According to Forbes, within the first 16 to 18 months, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail due to lack of funds and 50% of small businesses that began in 2011 failed in the first four years. It is no secret that becoming an entrepreneur has its fair share of challenges. It can be a daunting task figuring out the funding for a startup when confronted with these discouraging statistics. Despite this data, there is no need to worry because Guaraná Technologies has mapped out the solutions and come up with helpful resources to help get that initial money coming in.

Before we get started, it is important to know how much funding you want to ask and so here are a few business startup cost calculators to give you an idea of what you are looking for:

Starting Cost Calculator
Business Startup Cost Calculator
New Business Startup Costs

1. Toronto Startup Government Grants

Government grants are financial awards given to eligible grantees to stimulate the economy in providing support to various programs such as the arts, educational institutions, innovative research and agricultural projects.

In comparison to a loan, government grants are not expected to be repaid by the grantees. Canadian government grants can help provide funding support anywhere from small businesses to large corporations.

The most popular government grants for small businesses are separated into four funding categories:

  • Business expansion funding grants and loans: This category provides a list of Canadian government grants as well as provincial government funding in Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba for small business growth. These grants are for mature growth-oriented businesses expanding their facilities, purchasing new capital equipment and entering new markets.
  • Hiring and training grants: This category provides a list of Canadian government grants as well as provincial government funding in Ontario and Alberta for small business recruitment activities. These grants provide programs to help hire and train their staff in new areas such as advanced technologies or operational processes.
  • Capital investment funding: This category provides a list of Canadian government grants as well as provincial government funding in Ontario and Manitoba for small business units to help them invest in capital equipment, enterprise software, and advanced technologies to expand and improve their operations. These grants help with building design and construction, technology investments and commercialization strategies.
  • Research and development funding: This category provides a list of Canadian government grants as well as provincial government funding in Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba for business innovation support. These grants are for research and development activities.

Top funding programs offered in Canada within the four funding categories:

Canada Media Fund: Experimental Stream Innovation Program:
What it is: government grant for developing and promoting innovative and interactive software development projects in Web 2.0 or higher such as software apps, mobile apps, virtual reality and video games.
When to apply: The program launches twice a year with submission dates in the fall and spring. Eligibility: Eligible to for-profit canadian companies with projects developed in Canada. Must have a letter of intent from a market channel partner committing to take the project to market and actively promote the project if the applicant does not host the digital media on their own internal network or infrastructure.
Amount: 50-75% of project costs (maximum $250k – $1M), Prototyping (75%/$250k), Production (75%/$1M), Marketing and Promotion (75%/$400k), up to $1.2 million if prototyping projects lead to production.

Canada Small Business Financing Program
What it is:  this program is part of the Canada Small Business Financing Act and was created to help support business growth through business loans with competitive interest rates.
When to apply: Applications are accepted year round and you must apply at a financial institution or a credit union.
Eligibility: small Canadian businesses making less than $10 million annually in gross revenues can receive funding for expansion. The decision is based on personal credit scores and you may require a business plan to apply.
Amount: Up to $1M for business expansion activities, including the acquisition of a building, leasehold improvements, purchasing new or used equipment, and software components.

Canadian International Innovation Program
What it is: supports collaborative research and development projects that lead to the commercialization of new products, processes, or services and hopes to match Canadian businesses with international partners such as Brazil, China, India, Israel and South Korea.
When to apply: each partner country has its own application deadline.
Eligibility: Incorporated within Canada with less than 500 employees creating technologies with an international research and development partner for healthcare, cleantech, water tech, information and communication technologies and manufacturing technologies.
Amount: maximum $600,000 per project.

IRAP Mid-Size Projects
What it is: the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) provides research grants to Canadian businesses for internal development and the improvement of innovative technologies for mid-size projects.
When to apply: federal funding released April 1 every year.
Eligibility: located in Canada, 1-500 people on payroll and to have been operating for at least two years.
Amount: 65-80% of internal labour costs which covers the cost of salaries paid to employees directly involved in research and development activities.

