Over the last few months I have found my feelings for Ontario’s Centres of Excellence to be changing from ones of friendship to something more. Dare I name it? Can it be…love?
When the expanded mandate (including funding for business acceleration, market readiness etc.)for OCE was first announced, many of us treated it as a non-event. But since last December, when it rolled out its first Accelerator Fund investments the OCE has been going full bore. The OCE may well be the single most active early stage investor in Canada at the moment.
You’ve got to hand it to them – they’ve filled the current gaps in start-up funding as creatively as possible. The latest addition? According to my clients, OCE has funds for an “Embedded Executive” program. OCE will provide some funds to pay the first 6 months salary of a senior executive that joins the team of Ontario emerging growth companies. This incents start-ups to add bench strength sooner rather than later. Since team strength is an important metric for attracting growth capital, this is a terrific supplement to other OCE programs.
I don’t know much more about the program, but suggest those of you engaged with OCE contact them for further details.