Business financing

Finding funding… and more!

A leader in non-traditional funding, Sherbrooke Innopole has access to a number of financial tools and a wide network of partners and business contacts to help you develop your business, at every stage of growth.

Our five investment funds provide a continuum of capital to innovative businesses of our key sectors, from seed funding to growth capital.

Our team of professionals also provides strategic guidance in the planning/assessment of your case, with the possibility of a one-stop-shop to access a range of funding sources: investment funds, institutional loans, government programs, angel investors, venture capital, etc.

Sherbrooke Innopole works in conjunction with Anges Québec, Québec’s largest angel investor network. Sherbrooke is also one of the monthly meeting locations where investment opportunities are presented to Anges Québec’s investing members, some of whom are from Sherbrooke.

Financing programs offered by Sherbrooke Innopole

New Entrepreneur Fund

It is often difficult for new entrepreneurs to get the funds required to start a first business.

In order to increase the amount of necessary initial capital, Sherbrooke Innopole offers entrepreneurs a non-repayable contribution of up to $15,000 through the New Entrepreneur Fund.

Eligibility Criteria

The candidate must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident with main residence in Québec;
  • Be 18 years of age or older;
  • Have experience and/or training in a field related to the project;
  • Be incorporating a company for the first time;
  • Hold at least 35% of company shares;
  • Be committed to working full-time for the new business or be part of the Accélérateur de création d’entreprises technologiques (ACET) program or the Espace-inc acceleration program;
  • Be free from any bankruptcy judgement;
  • Be committed to reimbursing the financial contribution granted if the business place moves away from Sherbrooke before a minimal 5-year period from the date of the signature of the agreement with Sherbrooke Innopole.

The company must:

  • Be located and operate in the City of Sherbrooke;
  • Be a for-profit company;
  • Be part of the key sectors prioritized by Sherbrooke Innopole:
    • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Information Technologies
    • Cleantech
    • Life Sciences
    • Micro-nanotechnologies
  • Create two full-time permanent jobs, including the entrepreneur(s), within the first two years of business;
  • Be based on a business plan with realistic financial forecasts that demonstrate business viability and profitability;
  • Have a level of capitalisation of at least 20% of total assets, including a maximum of 50% of the contribution granted (capitalization must include at least 10% personal cash investment / transfer of useful assets may be considered as capitalisation for up to 10%);
  • Be in pre-commercialization or start-up phase (between 0 and 6 months of commercialization);
    Businesses in the seed stage are not accepted.
  • Must be funded through a source other than Sherbrooke Innopole.

Conditions of the Financial Assistance

  • 5% of the cost of the project, maximum of $15,000 by project to be divided among eligible candidates

 

Seed Fund

The Seed Fund for innovation-driven early stage companies (pre-startup and seed) is offered in partnership with other investors. Sherbrooke Innopole can invest up to $50,000 in equity or quasi-equity capital.

 

Pre-commercialization Fund

The Pre-commercialization Fund is for innovation-driven start-ups in the pre-startup/pre-commercialization stage or for existing businesses moving towards a technological shift, and is offered in partnership with other investors. Sherbrooke Innopole can invest up to $200,000 in equity or quasi-equity capital.

 

Program for Innovative Entrepreneurship

The Program for Innovative Entrepreneurship aims to support innovative Sherbrooke businesses in their start-up/marketing phase (1 or 2 clients) by offering, in different forms, funding or direct investment for up to $250,000 or more when in syndication with partners.

 

Local Investment Fund

Managed by Sherbrooke Innopole, the Local Investment Fund provides assistance for business start-up, expansion, acquisition, consolidation, and succession and transfer. It provides access to bank loans up to $150,000.

Eligibility Criteria

The company must:

  • Demonstrate stability and permanence;
  • Generate significant economic returns for the territory of the City of Sherbrooke;
  • Be registered with the Registre des entreprises du Québec (REQ);
  • Be part of the key sectors prioritized by Sherbrooke Innopole:
    • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Information Technologies
    • Cleantech
    • Life Sciences
    • Micro-nanotechnologies
  • Produce a business plan which establishes job creation as well as the potential for profitability and growth;
  • Hold capital interests representing at least 20%* of total assets.
    *Different percentages apply in succession cases, depending on the value of the project.

>> Investment Policy – Local Investment Fund (French)

Angel investors

Sherbrooke’s greater region can call upon a cell of Anges Québec, a network of private investors who finance and guide high-potential innovative businesses in Québec. The Sherbrooke team, created in close partnership with Sherbrooke Innopole and Desjardins Capital, includes some 20 investors.

Investment sectors: 

Anges Québec invests in all sectors of activity, but is more specifically seeking innovative businesses in the following sectors:

  • Medical Devices
  • Retail and Distribution
  • Industry and Manufacturing 4.0
  • Internet, Information and Communication Technologies
  • Optics and Electronics
  • Life Sciences
  • Innovative Services
  • Cleantech

Angel investors must be accredited investors as per the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF).

To become a member of the Anges Québec network, please call or write: 514 564-9508 / manon.desmarais@angesquebec.com.

To submit a project to angel investors, visit Anges Québec’s website or contact one of our financing experts.

Contact your expert

Marie-France Audet, B.B.A.

Director, Business Services – Financing

819 821-5577 ext. 203