IRAP Accelerated Review Process
What it is: performs the technical research needed to solve any internal innovation challenges such as process or product/technology improvements. Funding supports adoption of new and advanced technology, software implementation, productivity improvements, and production design or marketing projects.
When to apply: federal funding released April 1 every year.
Eligibility: 1-500 people on payroll and to have been operating for at least two years.
Amount: $50k non-repayable grant with 80% of direct labour and 50% sub-contractors.

OMDC Interactive Digital Media Fund
What it is: the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) supports the development of high-quality interactive digital media products such as software and games (video games, mobile applications, websites and web series).
When to apply: the upcoming deadline is August 27, 2018. Call for proposals are periodic. Projects must begin within 90 days of approval and should be completed within 2 years of OMDC’s decision on funding commitments.
Eligibility:  Must have more than 3 years of professional experience in the Ontario interactive digital media content production industry.
Amount: Up to 50% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $50,000 for Concept Definition projects and $250,000 for Production projects.

Best Practices when Applying for Startup Government Grants

  1. Become grant compliant. When applying for grants or any other kind of funding, there are a few initial steps to be taken before beginning the application process.  From cash flow planning, to having a solid business and marketing strategy, it is important to make sure you have completed your compliance checklist before applying for grants.
  2. Find the best grant program for you. To begin the grant application process it is necessary to understand your own goals before researching grants. In doing so, you will be able to find a grant program that supports your business venture and the goals you want to accomplish.
  3. Give yourself enough time. When writing a grant application it is essential to give yourself a considerable amount of time so that you are not leaving it to the last minute. You should be researching and writing at least two months prior to the deadline.
  4. Contact grantmakers. An important point to mention is to make sure you contact the grantmakers to guarantee that your project meets the criteria of eligibility for the grant program.
  5. Ask for advice. Assembling a team will help with the application process as well as asking for advice from others who got funded with grants similar to the one you are proposing.
  6. Outline your action plan. The proposal should outline every step of your action plan. This includes business, management and financial capabilities and strategies, the problems you are facing, an analysis of the competition, the areas you see for growth and what you envision for the future.
  7. Have a financial plan. Detail the activities that will reach your projects’ goals and objectives and have a financial plan in place outlining the specific budget and the costs for activities, services, materials, equipment and fees.
  8. Find partners and funders. Having partners and funders who financially contribute to your project will strengthen your application, especially if a letter of endorsement is submitted along with the application.
  9. Proofread. Once the proposal is complete, be sure to proofread and have someone else read your draft. Yes, this is stating the obvious, however, grammatical errors do not portray a positive image to the grant reviewers.
  10. Follow-up. Once you have submitted your application, follow up with the reviewers and ask for feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal.

If you want to find out which grants apply to your business take a look at this online tool and get a personalized grant list for your startup.




2. Submit your App to Local Angel Investor Groups

Finding a local angel investor is a great source for gaining capital for your small business startup. Angel investors are high net-worth individuals who invest their personal funds into potentially successful startups or entrepreneurs.

They invest in industries and sectors they understand within their geographic proximity. This can be a one-time investment or they can provide constant financial boosts through the early phases of the company.

Other forms of investment are through venture capital and private equity. With venture capital, instead of receiving investment from wealthy individuals, it is coming from large, affluent financial institutions and firms, such as investment banks, who are willing to help provide funding for up and coming startups. Private equity usually involves funding larger and more established companies.

Some of the criteria angel investors are looking for in companies is a strong probability for future growth in annual revenues, high returns on investment, an experienced and coachable management team, funding requirements, potential exits and other firms that are investing.

The one downside to angel investors is having to give up full control of your startup since they have a say in how the business is run. Despite this one drawback, angel investors are highly active in providing their professional business experience, valuable connections and advice toward making your startup a success.

To begin the process of seeking out an angel investor you must send in an application to give them an overview of your business and the kind of investment you are looking for. These online application forms can often be found on angel investor websites.

If the application is accepted, this will lead to doing a proposal presentation in front of members of the angel group you reached out to. For example, the Peterborough Region Angel Network gives a list of requirements for a presentation:

  • A concise description of the market need that the company fills.
  • An outline of what the company strives to do and why (vision).
  • A description of what the market realities and size of the opportunity are.
  • A brief description of the product, technology, and/or service.
  • An outline of the management team, advisors, and owners.
  • A brief description of go-to-market strategies.
  • A detailed outline of financials (breakdown of revenues, expenditures, etc).
  • A suggested exit strategy for Angel Investors.

