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Invest Ottawa

Invest Ottawa is the principal economic development agency in Eastern Ontario, where it is not only a Regional Innovation Centre supporting tech founders, startups and Ottawa’s top scaling tech firms, but IO is also an SBEC supporting main street entrepreneurs, in addition to having a Global Expansion team charged with Foreign Direct Investment for Ottawa. Almost every major entrepreneurial and technology program in the city is under the IO banner.

Regional Innovation Centre

For tech founders specifically, Invest Ottawa has a unique Venture Path, with each step designed to shorten the path to growth. IO’s Venture team helps entrepreneurs leverage the experience, expertise and insights of business leaders who have been there and done that – successfully launched and grown world-class technology enterprises.

Programs & Resources

IO Ignition - Formerly known as the IO Pre-Accelerator, IO Ignition is the trailhead of tech founders’ venture path. A comprehensive starting point that helps founders map out the road ahead with a 10-week boot camp. The boot camp is designed for founders who want to validate a tech startup idea and create a solid business foundation to build upon.

Flex - A program designed to give founders a select roster of the best business resources for every phase of their business. This includes access to Early-Stage Advisors, cost-saving start-up perks, and a network of like-minded peers.

Accelerator - A high-touch, milestone-driven program, which provides founders and their teams expert guidance on finding product-market fit, securing funding, advice on building out business disciplines, and access to specialized peer groups.

ScaleUp - A program created for high-growth firms in Ottawa. Founders and their teams will have access to elite advisors, a network of peers, top-caliber talent, new markets, and other growth resources at their disposal. ScaleUp is designed to help shorten the leadership learning curve, achieve rapid growth, and compete globally.

IP Services - Invest Ottawa runs multiple intellectual property (IP) programs and can provide referrals to other IP programs where appropriate. With a competitive landscape where tech firms compete to get market share, the role of IP is becoming an increasingly important factor of success.

Female Founders - Invest Ottawa helped Capital Angel Network launch SheBoot, a women-led boot camp for women-led businesses. SheBoot has since grown into a National not-for-profit with the goal to help scalable technology and technology-enabled women-led businesses tackle access to capital and mentors. Additionally, Invest Ottawa has programming specifically for female founders including the Ladies Who Launch program.

Sector Specific - Invest Ottawa specializes in supporting specific sectors including startups in the Digital Health, Cleantech, and AI spaces. These programs and launched and developed with sector focused resources, workshops, and advisors.

Area X.O - Develop, test, harden, and demo at Area X.O — a technology-rich, secure research and development complex created for all-weather experimentation. Key Features: 750 hectares/1850 acres.

Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs)

Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs) offer entrepreneurs all the tools they need to start and grow their businesses. Invest Ottawa’s entrepreneurship programs and education centre provide the knowledge, expertise and resources to ideation, early-stage and established entrepreneurs and business owners who aim to start or grow a product- or service-based business. These services include:
  • free consultations with a qualified business consultant
  • internet and computer access for business research and planning
  • review of business plans
  • consultations through a lawyer or accountant referral service
  • up-to-date information for entrepreneurs
  • access to directories, trade indexes and books
  • workshops and seminars
  • guidance on licenses, permits, registration, regulations and other documents you need to start a business
  • import and export information
  • information on patents, copyright and trademarks
  • mentoring and networking opportunities


learn more about our programs here

Contact Info

7 Bayview Station Rd
Ottawa, ON

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