thriveFORWARD Sub-Regional Highlights Part 3: The GTA

VENTURE13, COBOURG, ONTARIO, January 23, 2024—With the support of FedDev Ontario and the Government of Canada’s Jobs and Growth Fund, NCFDC’s thriveFORWARD initiative backs technology entrepreneurs and industrial innovators across all of southern Ontario in their leading efforts to grow, expand their business, create jobs and contribute to the inclusive and sustainable industries of our region’s future.

Early-stage thriveFORWARD ventures in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) included some of the most exciting up-and-coming start-ups in Canada in 2023. With matching, performance-based seed funding and acceleration, these start-ups have already went on to raise more than $8 million in follow-on funding.

While these next gen thriveFORWARD Start-ups are commercializing new and innovative products and services, established companies in the region (SMEs) also co-invested in innovation capital, in talent and tech:

  • With the support of FedDev Ontario through NCFDC’s thriveFORWARD initiative, investments in innovation in the food and beverage production and strategic supply chain partners impacted a total of 13 SMEs across the GTA (Greenhouse Juice, Flavorcan, Rootree, DOM International, Casa Bonita, Pure Food Meat Solutions, King Cole Ducks, Wilmott Orchards, Sunny Crunch Foods, B. Box, Rapid Aid and Osmow’s Commissary).
  • At the forefront of cleantech and greening operations, projects led by Hybrid Power Solutions in Etobicoke (designer and manufacturer of battery systems to replace gas and diesel generators) and Evergreen Environmental in Durham Region (a leader in organic waste management) laid the groundwork for sustainable growth.
  • In Toronto, biomanufacturer ProteinQure is leading computational protein drug design through investment in cutting edge methodologies while Piramal Healthcare in Aurora invested in strategic productivity enhancements.
  • In Markham, EAIgle advanced enterprise computer vision solutions for the workplace and public spaces while Shiftlink developed their notification platform for employers.
  • In Milton, ROMAC implemented cobot solutions for advanced manufacturing capacity-building.
  • In Mississauga, thriveFORWARD and MasterNet invested in gravometric feeders to improve production systems and reduce waste, drove global business expansion with E. Morrisson Equipment (producing specialized water systems for dental applications) and invested in strategic innovation capital for enhanced productivity, innovation and sustainability with Kal-Trading, who process post-industrial plastic parts and materials into re-usable pellets.

With FedDev Ontario, thriveFORWARD helped to trigger investments in innovation capital at a 5-to-1 clip, generating strong public ROI.

“thriveFORWARD investments were made possible by the leadership of FedDev Ontario and the Government of Canada,” said Wendy Curtis, Executive Director of NCFDC. “Whether in the GTA or in southwestern or eastern Ontario, together we advanced some of the most exciting Ontario-made technology solutions in the region. New products, new services and process innovations will strengthen competitive advantage and open new domestic and global market opportunities now and well into the future.”

For more information about the thriveFORWARD initiative, please visit the official webpage.

Previous installments in this series included eastern Ontario and southwestern Ontario.

And you can catch upcoming episodes of NCFDC’s Frontier Entrepreneurship Podcast on Podbean and all major platforms. Season 1 features start-ups backed by FedDev Ontario through NCFDC’s thriveFORWARD initiative, including ZapMetals, Mycro Harvest and Magnestar.


Victoria Pichler
Marketing & Communications Coordinator – NCFDC

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