Here is a list of angel groups in Ontario and their contact information:

Angel One Investor Network (Oakville)
Phone: 905-630-2200

Capital Angel Network (Ottawa-Gatineau)

Georgian Angel Network (Collingwood)
Phone: (416) 407-4324

Golden Triangle Angelnet (Cambridge)
Phone: 519-740-8500

Maple Leaf Angels (Toronto)
Phone: 416-646-6235

Niagara Angel Network (Niagara)
Phone: 905-834-2173

Peterborough Region Angel Network (Peterborough)
Phone: 705-536-1101

Purple Angel (Ottawa)

Ryerson Futures (Toronto)
Online contact form only

Spark Angel Network (Whitby, Oshawa, Cobourg)
Phone: 905-754-0550

Southwestern Ontario Angel Group (London)
Phone: 519-858-5043

York Angel Investors (Vaughan)
Phone: 905-532-0617



 3. Start an Online Crowdfunding Campaign to Fund your Startup

Crowdfunding is a form of crowdsourcing and is considered to be another great approach to funding your startup. It is a way to raise small amounts of money from a large group of people over the internet.

Business and entrepreneurship remains the most popular category for crowdfunding campaigns which brought in $6.7 billion in 2014.

Fluent Forever is an example of a successful app startup that got started on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. The app helps you become fluent in whatever language you choose. So far the campaign has gained 4,434 backers and raised $587,785.

There are a few simple steps to follow to put your crowdfunding page together and create a campaign:

  1. It is important to describe on your page the project you are launching. You can use this helpful Kickstarter handbook on how to properly tell your story.
  2. Pick a realistic funding target and be clear with audiences why you need the money. Indiegogo has a useful page on how to choose your funding goal.
  3. You will have to create a brief, eye-catching and intriguing video pitch to explain your project. The most successful videos tend to be under 5 minutes long. Freelancers on Upwork are more than willing to help with video production and editing.  
  4. Pick a crowdfunding platform (you can find a list of the top six crowdfunding platforms below). With these platforms you will have the option to give rewards to the people donating such as invites to special events or small gifts. Some platforms even have an “all or nothing” rule where if you do not reach your funding target under a certain time limit, the funds will not be released and will then be returned to the donators.
  5. Strategize your marketing campaign. This post does not delve too much into the specifics but here are two crowdfunding guides you can use to help you launch a successful campaign.
  6. Make sure your supporters are constantly being updated on the status of your campaign.

Here is a list of the top 6 online crowdfunding platforms to choose from:

  • GoFundMe: Over $5 billion raised with 50 million supporters, no penalties for missing deadlines, free platform, 2.9% plus $0.30 per donation for safe credit card processing and transfer of funds, no deadlines or goal requirements, keep every donation you receive, good for business fundraising.
  • Kickstarter: Over $3 billion raised with 14 million supporters. Has a 36.29% success rate, 5% platform fee, 3.0% plus $0.20 for payments and must have a funding goal and deadline (all or nothing funding), good for design, tech and games.  
  • IndieGoGo: Over $1 billion raised with 9 million supporters, 5% platform fee, 3.0% plus $0.30 for payments, offers fixed (specific goal that must be met) and flexible funding (you keep all the money you raise regardless of your goal), good for tech and innovation projects.  
  • Fundly: Over $330 million raised, 4.9% platform fee, 2.9% plus $0.30 for payments, can withdraw funds immediately, good for creative projects.
  • JustGiving: Founded in 2001 in the UK, over $4.5 billion raised, 5% platform fee, 2.9% for payments, good for corporate fundraising, charities and events.
  • Facebook: Platform and payment fee of 6.9% plus 0.30$ for personal fundraising, no fees for charities, can withdraw funds immediately, 12 different fundraiser categories.

 4. Find a Toronto-based Startup Competition

Startup competitions are investment opportunities to help launch your startup by pitching your business ideas live in front of a panel of judges (including professional business leaders and investors).

