Atlantic Canada’s commercialization and industry liaison network


Below you will find answers to all your questions about the Atlantic Investment Opportunities Program. Just in case we missed something you can ask away by emailing us at


1. What will I be getting from participating in this program?

  • Exclusive introductions and meetings with both mentors and investors who have an interest in supporting Atlantic start-ups seeking angel round investment.
  • An opportunity to showcase your company on the Startup Atlantic portal. 
  • Training both online and in person to perfect your pitching skills and refine your business case. You know your business is great, now learn how to show investors. 


2. How do I apply?

Click here to complete the application form. 


3. What is the timeline for this project: 


  • Consultation with potential stakeholders (incubators, accelerators, sandboxes, mentors and investors


  • Application process opens for start-ups
  • Advisory group established
  • Ongoing consultation with stakeholders
  • Interviews with investors
  • Establish a portal showcasing Atlantic start-ups


  • Applicant review process
  • Plan Road Trip itinerary to meet with mentors & investors


  • Up to sixteen start-ups selected to the 1st cohort
  • Online training programs commence


  • Investment and Pitch training/coaching programs for up to sixteen startups held in Halifax
  • Twelve start-ups are selected of the 16 to attend the Road Trip
  • Follow-up mentoring and coaching as required


  • Road Trip to Toronto with 12 start-ups and mentors meeting with investors
  • Debrief with start-ups and also mentors and investors

January 2018

  • Survey start-ups and investors on outcomes of the Road Trip
  • Compile report with metrics and outcomes


4. What investor market is the trial program focusing on?

We will be focusing on attracting investors from the Greater Toronto Area. 


5. What kind of criteria will you be using to evaluate applicants for the program?

  • Not sector specific but clearly demonstrates a high growth potential
  • A clear business model exists and has validation, preferably broader than Atlantic region
  • Stage – early stage with market traction to late stage seed (Opportunity for Angels)
  • Preferably a Team vs. single founder
  • Export oriented - Primary market(s) are outside the region
  • Candidates may have had offers from established regional investors (vested or not)


6. I am not located in Halifax is there any travel support available to help me participate in the training? 

Best efforts will be made to ensure equal opportunity for all 4 provinces in the region to have companies participating, including such challenges as helping candidate companies afford to travel to pitch training locations such that the entire region is served. This in no way is requiring that there is a regional balance of final candidates as part of the GTA mission.


7. What is the cost of being a part of this program? 

The program is subsidized by ACOA so the workshops being held in Halifax are at no cost to your company other than your travel and accommodations. Those candidates that go on to the pitch mission with investors will be only required to pay for their travel and housing expenses (estimated at $1500 for 2 days in Greater Toronto Area), with the venue, meals, and transportation being covered by the program.


8. Why does this program exist? Why do you think this is important? 

The funding landscape has been undergoing significant changes in the last few years. Early stage start-ups and small SMEs who make up the bulk of the industry in the region, are subjected to changes in programs and investment behaviors which impact their ability to grow a business.

 Meanwhile, our companies have a global economy to compete with and need to let policy work its process – which means using the programs as they exist, and increasing access to private capital.

The challenge is that regional private capital rarely engages early enough compared to some of the above example programs. So our private sector capital gap just gets bigger. The Investment Opportunities Project being proposed will help offset this gap.