Scientists and Engineers in Business – RIC Centre

FedDev Ontario:  Harnessing the Potential of Emerging Businesses

Region: Mississauga

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[Text on screen – Harnessing the Potential of Emerging Businesses]

[Pam Banks - Executive Director, RIC Centre, Mississauga]

The Mississauga Research Innovation Commercialization Centre, or RIC centre, supports technology entrepreneurs and their innovations. We're part of a broader provincial network, and our job is to help start-ups grow their businesses.

Our VentureStart program is fully funded through FedDev Ontario through the Scientists and Engineers in Business initiative. It serves twelve RICs across the province.

VentureStart program received $7.5 million to cultivate entrepreneurship in graduates from the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Program participants receive training, mentoring and seed financing to actually carry out their business idea.

[Switch to James Sbrolla - Entrepreneur in Residence, RIC Centre, Mississauga]

The VentureStart program is terrific and has a real positive impact. I work with about half a dozen different graduates, providing advice, coaching and mentorship. And the business training component is available online, so it works really well.

One grad that really stands out for me has developed and is already piloting an innovative clean technology product.

[Switch to Andrew White - President and Co-Founder, CHAR Technologies, Toronto]

CHAR Technologies was founded to commercialize our Sulfa CHAR technology, which is a way to purify renewable natural gas, such as landfill gas or biogas.

Sulfa CHAR is a cost-effective, convenient and zero-waste method of purifying these gas streams. And right now we're in our pilot at the Grober Group farm just outside of Clyde, Ontario.

I'd been searching for funding for about a year before we applied to the VentureStart program. Going through the process really helped strengthen the business plan and really helped provide some capital to get things going. It would have been a real struggle without the support.

[Switch to Pam Banks]

FedDev Ontario is helping to create a whole new entrepreneurial landscape in southern Ontario. Through programs like VentureStart, they harness the potential of start-ups and help them successfully manage their businesses.

When we see a company like CHAR Technologies, we know we are going to see significant commercial gains from the creation of the product. We also see the potential for significant job creation, innovation and long-term benefits to the community.

[Switch to Andrew White]

Thanks to FedDev Ontario and the VentureStart program, I've really been able to see my idea transform into a product and have a demo at a lead customer site, which has led us to have sales forecasts of $10 million by 2017.

[Text on screen – Follow us @FedDevOntario]

[FedDev Ontario identifier and Canada wordmark]