Successful pitch presentations are rewarded with a variety of monetary prizes to help support the startups. Guaraná has compiled a list of annual competitions that can be helpful to your startup.

ElevateR Pitch: AI Edition
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Application deadline: August 14, 2018
Date(s): September 21-27, 2018
Description: Canada’s top AI startups compete for the attention of international investors and global tech leaders by pitching live on stage in front of a panel of judges. Over $1 million in funding is available for select finalists in the competition. Your company must be Canadian, AI focused and to have raised less than $10 million.

Location: Venture 13 in Cobourg, Ontario
Application deadline: July 13, 2018
Date(s): Live pitch contest September 13, 2018 and winners announced November 2018
Description: Open invitational technology startup competition where winner(s) receive up to $250,000.

The Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Application deadline: October 30, 2017
Date(s): January 17-20, 2019
Description: This competition is available to students currently enrolled full-time in university or college. It is a chance to develop networks and share ideas in workshops with professors, advisors and entrepreneurs. The top 15 teams are invited to pitch their business plans in front of a panel of Canadian business leaders with the chance to win over $75,000 in prizes.

World Angel Investment Summit
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Application deadline: N/A
Date(s): September 25-27, 2018
Description: Hosted by the National Angel Capital Organization attracting over 700 investors, partners and industry leaders. Angel investors give emerging startup companies guidance and funding.

Ignite Capital
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Application deadline: N/A
Date(s): N/A
Description: Annual competition inviting Ontario entrepreneurs with limited access to financing to compete for up to $15,000 in funding. Must have been in business for no more than two years with little to no sales and be 18 years or older.

Innovative Solutions Canada Challenge
Location: N/A
Application deadline: January 1, 2020
Date(s): N/A
Description: Provides support to Canadian entrepreneurs, innovators and small businesses. Can receive up to $150,000 to support the development of a proof of concept. If this is approved, you could receive up to $1 million to develop a prototype.

5. Fund your App Startup with Business Loans

Bank loans involve borrowing money from a bank with the agreement of repaying the loan at a specified later date (this date is detailed in your loan agreement with the bank). Bank loans have interest rates, meaning you pay a percentage of the loan every month to the bank until it is repaid in full.

Banks consider startups and entrepreneurs to be high-risk, therefore making it very difficult for them to acquire loans. The majority of the time startups have cash flows issues, making banks very cautious when handing out loans. This is confirmed during the application process when your credit is checked and the lender assesses whether you can repay the loan.

If you have a high credit score, lenders will see that you are more reliable in being able to pay back the loan on time. Furthermore, when pursuing a lone it is vital to know your own credit history and current credit score.

There are a few loans offered that are specifically geared toward startups or small businesses. These loans offer key benefits to grow your business such as receiving funding for business expansion, purchasing and improving leasing properties and commercial properties as well as funding for acquiring equipment.

Applying to these loans must be done over the phone or in person at your preferred bank where they will explain the process and what you must prepare for the application.

It is important to remember your financial limitations and be realistic in what you can afford to repay because missing loan payments can be a risky business and in serious cases can lead to bankruptcy.

Business loans are positive for business expansion but it is also important to remember the many risks that go along with choosing this option for startup funding. In general, according to the Now Finance blog, If you miss a loan payment you will receive a call from your creditor, and depending on your loan agreement, you may be charged for missing the payment.

If your payment is over two weeks late, a notice will appear on your credit report which will affect your credit score. When your payment is over 60 days late, you will be contacted by the creditors’ collections department demanding payment. Your credit file will then fall into default which inevitably leads to difficulties securing credit for several years.

If payments continue to fail to be paid this will lead to court action and possibly filing for bankruptcy.

Here is a list detailing small business financing loans from the major Canadian banks and their criteria of eligibility:

This a government-sponsored loan program which is commonly used for new businesses looking for funding to support their company’s growth. RBC offers up to $1 million to small businesses in Canada. 85% of the loan is guaranteed by the federal government, previous purchases are eligible for financing and they offer flexible repayment options.

