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

Important Dates: 
May 5, 2021
Call for submissions
May 26, 2021
Submission deadline
June 4, 2021 (revised date)
Shortlisted companies notified
June 7-10, 2021 (revised dates) | Agriculture Tech: June 7 | Ocean & Clean Tech: June 8 | Health Tech: June 10
Shortlist presentations
June 11, 2021 (revised date)
Winners notified

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 Wednesday, May 26, 2021, by 11:59 pm ADT.

We've had to slightly revise the dates for the shortlist notifications, presentations, and winner notifications. See the "important dates" to the right for the latest info.

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

Now 100 per cent virtual, Innovacorp Accelerate is a milestone-based program that helps Nova Scotia start-ups get investment-ready. We are focused on four 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

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 venture finance, enterprise sales, 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.


We’re seeking companies that we see as pipeline for our investment fund in the four sector streams described above. Applicants must be a 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.

*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.

Location:  Nova Scotia-based*
Financing:  Less than $1 million in cumulative sales; less than $250,000 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 MVP.
Sectors:  Target industries include agriculture technology, clean technology, health technology and ocean technology. We’re especially interested in deep technology opportunities, which we define as technology based on a scientific discovery or new engineering innovation. However, we welcome submissions from any sector.
People:  Founders and/or managers have industry knowledge, management experience and commitment to the venture. Entrants must be the majority owner(s) (51 per cent or more) of the start-up and plan to work full-time with the business.
Market:  Large, growing international market
Competition:  High barrier to competitive entry
Execution:  Credible plan to reach key milestones
Exclusions:  Innovacorp investment portfolio companies are ineligible for this opportunity.

How to Apply

Innovacorp Accelerate is now closed for submissions. Entrants were asked to complete the Microsoft Word APPLICATION FORM, answering the questions in the boxes provided. Applications were then submitted online. Submissions were due no later than Wednesday, May 26, at 11:59 pm ADT.

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


Kristen Fortune and Charles Milton