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Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre


We work with you and for you to obtain funding sources for startups and growing businesses. We have a number of funding programs available exclusively through SSMIC, as well as a strong network and expert business advisors to help connect you with the financial resources you need to start and grow your business.

Nous travaillons avec vous et pour vous afin d’obtenir des sources de financement pour les entreprises en démarage et en croissance. Nous avons un certain nombre de programmes de financement disponibles exclusivement par l’intermédiaire de SSMIC, ainsi qu’un réseau solide et des conseillers professionnels chevronnés qui vous aideront à vous connecter avec les ressources financières dont vous avez besoin pour créer et développer votre entreprise.




Program Description

With the assistance of FedNor, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) is offering the Business Technology Improvement Fund (BTIF), which aims to assist SMEs in digital technology adoption, enhancement and implementation. The key objective of this program is to further accelerate growth of the SME’s business, while making them more modernized and competitive in today’s global digital marketplace. SSMIC’s role within the BTIF program is to advise and facilitate the SME during the selection and adoption of technology solutions to ensure their business goals are met. This will involve working with eligible businesses to help define its goals, recommend courses of action, and implement solutions to enhance the business’s competitive advantage. SSMIC’s focus during this process will be as the SME’s initial advisory resource for the application and advocate for the project’s success. SSMIC encourages the use of an Algoma district service provider(s) to implement a project’s requirements.


The BTIF program is open to Algoma district SMEs* looking to enhance its business by adopting digital solutions.

Digital Solutions can be categorized in several areas such as (but not limited to):

  • E-business enabling technologies
  • business operation software,
  • design/integration,
  • hardware.

Some specific eligible activities are (but not limited to):

  • e-business enabling technologies and added functionalities that can provide competitive edge to SMEs
  • e-commerce integration,
  • search engine optimization/marketing,
  • CRM/ERP software integration,
  • custom software development,
  • one-time or subscription-based software/service costs,
  • hardware,
  • technical assessments and consultations.

*Eligible SMEs under the program may include, but are not limited to, the following industry sector categories:

Advanced Manufacturing; Agri-Food; Health/Biosciences; Clean Technology; Digital; Tourism; Resources.

SMEs are eligible to apply for the BTIF provided they meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Operating as For-Profit (registered sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation) within the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre service area (Algoma)
  • Businesses must be in operations for a minimum of one year.
  • Established seasonal businesses are eligible
  • NOTE: Not-for-profit organizations are NOT eligible.

A business who has previously received funding from BTIF may potentially be eligible for funding under the following conditions:

  • Funding availability under the BTIF program.
  • Three years has passed since the completion date of the original BTIF funded project.
  • If applying within three years of the completion of the original BTIF funded project, a business may potentially receive funding if the original project received funding below the $25,000.00 funding cap. The new project is potentially eligible for funding of up to a maximum of $25,000.00 combined with the funding provided from the previous project.

Example: If my business received funding from the BTIF in 2019 which totaled $20,000.00 and I am applying for BTIF for a project in 2021, my business is potentially eligible for funding of up to a maximum of $5,000.00, totaling $25,000.00.

Please contact SSMIC for more information on possible eligible projects.

Ineligible Activities

Some examples of ineligible projects are (Please contact SSMIC for more information on possible ineligible projects):

On-going operational activities of the Applicant such as:

  • staff wages,
  • administration costs,
  • location costs,
  • rolling stock,
  • recurring subscription fees,
  • travel,
  • online advertising costs.
  • Inventory
  • Capital costs not directly associated with professional contracted services (subject to review) are ineligible

Maximum Assistance to SME

Maximum financial assistance eligible under the program is 50% of approved Total Eligible Project Costs up to $25,000 per SMEIf the project exceeds the maximum amount, the Applicant is responsible for covering the difference in cost.

SME Contribution Requirement

The SME is required to provide a 50% Project Cost Contribution to SSMIC amounting to 50% of approved Total Eligible Project Costs, including any HST applicable. Amount is non-refundable and is payable upon receipt of invoice.  Contribution must be received before any payment is advanced to approved project contractors.

Other Program Requirements

  • The Applicant is required to undergo the SSMIC client intake process and submit a completed Client Intake Form (for new and inactive clients (not active more than 1 year) only).
  • The Applicant is to submit a copy of their Articles of Incorporation or Business Name Registration, whichever is applicable.
  • Applicants must meet with SSMIC staff before pursuing any formal quotes. The intent is to determine the Applicant’s project needs so that it aligns with the business goals and needs. The Applicant will then have a clear vision of the project when pursuing quotes from vendors. SSMIC staff will be available as an advisory resource throughout the project lifecycle.
  • A minimum of two quotes must be provided to SSMIC staff from proposed vendors being targeted prior to any project related work being started. Applicants are strongly encouraged to pursue quotes from Algoma based vendors.
  • Approved BTIF projects must be completed within four (4) months from the approval date. An invoice for the project work must be submitted to SSMIC prior to this date for payment approval. Final payments will be provided only when SSMIC is satisfied that the Applicant has submitted all the required documentation and satisfied all the program requirements.
  • Work undertaken prior to the date the application is received is not eligible for the program.
  • Reporting Requirements:
    • The Applicant agrees to complete an exit survey to assist in measuring the initial project impact to your business and improve on the delivery of the program.
    • The Applicant agrees to provide a brief feedback/testimonial (250-400 words) on the benefits and results of the program upon completion of the Project for mandatory reporting to FedNor.
    • The Applicant agrees to complete a follow up survey (normally 6-12 months after project completion) to assist in further measuring the project impact to your business.
    • The Applicant further acknowledges that the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre has a five-year obligation to track the applicant’s commercialization efforts and results and the applicant agrees to provide SSMIC an update of its commercialization efforts and results for mandatory reporting (upon request) to FedNor which will include applicant’s annual revenues, job creation, and other related improvement as required.

