Innovacorp Accelerate

Innovacorp Accelerate helps Nova Scotia technology companies get investment-ready.

About Innovacorp Accelerate
How to Apply

If you have a high potential start-up approaching investment readiness, we can help.

Innovacorp Accelerate is now closed for submissions. The deadline for applications was Thursday, September 9, 2021, by 11:59 pm ADT.

Innovacorp Accelerate replaces our Sprint and six-month accelerate programs from past years. We’ve rolled up the benefits of both those initiatives into this new opportunity, which is open to all the start-ups who were eligible for – or even participated in – those former programs.

About Innovacorp Accelerate

Delivered 100 per cent virtually, Innovacorp Accelerate is a milestone-based program that helps Nova Scotia start-ups get investment-ready. We are focused on five sectors where we can leverage our deep in-house expertise and our network of experts and investors to deliver value to our clients:

Accelerate Ocean Tech: a cohort for start-ups developing solutions in ocean health, fisheries and aquaculture, offshore energy, shipborne technologies and marine bioresources

Accelerate Health Tech: a cohort for start-ups developing new therapeutics, medical devices or digital health technologies solving large unmet healthcare needs

Accelerate Agriculture Tech: a cohort for start-ups addressing the global food production challenges while reducing dependency on fossil fuels or petrochemicals

Accelerate Clean Tech: a cohort for start-ups addressing climate change and clean air, water and soil

Accelerate Software: a cohort for start-ups working on software solutions leveraging artificial intelligence, computer vision, blockchain, or data network effects to solve large unmet market needs

Innovacorp Accelerate is delivered in a four-month sprint. Participating companies each receive $25,000 in non-dilutive, non-repayable funding to address key technical and business milestones. Companies are eligible to win up to three awards (i.e., up to $75,000) over time.

In addition to funding, companies will get access to a series of acceleration activities and resources. Resources will be tailored to the cohorts to provide support where participants need it most. Participants should make every effort to take advantage of all the activities and resources offered, which will include:

  • Expert advice will be offered in core business areas such as intellectual property and human resources and culture.
  • Entrepreneurs-in-residence (EiRs) with founder experience will meet with you weekly to provide coaching through this critical stage of growth.
  • Monthly workshops and speakers will cover a variety of business and technical topics. Topics will be tailored to the cohort participants’ industries and needs. Subjects covered during previous cohorts included IP strategy, regulatory planning for life sciences companies, mock term-sheet negotiations, and more.
  • Perks will provide discounts from suppliers such as AWS, Air Canada, HubSpot, and more.
  • Market intelligence through the MaRS Market Intelligence Services program will provide participants with information about their industry, competitors, market, potential investors and partners, and best practices. The MaRS team of analysts and information specialists have industry knowledge and access to top proprietary databases, reports and statistics.

A minimum of five awards is expected in the current round of Innovacorp Accelerate.


We’re seeking companies that we see as pipeline for our investment fund in the five sector streams described above. Applicants must be an incorporated or registered start-up based in Nova Scotia.* Details on how to register with Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies (RJSC) are available from Service Nova Scotia.

Location: Nova Scotia-based*
Financing: Less than $1 million in cumulative sales and less than $250,000 in equity investment (including convertible debt) raised to date
Stage: In addition to having identified a large market pain and market opportunity and having established a company around a customer-validated solution, competitive applicants will have conducted a thorough competitive analysis and achieved proof of concept or minimum viable product (MVP)
People: Entrants must be the majority owner(s) (51 per cent or more) of the company and plan to work full-time with the business

Innovacorp investment portfolio companies are ineligible for this opportunity.

*If you’re outside Canada and interested in relocating your business to Nova Scotia, you may be interested in information on our Start-Up Visa Program, which is intended to attract foreign entrepreneurs who wish to establish new, high-growth businesses in Canada that will support innovation and job creation.


Submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Management Team: Skillset of key individual(s); entrepreneurial track record; capacity to develop the company and handle risks associated with the venture. We expect applicants to have strong technical and business team members.
Market Pain & Value Proposition: Problem and size of the market pain (i.e., $10+ billion total addressable pain); solution (i.e., how it works, how it solves the problem, how it is unique); value proposition (i.e., how much time or money the customer will save/generate by using the solution).
Market Opportunity & Business Model: Description of target customers; quantity of customers; revenue model; size of the market opportunity (i.e., $1+ billion total addressable market).
Competition & Go-to-Market: Competitive analysis; barriers to entry (e.g., IP, proprietary data collection); pricing; go-to-market strategy.
Accelerate Milestones & Success Metrics: Plan and timeline for Innovacorp Accelerate milestones; list of key activities to achieve milestones; detailed budget for $25,000 award; evidence of execution on past key milestones.
Capital Requirements & Investment Potential: Feasible, clear plan of execution; venture capital investment potential (i.e., high-growth potential, $1+ billion market opportunity, attractive return prospects).

How to Apply

Innovacorp Accelerate is now closed for submissions. Applicants were asked to complete the Microsoft Word APPLICATION FORM, answering the questions in the boxes provided, and SUBMIT IT ONLINE.

Please note that Innovacorp is unable to accommodate updates once summaries are submitted.

Important Dates
August 19, 2021
Call for submissions
September 9, 2021
Submission deadline
September 22, 2021
Shortlisted companies notified
September 27-28, 2021
Shortlist presentations
September 29, 2021
Winners notified
October 1, 2021
Program begins


Kristen Fortune