Navigating Canada’s IP Funding Landscape: Empowering Startups for Success

IP strategy: A moat to protect innovations

Intellectual Property is “innovation,” serving as the moat for businesses, entrepreneurs, creators, and innovators who bring remarkable ideas to life through groundbreaking research and unique products. Intellectual property is pivotal in unlocking these enterprises’ growth and innovation potential. A robust IP strategy with a comprehensive action plan for identifying, protecting, developing and monetizing intangible IP assets such as patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, designs, and data can be transformative for the growth of a business. 

Why Developing an IP Strategy is essential?

An IP strategy safeguards valuable ideas and innovations from unauthorized use, providing a competitive advantage by establishing a unique selling proposition. It enables revenue generation through licensing or selling IP while mitigating risks of legal battles and financial losses. Well-protected IP assets attract investors and partners and encourage continuous innovation by rewarding creators for their contributions. It enables businesses to extract maximum value from existing products and services, generate new revenue streams, and attract investment capital, driving sustained success and competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Unlocking funding opportunities: Intellectual Property Assistance Programs by the Canadian Government

Do you know that, as part of Canada’s commitment to supporting Canadian businesses in technology development and intellectual property protection, the Canadian government has launched several funding programs? These programs help innovative companies, startups, and SMEs build and implement IP Strategies and generate IP for their companies and the country.


  1. ElevateIP 

ElevateIP is a federally funded, nationwide project designed to help business accelerators and incubators like Communitech provide the tools Canadian startups need to understand, strategically manage and leverage their intellectual property. Building on the National Intellectual Property Strategy launched in 2018, the Government of Canada further supports Canadian innovators, startups, and technology-intensive businesses. Budget 2021 announced a $90 million investment over four years starting in 2022-2023 to create ElevateIP. 

The ElevateIP program offers funding up to $100,000 for startups to develop and implement an IP strategy through three tiers of services:

Please note that the funding and contribution amounts for Tier 2 and Tier 3 are based on ElevateIP-Ontario. Other provinces may have different budgets and co-investment contributions for these Tiers (program stages).

  1. IRAP IP Assist 

The IRAP IP Assist Program is designed to help startups develop a strong IP portfolio and transform their innovations into valuable, protected IP assets, including patents, trademarks, designs, and copyrights. It is administered by the National Research Council (NRC) through its Innovation Research Assistance Program (IRAP). IRAP offers targeted advisory services to assist SMEs in developing an effective IP strategy for their innovative products and services. 

By leveraging IP Assist resources, SMEs can increase their IP management knowledge, leading to revenue growth for firms. The IP strategy can also identify potential competitors and collaborators through IP analysis. 

The program operates in three stages:


  1. Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON) – Trusted IP Support for Ontario Innovators

IPON (Intellectual Property Ontario) is designed to help Ontario-based entrepreneurs, researchers, and SMEs protect their IP and reach their commercialization potential; these programs offer tailored support and funding. The Ontario-based SMEs must have fewer than 500 employees working on technology sector implementation in MedTech, life sciences, AI, vehicle tech, and mining/advanced manufacturing. SMEs must own or exclusively license IP and intend to commercialize in Ontario. Further, they must demonstrate financial capacity and potential societal/economic benefits. The applications for the programs listed below are reviewed on a rolling basis.

IP Bootcamp 3 Months$35k (IPON covers 80% of costs)Immediate funding, IP education, benchmarking, mentorship, and networking.
Partner Program  6 Months$35k (IPON covers 80% of costs)Immediate funding, IP education, benchmarking, mentorship, and networking Plus Support from Partner organization
Self-guided programClient’s pace Funding calls, IP education, benchmarking, and networking.
  1. CanExport SMEs

The CanExport SMEs Program offers up to $50,000 in financial assistance to Canadian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) aiming to explore new export opportunities, especially in high-growth emerging markets. This support includes funding for market research, adapting products for foreign markets, intellectual property registration costs (such as attorney and application fees for patents and trademarks), certifications, expert legal and business advice, SEO, and marketing materials. To qualify, businesses must be for-profit, legally incorporated in Canada, have a Canada Revenue Agency business number, employ fewer than 500 full-time employees, and have declared revenue between $100,000 and $100 million in the past fiscal year. Supported activities also encompass attending trade shows, networking events, and conferences outside Canada.

  1. Innovation Asset Collective (IAC)

Intellectual Property (IP) is vital for the success of Canada’s SMEs and innovation economy, yet many entrepreneurs underestimate its importance due to limited understanding and resources. To address this, the IP Assistance Centre (IAC), backed by a $30 million federal contribution, helps SMEs leverage IP for growth and scaling. The 2024 Canadian federal budget allocates $14.5 million over two years to support the IAC through Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada. IAC offers grants and resources to Full and Associate Members, including a specific grant for women-led companies to promote gender diversity in the IP ecosystem. These grants and IP credits help SMEs enhance their IP strategies and drive business growth.

IAC offers multiple funding Programs:


Who we are? 

Riahi Patents, Inc. is a leading technology-focused IP consulting company in Canada, with offices in Ontario, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia.  We specialize in helping North American businesses protect their intellectual property by filing patent applications, trademark applications, copyrights, and more. In addition, we also assist start-ups and scale-ups in building their IP Strategy by performing a comprehensive IP audit. 

Working as registered service providers with Communitech (ON), SpringBoard (NS), and NewVenture (BC), we are working to help startups with the ElevateIP funding process. We are also the registered service provider with IPON.

Having collaborated with more than 60 startups and SMEs across Canada, we have facilitated funding through programs like IRAP IP Assist, ElevateIP, IAC, CanExport, and IPON and established a record of success by helping our clients secure the financial support needed to fuel their growth and innovation initiatives.  

Technology Areas

Electronics and Communication, Wireless Technology, Nano Science and Fabrication, Consumer Electronics, Biotechnology, Software as a Service (SaaS), Software Development, Agriculture Technology, Food Technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN), Healthcare Innovations, Blockchain, Data Management, and Cybersecurity, Renewable Energy Technologies, Advanced Manufacturing, Robotics and Automation, Clean Technology (Cleantech), Internet of Things (IoT), Fintech (Financial Technology), 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, Smart Cities and Infrastructure, and Quantum Computing.

How can we help? 

The diverse team of Patent Agents, Patent advisors, and other IP Patent consultant experts at Riahi Patents offers a diverse service tailored to the unique needs of startups and SMEs. We provide various services, including IP education and awareness, developing and implementing robust IP strategies, and filing patents and trademark applications in Canada, the US, and globally. We completed more than 20 projects over the last nine months, ensuring the startup reaches its full potential and thrives in the technology market. 

Our deep understanding of these IP funding programs, coupled with our hands-on experience, enables us to provide invaluable assistance in navigating the application process, optimizing funding allocation, and, ultimately, driving success. Our commitment to supporting startups and fostering innovation is vital. We aim to empower startups and small businesses to thrive in a competitive market.

If you want to learn more about these programs, visit the Riahi Patents website to learn more about our services and programs.


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