Capital to Grow Your Business

Now and in the future

We differentiate between early-stage startup funding and growth-stage expansion funding. Below you will find a list of programs for which we can make a personal introduction for our Members and assist you with specific services.

But first, check out our Startup and SME Financing Video Course

Download this 90-minute video for valuable insight into how your startup or SME can tap into various funding sources to get your products to market, from six funding organizations that have already supported our industry sector.

CPES2017, our annual conference, featured a financing panel that included the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Service OptiPrint, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), MaRS Discovery District, the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).

This video course is free to Members of intelliFLEX.

Startup Financing:

The Business Development Bank of Canada

The BDC is Canada’s premier financial services institution supporting entrepreneurship. It offers business loans and advisory services to help Canadian businesses grow, both at home and abroad. BDC supports more than 42,000 SMEs across the country. intelliFLEX and BDC have signed an agreement to help startup and growth-stage technology companies in printable, flexible and wearable electronics access the financial tools and support they need to achieve global success.  BDC operates a number of seed stage funds where we may be able to refer you to.

Learn more at

EMD Performance Materials’ Displaying Futures Award

intelliFLEX Member company EMD Performance Materials fosters entrepreneurial spirit and provides seed financing to startups with this annual award. The focus of the 2017 award is “innovative flexible hybrid electronic devices enabled by advanced materials.” EMD is looking for break-through innovations in:

  • wearables for health monitoring
  • soft robotics and electronic skin
  • sensors and electronics packaging

Up to three winning teams will receive:

  • Extensive mentorship from experts at EMD parent company Merck KGaA of Germany
  • Up to US$50,000 in cash
  • Access to proprietary materials and the global network of EMD
  • A special business curriculum to support your team

Learn more about the Displaying Futures Award.


MaRS, Toronto Discovery District’s commercialization hub, offers a range of early-stage funding programs for young companies and entrepreneurs. These include the Catalyst Fund (for Canadian companies pursuing social and environmental outcomes) and ArcTern Ventures (for startups focused on climate change).

Learn more.

Merck Ventures

German science and technology company Merck KGaA (parent of EMD Performance Materials) operates a corporate venture fund – Merck Ventures. Four dedicated investment teams focus on healthcare, life science, performance materials and new businesses. Merck Ventures has a total capital pool of about US$400 million. Its mandate is to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact Merck’s core business areas. From its headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in the U.S. and Israel, Merck Ventures invests globally in transformational ideas driven by great entrepreneurs. It takes an active role in its portfolio companies and teams up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success.

Learn more about Merck Ventures.

The Small Business Innovation Challenge

SBIC is managed by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) on behalf of the Ontario government. With a $28.8-million war chest, the SBIC stimulates the growth of SMEs by supporting them in developing and demonstrating innovative technologies with the goal of these new solutions driving innovation in the public and private sectors. Participating Ontario government ministries will issue innovation challenges, inviting startups to SMEs with 500 employees or less to develop and test novel technology solutions. Successful applicants will receive funding for feasibility and demonstration projects.

Learn more at Small Business Innovation Challenge.

Unilever Foundry

intelliFLEX Member company Unilever runs a Foundry program dedicated to innovation through collaboration. This is an opportunity for startups and innovators to engage, collaborate and explore business ideas with Unilever and its 400+ brands. Through the Foundry, startups can view and apply to address briefs from Unilever’s brands and functions, apply for business mentorship to get valued guidance and advice from across Unilever’s business, or register to attend events across the world.

Visit the Unilever Foundry website to learn more.

Unilever also has a venture capital team. Unilever Ventures invests in opportunities that are of strategic relevance to Unilever, including digital marketing, digital media, and eCommerce. This could of course extend to smart packaging and smart retail solutions.

Expansion Capital:

The Business Development Bank of Canada

The BDC is Canada’s premier financial services institution supporting entrepreneurship. It offers business loans and advisory services to help Canadian businesses grow, both at home and abroad. BDC supports more than 42,000 SMEs across the country. The CPEIA and BDC have signed an agreement to help startup and growth-stage technology companies in printable, flexible and wearable electronics access the financial tools and support they need to achieve global success.

Learn more at

Through its subsidiary BDC Capital, BDC also offers a full spectrum of specialized financing, including venture capital, equity as well as growth and business transition capital.

R&D Projects:

The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program

NRC-IRAP: For nearly 70 years, NRC-IRAP has been stimulating wealth creation for Canada through technological innovation. This is largely accomplished by providing technology assistance to SMEs at all stages of the innovation process, to build their innovation capacity and successfully take their ideas to market. NRC-IRAP helps SMEs identify and understand technology issues and opportunities and provides linkages to the best business and R&D expertise in Canada.

Learn more about NRC-IRAP.

The Scientific Research and Experimental Development

SR&ED Program is a federal tax incentive program designed to encourage Canadian businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to conduct research and development in Canada. The program is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), which delivers SR&ED tax incentives in a timely, consistent and predictable manner, while encouraging businesses to prepare their claims in compliance with Canada’s tax laws and the CRA’s policies and procedures.

Learn more about the SR&ED Program.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada

SDTC is an arm’s-length foundation created by the Government of Canada to fund new clean technologies. intelliFLEX Members engaged in the development of products or services that deliver tangible environmental benefits can lever SDTC funding to bring products and services to market. Several intelliFLEX Member companies have qualified for SDTC funding, including Cooledge Lighting and OTI Lumionics.

Learn more at

Other programs of interest:


C100 is non-profit, member-driven association of Canadian business leaders based in the San Francisco Bay Area. These investors, senior corporate leaders and successful entrepreneurs form a dynamic group of patriots dedicated to giving back to the Canadian innovation community and fostering the next generation of successful entrepreneurs and innovative companies in Canada.

Learn more about how C100 could help your business.

The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association

CVCA is the voice of Canada’s private equity and venture capital industry. Any company in search of financing can make valuable contacts with potential investors through CVCA membership and services.

Learn more about the CVCA.

Export Development Canada

The EDC is Canada’s export credit agency. EDC provides insurance and financial services, bonding products and small business solutions to Canadian exporters and investors and their international buyers.

Learn more about financing options from EDC.

The Funding Portal

The Funding Portal operates a free searchable database of 7,000 sources of Canadian government funding and private capital for businesses, universities, hospitals, charities and non-profits.

Learn more about The Funding Portal.

Members Only Portal

Members receive access to exclusive content, member directory, forums, job postings, and special events.

New 1-day courses in printable, flexible, hybrid electronics

Geared toward potential technology users and developers who wish to learn more about what is possible with printable, flexible or wearable electronics and how to integrate into products for a range of industries.


May 16-17, 2019
Domaine Chateau Bromont, Québec

At CPES, industry-leading Canadian and international speakers will explore all facets of FHE during the fifth annual CPES including flexible, stretchable, and 2D/3D printable electronics; smart textiles and wearables; and flex-integrated circuit technologies, software and applications.

About Us

intelliFLEX, a not-for-profit industry alliance, is a vital partner for accelerating the growth of the printable, flexible and hybrid electronics sector of more than 300 organizations across Canada. Our technologies add intelligence and connect ordinary objects to enable the Internet of Everything.

We unite our growing global membership to build an effective ecosystem of supply chains for flexible, 3D printable electronics, 2D large area printable electronics, wearable electronics, smart textiles and hybrid electronics including related semiconductors, integrated circuits and software.

Our programs accelerate the adoption of these innovations for Smart Packaging and Retail, Intelligent Buildings and Connected Homes, Aerospace and Defence, Automotive and Industrial Applications, Health and Wellness, Intelligent Documents and Wearables.

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