Program Application Date

The program is now open for submission and SSMIC process applications on a first come, first served basis.

Contact Dirk Becker, Innovation Acceleration Specialist at 705-942-7927 ext. 3148 


In Northern Ontario, many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have difficulty funding the initial commercialization steps required to accelerate product introduction and marketplace positioning. The Innovation Acceleration Program (IAP), funded by FedNor, is intended to provide funding to assist SME’s with the development and commercialization of new innovations and promote innovative business growth. 

IAP supports technology based ventures with financial assistance to access technology and technical support. This program is designed to help fast track growth, making ventures more competitive and allowing them to commercialize their product/service.

Contact Taylor Trecroce, Innovation Acceleration Specialist at 705-942-7927 ext. 3178.

Project Eligibility

The funds received can be used to support projects that fall into the following categories, but is not limited to the following:  

Business Development

  • Business, sales and marketing plans
  • Feasibility studies
  • Export and/or international strategies development
  • Commercialization assistance
  • Third party management support or training
  • Lean manufacturing and productivity studies

Product Development

  • Materials research and/or testing
  • Certifications, in-market licenses, market entry fees
  • Software development and/or testing
  • Hardware development and/or testing
  • Product design and/or prototyping

Sales and Marketing

  • Website design and/or e-commerce
  • Brand building exercises
  • Development of promotional materials
  • Market research
  • Attending tradeshows/industry events (additional reporting requirements)

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Dans le Nord de l'Ontario, de nombreuses petites et moyennes entreprises (PME) ont des difficultés à financer les étapes de commercialisation initiales requises pour accélérer l'introduction du produit et le positionnement sur le marché. Le programme d’accélération de l’innovation (IAP), financé par FedNor, vise à aider les PME à mettre au point et à commercialiser de nouvelles innovations et à promouvoir la croissance de leurs entreprises.

IAP soutient les entreprises technologiques avec une assistance financière pour accéder à la technologie et à l'assistance technique. Ce programme est conçu pour accélérer la croissance, rendre les entreprises plus compétitives et leur permettre de commercialiser leur produit / service.

Contactez Taylor Trecroce, spécialiste en accélération de l'innovation, au 705-942-7927 ext. 3178.

Admissibilité du projet

Les fonds reçus peuvent être utilisés pour soutenir des projets qui entrent dans les catégories suivantes, mais ne se limite pas à ceux-ci:  

Développement des affaires

  • Affaires, les ventes et les plans marketing
  • Études de faisabilité
  • Développement de stratégies d'exportation et / ou internationales
  • Assistance à la commercialisation
  • Soutien ou formation à la gestion par une tierce partie
  • Fabrication allégée et études de productivité

Développement de produits

  • Recherche et / ou test de matériaux
  • Certifications, licences sur le marché, droits d'entrée sur le marché
  • Développement et / ou test de logiciels
  • Développement et / ou test du matériel
  • Conception de produits et / ou prototypage

Ventes et marketing

  • Conception de site Web et / ou commerce électronique
  • Exercices de renforcement de la marque
  • Développement de matériel promotionnel
  • Étude de marché
  • Participation à des salons professionnels / événements de l'industrie (exigences de rapport supplémentaires)

Cliquez ici pour obtenir plus de renseignements.

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Our experienced team of advisors can guide SMEs on securing public funding, particularly in support of research and development (R&D) and commercialization projects. Funding can range from helping find expertise for your project, to the purchase of capital, to supporting the hiring of Northern Ontario graduates. Review the programs outlined below and contact our team of advisors to discuss your project’s needs. SSMIC also supports its clients in navigating the process of obtaining conventional commercial financing (i.e. bank loans). We are also able to find your business the appropriate contacts at the banking institution of your choice.



Notre équipe expérimentée de conseillers peut aider les PME à obtenir des fonds publics, en particulier pour soutenir des projets de recherche et développement (R & D) et de commercialisation. Le financement peut aller de l’aide à la recherche d’expertise pour votre projet à l’achat de capital, en passant par l’embauche de diplômés du Nord de l’Ontario. Passez en revue les programmes décrits ci-dessous et contactez notre équipe de conseillers pour discuter des besoins de votre projet. SSMIC aide également ses clients à suivre le processus d’obtention d’un financement commercial conventionnel (prêts bancaires). Nous sommes également en mesure de trouver votre entreprise avec les contacts appropriés dans l’institution bancaire de votre choix.



The Northern Ontario Angels (NOA) is a not for profit corporation that facilitates essential business connections between Northern Ontario’s entrepreneurs and accredited angel investors. 

Their goal is to stimulate increased investment capital into Northern Ontario companies to help them succeed by improving the flow of investment capital, investment education, and management expertise into high-growth potential northern companies.



Northern Ontario Angels (NOA) est une société à but non lucratif qui facilite les relations d’affaires essentielles entre les entrepreneurs du Nord de l’Ontario et les investisseurs providentiels accrédités.

Leur objectif est de stimuler une augmentation des investissements dans les entreprises du Nord ontarien afin de les aider à réussir en améliorant les flux de capitaux d’investissement, la formation à l’investissement et les compétences en gestion des entreprises du Nord à fort potentiel de croissance.