Hardware Catalyst Initiative

Canada’s only hardware and semiconductor-focused lab & incubator
Tech hub for semiconductor companies in Canada.


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Prototype & Testing Lab
Companies Supported
Jobs created by Our Companies

Explore the Program

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We understand that hardware founders experience unique challenges and have a finite amount of capital and time to bring their vision to reality. ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative is a competitive program that is offered at no cost and with no equity requirement to eligible companies. Dedicated to supporting both silicon and hardware companies for up to 24 months, the Hardware Catalyst Initiative is enabling Canadian companies to grow and scale locally to compete globally.

The Hardware Catalyst Initiative provides direct resources to accelerate commercialization at scale through our initiatives focused on four pillars: raising capital, retaining talent, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition.

What companies can expect:

  • 24/7 access to the in-house Prototyping & Testing Lab with state-of-the-art specialized equipment
  • Dedicated, in-house advisory team to work with the company to define tailored business milestones, product development roadmap, and in supporting them with resource navigation and introductions
  • Access to a world-class ecosystem of partners and highly experienced hardware and semiconductor development experts
  • Specialized support for IP protection, market development, purchase and supply contracts
  • Support through the Capital Investment Program to identify potential public and private funding opportunities
  • Access to Market Intelligence and premium reports from top-tier research firms
  • Premium access to curated educational programming and exclusive partner 1-on-1s
  • Free workspace (up to 2 badges per team) at ventureLAB’s Innovation Space
  • Access to ventureLAB’s Alumni Network, which connects graduated ventureLAB founders from across the tech ecosystem to resources, networks, and opportunities

Founder Expectations

As the Hardware Catalyst Initiative is a two-year intensive program all founders accepted into the program should expect to work with dedicated advisors and mentors to develop, review, and track:

  • A detailed product design and development plan, including design and supply chain partners, and Prototyping & Testing Lab utilization
  • A detailed IP identification and strategic protection plan
  • A detailed customer engagement program with early adopters
  • A detailed financial plan of revenue, expenditures and investment through the HCI program
  • If applicable, a detailed talent acquisition plan, revenue growth plan, and ongoing development of your pitch and investor engagement

NEW: Hardware Catalyst Initiative Bootcamp

A new initiative we are introducing this year is an intensive, two-month Hardware Catalyst Initiative Bootcamp, which will take place before the formal program acceptance. This Bootcamp is intended to offer immediate value to a larger group of eligible companies, and allow for mutual assessment of fit before committing to the full program.

If shortlisted for Bootcamp participation, companies can expect:

  • Comprehensive Project Plan Review
  • 360 Deep Dives, i.e. IP strategy, go-to-market strategy, and financial considerations
  • Relevant 1-on-1s with ventureLAB team, mentors, and/or partners
  • Partner Showcase (an opportunity to pitch to our partner network, make connections and receive helpful feedback)

Applications are now closed - stay tuned for the next round! If you have any questions, please reach out to hci@venturelab.ca

Hardware Lab Subscription

Are you developing a hardware prototype and looking for convenient ways to test? ventureLAB is now accepting subscriptions to its world class Prototype & Testing Lab! Run as many tests as you want any day of the week or year, our lab is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! Save money and time by subscribing to a fully-functioning lab environment right in Markham! If interested, please contact Derek Ma directly to learn more at dtekangma@venturelab.ca.


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  • Company was founded within 5 years immediately preceding the application
  • Company earned less than $5M in revenue in last 12 months
  • Developed or are developing a novel semiconductor, sensor, silicon-based IP or an embedded system hardware product
  • Have customer engagement that validates the need and demonstrates that the team can attract and work with customers
  • Company is incorporated in Canada
  • Have a CRA business number
  • Have 99 or fewer employees; preferably a co-founding team (of at least 2 or more) capable of product development, customer acquisition, and investment acquisition
  • If not already located in Southern Ontario, company has plans to establish a long-term presence in Southern Ontario


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Advisory Board

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Featured News & Events

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October 1, 2019

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January 7, 2022

This Company is Creating a Chip That Will Change the World

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Companies in the Program

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