Minister Ng launches request for proposals for renewed Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to creating a vibrant and sustainable venture capital (VC) industry in Canada and improving access to capital for innovative early-stage companies that create well-paying middle-class jobs for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, announced the launch of the Call for Expressions of Interest under the renewed Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI). Announced in Budget 2021, VCCI is increasing investment in the venture capital sector by $450 million. When leveraged with other public and private capital, the renewed VCCI could inject at least $1.5 billion in the venture capital market.

This new round of investments will focus on three areas. The government plans to invest $350 million in funds of funds, $50 million in life sciences and $50 million in inclusive growth. Funds of funds invest primarily in funds that in turn invest directly in technology-focused companies. The investment in inclusive growth is expected to increase access to venture capital for those typically under-represented in the sector, such as women and members of racialized communities.

Promoting diversity and gender balance is a key government priority, and VCCI includes a comprehensive focus on enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion among VC fund managers and portfolio companies, as well as throughout the VC ecosystem.

The renewed VCCI also includes modified provisions that will increase investments in promising Canadian start-ups operating in all regions of the country.

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