April 25, 2023

thriveFORWARD Delivers 5X Leverage from Private Sector Innovators

COBOURG, Ontario—Venture13–With Government of Canada support through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), NCFDC’s thriveFORWARD project has unlocked investment to mobilize innovation-driven job creation and growth across southern Ontario.

For every dollar of thriveFORWARD funding, early-stage entrepreneurs and industrial intrapreneurs are bringing a further five dollars to the table to commercialize innovative new products, services and processes that are enhancing value chains, driving inclusive and sustainable economic development, and firing up the region’s productivity and job creation engines.

“The public ROI here—the return on investment of government funds—is exceptional,” said Wendy Curtis, Executive Director of NCFDC. “Thirty-six million was collectively mobilized in just nine months to support business expansion through innovation. While many funds and investors may be pulling back, this group of thriveFORWARD companies continues to lead in securing investment and working capital, while staying focused, adaptive and productive.”

“Southern Ontario is rich with technology-driven companies that are ready to move forward but businesses face real challenges in securing funding that will help them grow,” said Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “thriveFORWARD is an excellent example of how investments from the Government of Canada can be the catalyst that drives green innovation and brings cutting-edge solutions to market.”

thriveFORWARD has two separate but complementary funding streams: one for technology-driven Start-ups and one for innovation-driven SMEs.

“Through this strategic FedDev Ontario initiative, both early-stage ventures and established businesses apply for non-repayable performance-based funding,” said Susan Carmichael, Chair of the Board of Directors of NCFDC. The co-investment mechanism helps business leaders manage short-term opportunity costs, advance timelines, access new markets, formalize and commercialize intellectual property (IP), de-risk deals, or augment the scope and impact of truly pivotal projects on a path to business expansion and job creation.

“Given what we’ve come through over the last three years and despite current challenges, we are now looking to the evolution of the future economy with confidence,” Carmichael added.

thriveFORWARD-backed ventures are advancing a wide array of digital and cleantech applications across multiple critical sectors and value chains. More than 100 projects have leveraged over $30 million in private sector investment, supported 83 patent and IP registrations, launched 240 new products, processes or services—creating 445 jobs and impacting a further 2,400 across southern Ontario. These projects represent the avant-garde of Canadian technology and innovation and are shaping the industries of the future.

Click here to see the full list of funding recipients to date and read testimonials from start-up founders and business leaders on the impact of strategic investment in talent and tech.

With support from FedDev Ontario, thriveFORWARD helps job creators future-proof their businesses, build resiliency and prepare for growth by supporting the transition to a green economy, fostering an inclusive recovery, enhancing Canada’s competitiveness through digital adoption to improve productivity and manufacturing processes, and strengthening capacity in sectors critical to Canada’s economic recovery and growth.

Quotes from thriveFORWARD Companies

Our company was able to accelerate U.S. market expansion thanks to the project funding we received from thriveFORWARD. Our clients expect that we operate at the speed of business, and scaling in large competitive markets demands speed and efficiency. Thanks to thriveFORWARD funding, we rapidly onboarded new talent, acquired critical resources, and successfully secured business deals with some of the largest enterprise brands on the Fortune 500 list. We are on pace to meet our next milestone of organizational growth and the funding we received from thriveFORWARD was paramount to our corporate expansion.

Amir Hoss
Chief Executive Officer – EAIGLE Inc.
(ThriveFORWARD SME Stream)

The support that we received from thriveFORWARD was a game-changer for our cyber security start-up. The onboarding process was surgical and rapid with constructive criticism that sharpened our objectives. The support allowed us to take calculated risks and invest more resources into our commercialization efforts, accelerating our path to market and ultimately enabling us to better protect our SME clients from the ever-evolving threats in the digital landscape.

Michael Bakaic
Founder – ICEBERG Cyber
(ThriveFORWARD Start-up Stream)


Northumberland CFDC (NCFDC) is an innovation NGO based at Venture13 in Cobourg, Ontario, focused on co-investing in innovation capital and financing growth-oriented firms that create jobs and help to diversify a sustainable and inclusive economy in Northumberland (via FedDev Ontario’s Community Futures Program) southern Ontario (via initiatives like thriveFORWARD, RIIEO and N1M) and Canada-wide, through DELIA (NCFDC’s evergreen women entrepreneurship loan fund, with the support of ISED Canada) and StrikeUP (the leading annual digital conference event celebrating and advancing women entrepreneurship in Canada, co-presented by the Scotiabank Women’s Initiative and EDC, in partnership with WEKH, MNP, ISC and BDC). Follow NCFDC on Twitter and LinkedIN.

About FedDev Ontario

For 13 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Victoria Pichler
Marketing & Communications Lead

Edward Hutchinson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario