Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Voucher?
In the final stages of the Ontario Scale-Up Vouchers Program, participating firms can apply to receive a voucher. Vouchers are awarded by an independent selection committee comprising senior technology and innovation leaders. The voucher details are as follows:
- Up to $1 million voucher value—with an expectation for firm to match 100% of the voucher(up to $1 million)
The structure and terms of the voucher afford scale-up firms maximum flexibility. Firms receive contracts outlining the specific terms of their voucher arrangement, which include the following two key terms:
- Expiry after 24 months
One-time recipient of voucher
The vouchers can be used in a range of both direct and indirect expenses to help the firms execute on their growth strategy in the areas of talent, financing product/IP and international expansion. Voucher capital is disseminated in tranches.
What is a Growth Coach?
Growth Coaches are senior leaders who have proven functional expertise in one or more of these four key areas:
- Talent management
- Sales and revenue growth
- Protection of intellectual property and innovation
- Access to capital
A select number of growth coaches are also C-level technology and innovation sector leaders, with generalist experience building and scaling companies in Ontario.
What are technology- or innovation-intensive industries?
Ontario is home to many high-potential innovative businesses that contribute to the vibrancy of our economy. For the purposes of this program, technology- and innovation-intensive industries are defined as follows:
- Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
- Advanced Materials and Manufacturing
- Clean Technology
- Life Sciences
What is the Voucher Selection Criteria?
As part of the program, firms can work with their growth coaches to complete a growth blueprint and financial voucher application. An independent selection committee reviews this information, as well as details provided in the program application form. The committee scores applications based on the following criteria:
- Core product/service offering—clearly validated problem solution fit
- Competitive & differentiated—clear customer oriented competitive differentiation
- IP strategy and R&D—firm is R&D intensive, with strong IP, and roadmap for product development
- Capital strategy—alignment between business strategy and financing
- Market opportunity—market size and growth rate. Well thought out market approach.
- International expansion—demonstrates strong potential for international expansion.
- Executive team—alignment between the team, its background and the firm’s growth strategy
- Talent—expansion plans where functions and roles are connected with roadmap, capital and revenue growth
- Revenue growth—double-digit growth forecast supported by solid plans
What is an Ontario-based firm?
A firm is considered Ontario-based when it meets the following criteria:
- Privately held
- Paid, in respect of each fiscal year of the firm, at least 50% of its wages, salaries and fees to employees and contractors who spent a majority of their time working in Ontario
- It has, in respect of each fiscal year of the firm, 50% or more of its full-time employees with their ordinary place of work in Ontario (provided that in the case of employees who were employees for only part of the year, and not the entire year, such calculation shall be done on a weighted average basis)
- It has, in respect of each fiscal year of the firm, 50% or more of its senior executives (VP and above) with their “principal residence” (within the meaning of the Tax Act) in Ontario