After graduating from a university technology program, your new skills and ambition can open impressive opportunities for your career. Instead of seeking out a full-time position, some recent graduates choose to start their own business—often leveraging their capstone project to create a startup company, with the potential to commercialize truly innovative technology.

Starting a business can be an exciting endeavour, but many early-stage entrepreneurs overlook the importance of IP in the success of a startup. As you secure a spot in an incubator and begin raising capital, IP can be overlooked due to a tight focus on research, project development, and product launch.

Yet in the long run, you'll thank yourself for remembering that IP is an incredibly valuable asset—ensuring that any novel inventions, innovative products, and creative works are shielded from infringement and imitation. Fortunately, in Canada, you don't need to take on the costs of developing an effective IP strategy all by yourself.

To provide key support to startups, federal and provincial government programs offer funding programs to help you maximize the value of IP assets within your business—including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.

  • With over $90 million at its disposal, ElevateIP enables you to make the most of your IP, supporting startups across each province through local Business Accelerators and Incubators (BAIs).
  • Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) from the National Research Council (NRC) supports businesses pursuing technology-driven innovation through IP Assist, with subsidies up to $50,000.
  • Innovation Asset Collective (IAC) provides funding for businesses that need financial support to learn about IP strategy, with individual awards ranging from $5,000-$20,000—including targeted grant opportunities for women-led companies.

To get started, booking a consultation with an IP specialist helps to maximize the potential value of your assets. Through a robust IP strategy, Canadian businesses can gain a strong competitive advantage, foster innovation, and position themselves for long-term success.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.