This loan is for small businesses or startups located in Canada bringing in an annual revenue of less than $10 million. Up to $350,000 is offered for leasehold improvements and equipment financing and up to $1 million is offered for property purchase and improvements. However, this program does not finance inventory, working capital, goodwill, franchise fees and research and development.

This loan helps provide support to start or grow your business where 85% of the loan is covered by the federal government. Small businesses bringing in a gross revenue of less than $10 million are eligible. Previous purchases (180 days prior to loan approval) are eligible for financing as well as floating and fixed rates. The loan offers up to $350,000 in funding to buy equipment, vehicles and make leasehold improvements and up to $1 million for buying and improving commercial property.

CIBC business loans are available in any amount over $10,000 with convenient loan rates. You can choose a fixed rate loan or a combination of a loan and a line of credit. This loan is for businesses who need funding to buy equipment and fixed assets. The loan offers fixed or variable interest rates and a variety of repayment options. Once your application is completed, you receive a credit decision in the next business day.

TD Canada Trust
The small business loans are awarded to help with expansion plans, and purchase or upgrade business assets. Secured and unsecured options are offered. Unsecured loans range from $10,000 to $50,000 and secured loans range from $10,000 to $1,250,000. The loan includes flexible payment options as well as fixed and floating interest rates.

6. Join a Startup Incubator or Accelerator in Toronto

Startup incubators are facilities provided to startups in their early stages of development which are sponsored by private companies or public institutions such as colleges and universities.

Incubators support startups that have an idea they want to bring to the marketplace but they have no business model and it has not yet become a reality. These facilities usually contribute affordable work spaces with shared offices, management training and marketing and financial support.

Accelerators are more for existing companies that are past the early stages of development where they need help to further build on their foundations. They are of the same concept as incubators where they offer programs to new businesses giving them access to investors, mentorship, technical support and shared office spaces.

Joining a community of networks and communicating with mentors, advisors and business experts and leaders is a major key benefit to joining a startup incubator or accelerator.

Guaraná has compiled a helpful list of the top 10 tech accelerators in Toronto:

  1. TheNext36
    Address: 75 Bloor Street East, Suite 200, North Building, Toronto, ON, M4W 3R8
    Contact: 647-259-8943
    Description: This program is offered to students in their final two years of college or university or have graduated in the past two years. Every year, 36 young Canadian entrepreneurs are chosen to create a new business venture and become some of Canada’s top innovators. The program lasts 8 months while learning from some of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. Innovators can earn up to $80,000 in seed funding.
  2. INcubes
    Address: 70 Peter St, Toronto, ON, M5V 1J9
    Description: This program is directed toward technology oriented companies. INcubes helps startups apply to government grants and loans, gain access to a network of angel investors, help companies connect with customers, provide legal support and access to Canadian, American and International venture capital investors.
  3. Creative Destruction
    Address: Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto
    Description: This program is geared toward early stage science-based companies with access to university research labs. It provides the opportunity to raise capital by having access to entrepreneur and angel investor mentors and receive technical feedback from academic experts.
  4. The DMZ
    Address: 10 Dundas Street East, 6th Floor, Toronto, Canada, M5B 2G9, 416-979-5000 (x 2072)
    Description: This is a four-month program aimed toward tech startups looking to build their business. The DMZ offers access to marketing experts, one on one meetings with angel investors for funding and pitching opportunities and access to advisors, partners and tech talent.
  5. Highline
    Address: 240 Richmond St W. Toronto, ON, M5V 2C5
    Contact: Online contact form only.
    Description: Highline offers a variety of startup accelerator programs that last between 8 to 12 weeks giving access to a vast network of mentors. They have had 64 investments collectively worth $756 million and created 1,000 jobs in 5 years.
  6. Hacking Health
    Address: N/A
    Description: This accelerator program offers aid to businesses going through different issues such as product market fit, fundraising, go-to-market planning, customer development, business development and pricing.
  7. UTEST
    Address: 88 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5G 1L4
    Contact:, (UTest co-directors)
    Description: This is a 12-month program which supports technology based startup companies from students, graduates or faculty members from the University of Toronto. UTEST offers funding up to $50,000 on select startups, mentors, coaching, service experts, investors and tech entrepreneurs.
  8. Impact Centre
    Address: Suite 411 – 112 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5G 1L6 OR Suite 331 – 60, St.George Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A7
    Contact:416-978-3875 or 416-978-1457,
    Description: The Impact Centre offers the Techno elite entrepreneur program to the top engineering and science students or recent graduates who want to create impressive technology-based startups. Through the program, you will be able to bring your product to life, find a market which suits it best, identify the competition, reach out to customers, build business and negotiation skills and learn how to pitch your ideas.
  9. ideaBOOST
    Address: CFC Media Lab, Canadian Film Centre, 2489 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON M2L 1A8
    Contact: 416-445-1446,
    Description: This program is a 4-month bootcamp looking for startup companies to build on technology-based media and entertainment products, services and brands. The program offers up to $35,000 in seed funding to each company in the accelerator as well as networking and training opportunities.
  10. DCS Innovation Lab
    Address: Department of Computer Science Innovation Lab (DCSIL), 2nd Floor, Gerstein Science Information Centre, 9 King’s College Circle, Toronto, ON M5S 1A5, University of Toronto
    Description: This incubator is a class-based 12 week program where courses are offered to undergraduate and graduate students through the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Toronto. Students learn and apply startup techniques and produce a customer validated prototype or a minimum viable product by the end of the semester. Some of the courses students can take include Business of Software and Capstone Design Project.

