Tech hub for semiconductor companies in Canada.

Hardware Catalyst Initiative

Canada’s only hardware and semiconductor-focused lab & incubator.

About

Orange hexagon graphic.

Dedicated to supporting Canadian silicon and hardware companies for up to 24 months, the Hardware Catalyst Initiative provides a comprehensive advisory program to accelerate commercialization at scale through initiatives focused on: customer acquisition, product development from proof-of-concept to manufacturing, building strong IP, and acquiring and retaining talent. We understand that hardware founders experience unique challenges to commercialize their products, such as limited capital, long lead times and limited technical expertise. With this in mind, ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative is a competitive program that is offered at no cost and with no equity requirement to eligible companies.

Participating companies will be able to access our world class $11M Hardware Lab & a free workspace with up to 2 badges per company, a global network of partners, dedicated in-house advisors to support founders building hardware and semiconductor-focused products — including healthcare technology, connected transportation and automobility, consumer electronics, telecommunications, and more.

The Hardware Catalyst Initiative is currently accepting applications.
Interested in the Program? Fill out an application form


Applications close on June 24th

ventureLAB Highlights

Orange hexagon graphic.
$11M
Prototyping and Testing Labs
4.89
indirect jobs are created for every 1 semiconductor job created
$15M
Industry contributions through resources, expertise, and mentorship
35+
Global partners
$420M+
Invested in our Companies

Explore the Program

Orange hexagon graphic.

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.

Founder Expectations

Founders accepted into the Hardware Catalyst Initiative can expect to work with dedicated advisors and mentors to develop, review, and track:

FAQ

Orange hexagon graphic.
angle-up
angle-down

Eligibility & Application Process

We work with innovative growth and scale-stage hardware or enterprise software companies with some market traction. Your company needs to be incorporated in Canada and have a business (CRA) number. Most importantly, you must be coachable!

Eligibility

  1. Company was founded within 5 years immediately preceding the application
  2. Company earned less than $5M in revenue in last 12 months  
  3. Directly involved in the development of a novel electronic product involving advanced elements such as a custom semiconductor, sensor, silicon-based IP or embedded system hardware
  4. Has customer engagement that validates the need and demonstrates that the team can attract and work with customers
  5. Company is incorporated in Canada
  6. Has a CRA business number
  7. Has 99 or fewer employees
  8. Has a co-founding team (of at least 2 or more) capable of product development, customer acquisition, and investment acquisition  
  9. If located in Canada, but not in Southern Ontario, company has plans to establish a long-term presence in Southern Ontario
  10. If a Canadian Corporation, all IP developed through the program will be assigned to the Company.
  11. If a foreign-controlled company, a Canadian entity in Southern Ontario must be established prior to commencing the program, and all IP developed through the program must be assigned to the Canadian entity

Application Process:

  • Step 1: Submit your application
  • Step 2: A team of advisors and experts will review your application and reach out for further details, or conversations
  • Step 3: After initial evaluation, ventureLAB™ will invite founders to present to panel for further consideration
  • Step 4: Panels will take place after the submission closure
  • Step 5: All candidates will be notified of their status within 6 weeks of the submission closure date
  • Step 6: Successful candidates will participate in a 2-month Hardware Catalyst Initiative Bootcamp where they will establish meaningful relationships with the ventureLAB team and partners, as well as build the foundation for the program
  • Step 7: ventureLAB will endeavour to provide all applications recommendations for our portfolio of programs and services

angle-up
angle-down

Can I use the lab without being apart of the program?

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.

angle-up
angle-down

How do I join ventureLAB?

Apply to work with ventureLAB by filling in the form on our Apply page. Each year, we select over 100 ventures to join our diverse hub of founders. By working with ventureLAB, you’ll gain access to our initiatives focused on four pillars critical for any scaling company: raising capital, talent retention, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition.

angle-up
angle-down

Do you charge for services?

We take no equity in your company. Founders join small cohort sizes — meaning you get tailored, dedicated guidance to navigate your unique business challenges. You’ll develop relationships in a growing global community of mentors, investors, partners, manufacturers, supply chains, and fellow entrepreneurs, critical to the growth and scaling of your business.

Advisors

Orange hexagon graphic.
FULL LIST OF VENTURELAB'S ADVISORS

Program Companies

Orange hexagon graphic.

Partners

Orange hexagon graphic.

Apply now

Orange hexagon graphic.
apply now
long-arrow-right

Featured News & Events

Orange hexagon graphic.
ventureLAB orange logo.
News
|
July 12, 2023

Announcing the 6th Cohort of the Hardware Catalyst Initiative

ventureLAB News
HCI
Community news
Opportunities
learn more
arrow-right
ventureLAB orange logo.
Event
|
March 6, 2023

ventureLAB Celebrates the Launch of its Hardware Catalyst MedTech Lab at Sterling Industries

ventureLAB News
Community news
MedTech
HCI
learn more
arrow-right
ventureLAB orange logo.
News
|
February 5, 2024

Announcing the 7th Cohort of the Hardware Catalyst Initiative

HCI
ventureLAB News
learn more
arrow-right