Tech hub for semiconductor companies in Canada.

Hardware Catalyst Initiative

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

ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative is Canada’s only lab and incubator for founders building hardware and semiconductor-focused products, enabling the creation of transformative technologies that will power our products of tomorrow — including healthcare technology, consumer electronics, telecommunications, smart energy, connected transportation, and more. Funded in part by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Hardware Catalyst helps tech companies accelerate their time to market in a sector that normally incurs lengthy entry and scale times, enabling Canadian hardware and semiconductor companies to grow and scale locally, and compete globally.

Highlights

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$7M
Prototyping and Testing Lab
4.89
indirect jobs are created for every 1 semiconductor job created
$15M
Industry contributions through resources, expertise, and mentorship
35+
Global partners
$200M+
Invested in 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. Our team of talented advisors and expert partner ecosystem will grow your business develop and the Hardware Lab will incubate your hardware technology solutions.


What companies can expect:

Application Process:

APPLY HERE!


IMPORTANT DATES*

Applications are OPEN: 1 Feb, 2023

Applications CLOSED: 6 Mar, 2023

Review Period Starts: 7 Mar, 2023

Review Period Ends: 11 Apr, 2023

Bootcamp Starts: 27 Apr, 2023

Bootcamp Ends: 9 Jun, 2023

Upon the successful completion of Bootcamp, ventures will be assigned a dedicated lead advisor and invited to engage in the Hardware Catalyst Initiative, starting immediately after its conclusion.

*dates subject to change

If invited for Bootcamp participation, companies can expect: 

The Hardware Catalyst Initiative begins with a Bootcamp, which will take place before formal program acceptance. The 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.

The objective of the Bootcamp is to engage participants in mapping out their expected client journey over the course of their participation with the Initiative to ensure alignment between the founders, ventureLAB team, and partners. Expected outcomes include:

The Bootcamp consists of five main modules which are hosted weekly for 1.5-3 hours. It concludes with an introduction presentation in a Partner Showcase (an opportunity to pitch to our partner network, make connections and receive helpful feedback)

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:

Apply to the Hardware Catalyst Initiative here.



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.


Eligibility

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  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

Advisors

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Featured News & Events

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News
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October 1, 2019

Hardware Catalyst Initiative Applications Open

Community news
HCI
Opportunities
ventureLAB News
learn more
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News
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April 12, 2022

ventureLAB Announces $2.5M from the Government of Ontario to Expand Hardware Catalyst Initiative; Introduces MedTech Stream

HCI
MedTech
Tech
AutoTech
learn more
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News
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October 12, 2021

Creating Sustainable AI: An Interview with Blumind’s Niraj Mathur

Tech
ventureLAB Clients
learn more
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Companies in the Program

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Partners

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FAQ

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What type of companies do you help?

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!

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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.

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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.

Apply now

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apply now
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