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Invest Nova Scotia Accelerate helps Nova Scotia technology companies get investment-ready.

If you have a high potential start-up approaching investment readiness, we can help.

Invest Nova Scotia Accelerate is now closed for submissions. The deadline for applications was Friday, February 2, 2024, by 11:59 pm AT.

About Invest Nova Scotia Accelerate

Delivered virtually, Invest Nova Scotia Accelerate is a milestone-based program that helps Nova Scotia start-ups get investment-ready. We are focused on five sectors where we can leverage our deep in-house expertise and our network of experts and investors to deliver value to our clients:

Accelerate Agriculture Tech: a cohort for start-ups addressing the global food production challenges while reducing dependency on fossil fuels or petrochemicals.

Accelerate Clean Tech: a cohort for start-ups addressing climate change and clean air, water and soil.

Accelerate Health Tech: a cohort for start-ups developing new therapeutics, medical devices or digital health technologies solving large unmet healthcare needs.

Accelerate Ocean Tech: a cohort for start-ups developing solutions in ocean health, fisheries and aquaculture, offshore energy, shipborne technologies and marine bioresources.

Accelerate Software: a cohort for start-ups working on software solutions leveraging artificial intelligence, computer vision, blockchain, or data network effects to solve large unmet market needs.

Invest Nova Scotia Accelerate is being delivered in a five-month sprint. Participating companies each receive up to $40,000 in non-dilutive, non-repayable funding to address key technical and business milestones. Companies are eligible to participate in up to two cohorts.

In addition to funding, companies get access to a series of acceleration activities and resources. Resources are tailored to the cohorts to provide support where participants need it most. Participants should make every effort to take advantage of all the activities and resources offered, which include:

  • One-on-one weekly meetings with an advisor carefully matched from our network of sector-focused investment and technology commercialization executives.
  • Monthly workshops and expert advice on a variety of investment-readiness topics. Topics will be tailored to the cohort participants’ industries and needs. Subjects covered during previous cohorts include human resources, IP strategy, term-sheets, raising capital, storytelling and more.
  • Perks Program offers discounts to 100+ vendors such as Hubspot, Google Cloud, Zoom, Slack, AWS and more.

A minimum of five awards is expected in the current round of Invest Nova Scotia Accelerate.

Important Dates:

Call for submissions: January 10, 2024
Submission deadline: February 2, 2024
Shortlisted companies notified: February 20, 2024
Shortlist pitches: February 27-28, 2024
Winners notified: March 5, 2024
Program begins: April 1, 2024

Eligibility

We’re seeking companies that we see as pipeline for our investment fund in the five sector streams described above.

  • Location: Nova Scotia-based. Applicants must be a Nova Scotia registered business in good standing (current registration on the Registry of Joint Stock Companies), have a permanent establishment and have most of its workforce and the majority of its senior leadership residing in Nova Scotia. Details on how to register with Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies (RJSC) are available from Service Nova Scotia.
  • Financing: Less than $1 million in cumulative sales and less than $250,000 in equity investment (including convertible debt) raised to date
  • Stage: In addition to having identified a large market pain and market opportunity and having established a company around a customer-validated solution, competitive applicants have conducted a thorough competitive analysis and achieved proof of concept or minimum viable product (MVP)
  • People: Entrants must be the majority owner(s) (51 per cent or more) of the company and plan to work full-time with the business

Invest Nova Scotia investment portfolio companies are ineligible for this opportunity.

Evaluation

Submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Management Team: Skillset of key individual(s); entrepreneurial track record; capacity to develop the company and handle risks associated with the venture. We expect applicants to have strong technical and business team members.
  • Market Pain & Value Proposition: Problem and size of the market pain (i.e., large international market); solution (i.e., how it works, how it solves the problem, how it is unique); value proposition (i.e., how much time or money the customer will save/generate by using the solution).
  • Market Opportunity & Business Model: Description of target customers; quantity of customers; customer validation; revenue model; size of the market opportunity.
  • Competition & Go-to-Market: Competitive analysis; barriers to entry (e.g., IP, proprietary data collection); pricing; go-to-market strategy.
  • Accelerate Milestones & Success Metrics: Plan and timeline for Invest Nova Scotia Accelerate milestones; list of key activities to achieve milestones; detailed budget for up to $40,000; evidence of execution on past key milestones.
  • Capital Requirements & Investment Potential: Feasible, clear plan of execution; venture capital investment potential (i.e., high-growth potential, large market opportunity, attractive return prospects).

How to Apply

Invest Nova Scotia Accelerate is now closed for submissions. Applicants were asked to complete the Microsoft Word APPLICATION FORM, answering the questions in the boxes provided, and submit it online.

Please note that Invest Nova Scotia is unable to accommodate updates once summaries are submitted.

For any questions you may have, reach out to Kaitlin Webb at accelerate@investnovascotia.ca.