Be sure to try out this tool to help you find an accelerator or incubator that is best for you.



 7.  Pitch your App to Venture-Capital Investors

As mentioned above under the angel investor groups section, venture capital investments come from large affluent financial institutions and firms, such as investment banks, who are willing to help provide funding for up and coming startups.

It can be a difficult task to find funding for your startup through venture capital investors. When new companies are looking for investment opportunities, venture capital investors consider whether the entrepreneurs are coachable and have the ability to think critically.

Before making an investment, they check the strength of the team, their intellectual property, scalability, if they have a well detailed plan, a competitive advantage, problem solving skills and the potential for growth.

The vetting process to receive funding can take a long time, sometimes even months, before firms decide entrepreneurs can receive their cheques.

Going into a pitch meeting can be an intimidating task, so it is important to remember that entrepreneurs must do their research into exactly what the VCs are looking for before entering the meeting.

Have you ever seen television shows such as Shark Tank or Dragons’ Den? You may never have the chance to pitch on these major platforms, but watching them can give you a great idea on the dos and don’ts of pitch presentations in front of venture capital investors.

There are a few helpful steps to pulling off a great pitch:

  1. Practice until you know your pitch forwards and backwards. Write down every possible question that can be thrown at you and practice coming up with the answers.
  2. Look into the background of each investor you are pitching to so that you know your audience and can word your answers in a way that peaks their interest. Knowing what they like and dislike can help the outcome of your presentation.
  3. Be yourself during the presentation because investors not only want to know your company’s financials but they also want to know you as a person.
  4. Keep your pitch short and concise. It is okay to leave some information out because it gives the investors the opportunity to ask about it when you are done pitching.
  5. Do not pitch the investors lies. It is important to be truthful about your company’s current financial situation while also highlighting the positive points. Venture capital investors do not mind investing if there are a few risks as long as the company has the potential to overcome them.
  6. Be confident during the pitch and in your answers when being questioned by the investors. Falling apart halfway through the meeting will not turn out well and will shine a negative light on your ability to handle stress filled situations.
  7. Remember that investment deals can easily fall through and nothing is ever final until the money is received and all parties have signed the deal.
  8. Keep working hard and do not solely depend on an investment opportunity to make your startup succeed.

Here is a list of Toronto venture capital firms:

