Information on legal and business topics from Canadian business lawyer Shane McLean

Bright Side of Life Part III

Posted by Shane McLean on April 24, 2009

Originally Posted on on February 6, 2009.

Bright Side of Life #3:  If you need money for your startup, VCs aren’t the only game in town – The lack of venture capital money has required that folks come up with some more creative ideas on funding.  Here are a couple random examples of ways companies are finding funds out there:

– Although not for everyone, there has been a rise in interest in the Capital Pool Company program offered by the TSX Venture Exchange as an alternative route to funding.  The TSX Venture Exchange calls it “Public Venture Capital”.  It’s not as easy as they make it sound, but at least people are thinking and coming up with different ways to address the problem.  

– Lots of startups are doing paid service work on the side to support the core business — be careful not to divert too much focus from the main goal.  

– Others are turning more to governmental sources.  Last week I had breakfast with a guy who recently began working at the Ontario Ministry of Small Businesses and Consumer Services.  When he started with them he was surprised to find just how many different pools of money the Ontario Government has available for small companies that often go untapped because, as he put it, people don’t know about them, don’t know their startup is eligible or (get this) aren’t interested in applying because of some perceived negativity toward taking government funds or toward the application process itself.   Interestingly, part of this Ministry’s mandate is to disburse these funds and so they practically want to give you the money.   In fact, I understand that they will send someone to you to help you determine which programs you might be eligible for and help guide you through the process.  I would be more than happy to put you in touch with my contact at the Ministry.  Please contact me if you are interested ( or 613 599 9600 ext 262).

These are just a few examples. There are loads of alternative funding sources out there that you might not think of right away and, once you get the funds, there are lots of ways to try and leverage more than 100 cents out of a given dollar of funding.   Best of luck.


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