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Innovation & Job News

Investment Accelerator Fund rewards Toronto innovators

The Investment Accelerator Fund provides seed funding to Ontario-based startups—a total of $26.6 million to 57 emerging companies so far. With money from the provincial government and administration by MaRS, IAF gives new technology companies up to $500,000 each, with the specific goal of positioning those companies to be better able to attract additional funds from venture capitalists and other investors.

The two latest recipients of investment from IAF are both Toronto startups (as are eight of 12 recipients who have been awarded funding since December, 2011): CrowdCare, which provides customer support services, and Better the World, which is about to launch a new platform, called FlipGive, to help accelerate corporate giving programs.

Proof of concept for IAF: their investment in Better the World is just part of a new series of funding—the company recently announced that they've closed a $2-million round—which will help them develop and enhance that new CSR tool.

Better the World CEO Steve Croft says FlipGive is a technology platform "for driving consumer and employee engagement in [a company's] giving programs—a new way for people to raise money for local community initiatives." Essentially, instead of selling chocolate to raise money for charity you'd be selling, for instance, a company's gift card.

Better the World currently has 18 people on staff. The new funding, from both the IAF and other investors, will enable the company to grow to 30 "in short order," says Croft. He has nothing but kind words for MaRS, perhaps even more for the intangible support they've offered, like mentorship and promotion, than the recent cash infusion.

"If you're looking at Ontario as a space," Croft adds, "it's a very supportive province."

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Steve Croft, Co-CEO, Better the World
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