Scale your business with Innovation Factory
We are passionate about driving the growth of Ontario businesses, like yours. Whether you are an entrepreneur bringing new ideas to market or a scaling business trying to get to the next level, we want to help.
Innovation can happen anywhere, our goal is to make it work everywhere. We work to elevate key industry sectors including advanced manufacturing, clean tech, information technology, smart transportation, life sciences & health care and social innovations.
About Innovation Factory
Innovation Factory is a not-for-profit business accelerator and a regional innovation centre, serving as the catalyst for technology innovation in the Greater Hamilton Area since 2010.
Providing business services, training, mentorship, and strategic connections, Innovation Factory helps drive market adoption, revenues, investment, jobs and leverage of intellectual property. Innovators can also access sector-specific resources including exclusive smart transportation test environments and data and formal life science and health innovation ecosystems.
Funded by the Government of Ontario, Innovation Factory helps Ontario-based innovators and entrepreneurs clear commercialization hurdles — accelerating the growth of companies so that they can compete and succeed globally and create high-quality jobs in our province.
Innovation Factory and the City of Hamilton are situated upon the traditional territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron–Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Mississaugas. This land is covered by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, which was an agreement between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabek to share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. We further acknowledge that this land is covered by the Between the Lakes Purchase, 1792, between the Crown and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
Today, the City of Hamilton is home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island (North America) and we recognize that we must do more to learn about the rich history of this land so that we can better understand our roles as residents, neighbours, partners and caretakers.
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Frequently asked questions
Innovation Factory provides business advisory services, programs, mentorship and strategic connections designed to support your business at any stage of its growth. Apart from our internal expertise, we’ve cultivated a wide network of community partners and mentors equipped to provide customized resources and guidance to our clients. Collectively, we serve as a comprehensive hub for entrepreneurs in the region, offering the necessary support they need to thrive.
Innovation Factory is a business accelerator, dedicated to helping Ontario-based businesses launch, scale, and succeed. We provide startups, and scaling companies with advisory services, training, mentorship, and strategic connections to help bring disruptive technologies to market, leverage intellectual property, increase revenues, attract investment, and create jobs.
We’re not just a business accelerator; we are also your partner in success. Our dedication lies in facilitating the launch, scale, and success of businesses like yours. Our ultimate goal is to ensure your business thrives in the most efficient way possible. By choosing to work with Innovation Factory, we’ll help you when you feel stuck and support you at every stage of your growth — all at no cost to you or your business.
Innovation Factory highlights client success stories in a multitude of platforms. Listen to our Growth Series Podcast to hear some inspiring stories as entrepreneurs share the ups and downs that lead to their success and how the Innovation Factory team helped along the way.
Or, you can check out our case studies for some quick insights and specifics on their commercialization challenges and how our resources empowered them to continue to grow and scale their startup.
No, you do not need to be generating any revenue to apply. Innovation Factory supports innovative businesses at any stage of its development.
As a non-profit organization, Innovation Factory provides its core services for free, which means you’ll have access to business advisory, expert mentor access, and exclusive resources for market intelligence all at no charge to you. We don’t take a stake or have any fees or equity in your business, however, we do require that each client participate in an annual survey. This survey is used to report to our funder, the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade and ensures that we can keep supporting businesses like yours.
No, Innovation Factory does not take stakes from any of our client’s businesses. Our mission is to help you grow and succeed as part of our service to the Ontario government.
All of Innovation Factory’s business advisory services are confidential and covered by a non-disclosure agreement, however, until your property is protected through patent laws, businesses are responsible for the safety of their IP.
Innovation Factory provides excellent free legal consultation through our legal partners, as well as courses and programs available for IP strategy and protection, such as our recently launched program, OwnershIP.
NOTE: Do not publicize your property before having proper legal protection.
First, you need to submit our client application form. Shortly after you will be connected with someone from our Venture Growth team, who will be your primary point of contact. They will support you based on your needs, connecting you to the right partners and ecosystem at the appropriate stages of your business, offering workshops, mentorship, strategic connections (IP, legal, marketing services, funding, etc.), access to market and non-dilutive funding reports, and more!
Innovation Factory is unique to other business accelerators as we don’t impose a time frame for you to complete specific milestones in order to receive our services. Innovators can use our services indefinitely. We only ask that you complete an annual survey on the metrics that we use to report to our funder, the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade.
After completing and submitting the client application form, your first point of contact will be with one of our Innovation Advisors on the Venture Growth team. You can learn more about our team here.
We are funded by two streams, through the government and through the private sector. The majority of our funding comes from the government through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade. The government of Ontario supports us so we may provide free services to you, however we operate independently. The private sector funds are a minority share of our budget. Through our various partnerships, iF collaborates with them to support programs, workshops and events.
Absolutely – but during our hours of operation of course! We are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and have free wifi, and coffee and tea. We also have meeting rooms that you can book out if you need a private meeting.
While we don’t directly provide funding, our team is equipped to help you identify and navigate potential funding programs, loans, or investors best suited for your business. Innovation Factory also facilitates training and workshops designed to ready you for investment opportunities. Let us help you understand what type of funding is available for your company and what you need to prepare.