If you are looking for funding to develop an IT product or hire people, here are some useful federal and/or provincial programs that may help you. SR&ED is one of the most important ones, but there are others as well, and they can make all the difference in the development of your business.
Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC)
OIDMTC is a refundable tax credit that supports interactive media development in Ontario.
You can get refunded (up to 40% of the eligible expenses) for the money you spent on development of games, websites, educational and other interactive products, provided that
- they are interactive digital media products whose primary purpose is to educate, inform, or entertain
- their primary purpose is not to promote your company’s products or services directly (i.e. your own company website is not eligible)
- they are not primarily a tool for interpersonal communication (e.g. Skype would not be eligible)
- they achieve their primary purpose by presenting information in at least two of the following formats: text, sound or images
- they have been developed mostly in Ontario.
The eligible expenses include labour and, to a certain extent, marketing and distribution.
NRC-Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)
The National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program.
The company must be Canadian, have 500 employees or fewer, and be involved in advancing their technology and innovations through R&D.
The program provides funding for in-house technical labour and/or sub-contracted labour.
IRAP is different from SR&ED in that you must prepare a proposal and apply for funding in advance to obtain approval. There is, in general, more paperwork, and you have to report at predefined intervals how you have been spending the money you received.
NRC Youth IRAP
The eligibility criteria are similar to the NRC-IRAP program.
NRC Youth IRAP provides financial assistance to hire post-secondary science, engineering, technology, business and liberal arts graduates.
The program covers part of the salary of people working on technology-related projects under an internship 6-12 months long.
Maximum contribution is $30,000 towards salary costs.
The people hired under the program have to be Canadian citizens, 15 to 30 years of age, university graduates, not receiving Employment Insurance benefits and legally entitled to work according to relevant provincial legislation.
This really works. I know a group of young people, fresh graduates, who created a corporation, basically hired themselves under this program, and developed a website that subsequently became very popular. See also the next program that helps you to hire someone to take care of the online promotion of your products and services.
Small Business Internship Program (SBIP)
Under this program, small businesses can hire interns to promote the company online.
The Small Business Internship Program provides small and medium-sized enterprises financial support to hire a post secondary student intern to assist them in their adoption of e-business strategies to increase their productivity and competitiveness.
• The company has to be a small or medium business (less than 500 employees) and at least 1 year in operation
• It must have a web-site and wish to enhance e-business capability
• The program contributes a minimum of 25% of student wages and expenses
• Provides up to a max of $10,000
• Company must obtain pre-approval
Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit (ATTC) Ontario
Qualifying skilled trade approved by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
The corporation and apprentice that participate in the apprenticeship program must be:
• registered under the Ontario College of Trades, contract of apprenticeship
• registered under the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act
The list of eligible trades can be found here: http://www.rev.gov.on.ca/en/bulletins/ct/4015.html. Several of them are IT-related (from computer hardware technician to customer support).
This is a national internship program managed by MITACS.
Mitacs-Accelerate is Canada’s premiere research internship program. It connects companies with over 50 research-based universities through graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, who apply their specialized expertise to business research challenges. Interns transfer their skills from theory to real-world application, while the companies gain a competitive advantage by accessing high-quality research expertise.
The program is run in partnership with a consortium of Canadian research organizations.
You will find a more complete list of various funding programs here:
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