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AOSI: Acronyms for Ontario Startups and Innovators

The innovation, tech and business space in Canada is teeming with acronyms that (as an early-stage startup, entrepreneur or international business relocating to Canada) may leave you scratching your head. So we’re laying out some of the most common acronyms you might hear around the Spark Centre office (and while doing business in Ontario):


SUV = Start Up Visa

Start-Up Visa is a federal program through which international entrepreneurs in high-growth sectors can relocate, launch and scale their businesses in Canada. To be eligible for the Start-Up Visa program, entrepreneurs must be accepted into a program offered by a designated Canadian business incubator or accelerator like Spark Centre.


Ecdev = Economic Development 

The Economic Development and Tourism Division in Durham Region, for example, promotes the Region as an ideal place to establish business while enjoying a high quality of life. This division engages in strategic business missions and partners with local municipalities, industry, academia and international agencies to create job opportunities, nurture private sector investment and more in key sectors like agri-business, energy, engineering, health sciences, innovative technology and more.


FedDev = Federal Economic Development Agency

FedDev Ontario delivers programs and services to support innovation and economic growth in southern Ontario—Canada’s most populous region.


APBOT = Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade

The Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade is the voice of Business in Ajax and Pickering. Its members represent an array of business sectors ranging from the service industry to manufacturers and distributors and the group focuses on economic development, healthcare, education, transportation issues, community and social development, environment, and energy.


MVP = Minimum Viable Product

An MVP is a product with enough features to attract early-adopter customers and validate a product idea early in the product development cycle. In industries such as software, the MVP can help the product team receive user feedback as quickly as possible to iterate and improve the product.


EOIC = Eastern Ontario Innovation Corridor

The EOIC is a collective of high-impact business resources, support and education spanning Eastern Ontario that offers a one-stop, all-inclusive support system for SMEs looking to launch, scale or break into international markets.


MEDJCAT – Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade in Ontario, Canada, delivers a range of programs, services and tools to help businesses innovate and compete in today’s fast-changing global economy and to attract and retain businesses and economic development in the province.


SME = Small to Medium Sized Enterprises

SMEs are businesses with investment, turnover and workforce below a certain level. In Canada, SMEs are considered to be businesses with fewer than 500 employees


EN3 = Energy, Environment, Engineering

EN3 stands for three forward-thinking and prominent sectors in Ontario, and especially in Durham Region, that are always on the lookout for innovation.


CRM = Customer Relationship Management

CRM is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. CRM manages customer relationships across the entire customer lifecycle, spanning sales, marketing, digital commerce, and customer service interactions.


IoT = Internet Of Things

Internet of Things is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.


SaaS = Software as a Service

SaaS is a cloud-based software solution in which software providers deliver applications to users over the internet most commonly via a website or apps.


PaaS = Platform as a Service

PaaS provides access to a platform for companies to create apps, perform web development, or manage other programming projects


BACD = Business Advisory Centre Durham 

BACD provides FREE (conditions apply) business support for individuals wanting to start a business, or grow their existing business. Funded by the governments of Ontario and the Region of Durham, BACD supports businesses to encourage economic development and success in Durham Region. 


PR = Permanent Resident

A permanent resident is a citizen of another country who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada, but is not a Canadian citizen.


WP = Work Permit

A Canada Work Permit is issued to eligible overseas individuals to enable them to work in Canada for a specific time period.


B2B = Business To Business

B2B is a form of transaction between businesses, such as one involving a manufacturer and wholesaler, or a wholesaler and a retailer. Business-to-business refers to business that is conducted between companies, rather than between a company and individual consumer. 


B2C = Business to Customer 

B2C is the process of selling products and services directly between a business and consumers who are the end-users of its products or services.


Spark Centre
Helping innovative companies start, grow and succeed. Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre is one of eighteen not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centres (RICs) that form part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). The centre works to improve competitiveness and visibility of Durham Region and Northumberland County as a world-class innovation cluster. Spark Centre works with clients to develop individualized plans for success. We connect start-ups to business and research networks, learning tools, business coaching, mentorship, and access to funding and investment.

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