a Program Management Fee (PMF) of 4% of the total approved Eligible Project Costs with a minimum fee of $4,000 and a maximum fee of $10,000.

Deadline: Applications are closed. Stay tuned for future intake announcements.
Eligibility:

Applicants must be:

  • for-profit SMEs with technologies at or beyond Technology Readiness Level 7 (TRL-7+) stage of development;
  • businesses that operate in the digital agriculture sector and provide a benefit (directly or indirectly) to local and provincial agriculture and/or the producer/processor community;
  • businesses that have less than 500 employees;
  • incorporated in Canada and headquartered in southern Ontario (regions are outlined in the Program Guide);
  • businesses that have raised a minimum of $200,000 in Working Capital in the 2021 calendar year (Working Capital includes: Sales revenues (minimum of $100,000) plus Non-Arm’s Length Equity Investments raised).
Application Steps:

Applicants must:

1. complete the SmartGrowth Letter of Intent (LOI) Written Proposal Template;

2. complete the SmartGrowth LOI Intake Form;

3. attach the completed LOI Written Proposal along with a business plan and/or pitch deck and submit them. All LOIs received during open intake periods will be reviewed and assessed.

4. submit a Full Application, if invited; Only successful LOI applicants will be invited to submit a Full Application.

5. pay a one-time, non-refundable Application Fee of $200 + HST, if they submit a Full Application All application documents, including SmartGrowth Application Form, written proposal, and required appendices (for Letter of Intent and Full Application) must be submitted online using the Application Forms. Mailed, emailed, or faxed submissions will not be accepted.

Documentation Needed:

Applicants who have been invited to submit a Full Application must provide a complete package consisting of the following elements completed in full:
1. one electronic version of the online SmartGrowth R3: Full Application Form;
2. 2022-23 Full Application Workbook Miscrosoft Word template;
3. Budget Workbook Microsoft Excel template;
4. required appendices. The Full Application is the detailed information package on the proposed project, including:
1. detailed project plan outlining the objectives, activities, milestones, and outcomes;
2. summary of project partners and their involvement, as well as expected outcomes from their participation;
3. assessment of the projected economic growth, industrial benefits, and business outcomes of the proposed project;
4. implementation plan, including financial plan, rationale for the funding request, activity launch, timelines, and milestones initializing activities and achieving results;
5. description of the Applicant’s business and its technology innovation (including Technology Readiness Level), as well as long and short-term growth plans;
AND the Required appendices:
6. Critical Letters of Support as evidence of need and/or potential for commercial adoption (not required but encouraged);
7. two (2) years of financial statements reviewed and reported on by an independent external accountant with a minimum “Notice to Reader Report” to the most recently completed year-end;
8. internally prepared financial statements for the current fiscal year to the date of application submission;
9. pro-forma financial statements for the balance of the current fiscal year;
10. evidence of matching funding available or accessible by the Applicant, such as:
a) proof of available operating line of credit;
b) Letter of Comfort from the Applicant’s bank or accounting firm.

Other Things to Note:

I. The total funding available through the SmartGrowth Program is $2.4 million over a 4-year period from April 2020 through December 2023.
II. Successful applicants will receive a one-year complimentary Access membership to Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine upon successful project completion.
III. Digital Agriculture includes the following sub-sectors: 1. Agri-Biotech;
2. Agri-Management Tools;
3. Agri-Waste Management;
4. Animal Feed/Food;
5. Animal Health & Sciences;
6. Auaculture;
7. Bioenergy;
8. Bio-Products (e.g., bio-fibers, bio-composites);
9. Cannabis;
10. Cleantech;
11. Consumer Agri-Food Innovations (e.g., food & beverages);
12. Crop Science;
13. Equipment & Machinery;
14. Development;
15. Industrial Agri-Food Innovation (e.g., food processing technology);
16. Natural Health Products;
17. Plant Genetics;
18. Precision Agriculture & Data;
19. Analytics;
20. Seed Technology;
21. Water Management.

About the author
mmuise