  1. Blackberry Partners Fund: A mobile-centric venture capital fund that invests in startup companies.
  2. SummerHill Venture Partners: Helping exceptional entrepreneurs turn innovative ideas into world class companies.
  3. Real Ventures: Early-stage venture capital firm that backs entrepreneurs and builds ecosystems.
  4. MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF): Supporting the brightest entrepreneurs with the best innovations in Ontario.
  5. Relay Ventures: Back proven teams targeting high growth markets related to mobile software, services, content and technology. 1 in 2 smartphones in the world run software from a Relay Ventures portfolio company.
  6. Golden Ventures: A seed-stage venture capital fund, investing across North America.
  7. Kinetic Cafe: A retail technology and design firm that helps retailers unify their digital and physical retail experience to unlock the next wave of growth for their business.
  8. BrandProject: Rapidly scaling early-stage consumer businesses with founders.
  9. BGS Venture LP:  A seed and early-stage venture fund focusing on investments across web and mobile startups, with focus on: mobile loyalty platforms, social platforms & apps, new media, search and data structuring, SaaS and enterprise.
  10. Maple Leaf Angels: Connecting the brightest, most passionate entrepreneurs with accredited investors within the local ecosystem.
  11. Keiretsu Capital: Funding the Future by Co-Investing With The World’s Largest Angel Network
  12. Plaza Ventures: An early growth-stage venture capital firm connecting growing B2B companies to a wealth of knowledge and capital from successful families.
  13. Liakada Capital: Bridging North America and Asia with capital, strategic expertise and network.
  14. Female Funders: An online destination dedicated to inspiring and educating female investors and innovators. We are on a mission to empower 1,000 women to become active angel investors by 2020, through blended education, access to investment opportunities and a global female investor community in key startup ecosystems.
  15. ScaleUP Ventures: A model based on identifying, engaging, coaching, and investing in Canada’s most promising early stage startups, while leveraging our Leadership Council to help accelerate Enterprise engagement.
  16. Good News Ventures: We invest in founders who are driven to push the limits of what is possible.
  17. Outlier Ventures: Venture platform focused on building the infrastructure for the next phase of the Internet.
  18. Pioneer Fund: Pools capital and expertise from 100+ YC alumni to support the next generation of YC startups.
  19. Slingshot VoIP: Provides an enterprise grade, full featured, VoIP, cloud communications platform built for the small to medium sized business of up to 50 team members.
  20. Monnsoon: Invest in early stage companies developing software in: Big Data, IoT, Smart Grid or unique B to B focused solutions.
  21. Inbound Sales Network: Merges leading sales and marketing expertise into a single practice. We bring these two often conflicting perspectives together to create integrated strategies and tactics around winning new customers and expanding current customer successes for our clients.
  22. Grit Ventures: Incubator & Accelerator offering office space, management advisory and access to over $5 billion in investment capital.

8.   Trading Equity or Services for Startup Help

Equity trading involves investing capital into a company and the purchasing of shares at a fixed price in exchange for a percentage of ownership of the startup and any profits it might bring in. Investors are willing to pay more money for shares if they see the startup has the potential for growth and success.

Like stock trading, equity trading is the purchase or sale of a company’s stock through a large stock exchange and is often done through a broker, an agent, a brokerage account or by the owner of the shares.

The investment options for equity trading offers direct access to the trading floor, trading skills, market research and trading systems.

In the beginning, the founders of a startup own 100% of their company and eventually they give away large chunks of percentages to employees, co-founders and investors.

There are different types of equity available to stakeholders in the startup with the most popular options being common or preferred stock. Both choices have their advantages and disadvantages with common stock being the most common option delivered by companies.

With this option, shareholders have voting rights and a stake in the company’s profits in the form of dividends.

Preferred stock is not considered to be as popular because shareholders usually do not have voting rights and are not as likely to benefit from profits. However, preferred stock shareholders receive higher dividend payments before common stock shareholders.

Here is a document template kit of convertible promissory note funding documents.

We hope the detailed information given in this ultimate guide will help you get started with finding funding for your startup. Overall, it is important to take into account the variety of options available in order to make your company’s growth a success.

Do your research, know your options, pick the one that is right for you and go out there and take action.

Which funding option are you leaning towards? Let us know in the comments below what you think, we want to hear from you!  


Our values

Partners - not providers.

Guaraná will act as your partner and advisor throughout the whole process. Our app development process is tailored to be collaborative and we truly embrace each one of our projects. Being a well rounded and skilled team makes us a great long-term partner for both startups and established companies.


Execution equals excellence.

We truly commit to your digital app development project's success. We're passionate about turning your web & mobile application idea into a high-performance digital product with authentic design, smooth usability and amazing engagement. We provide nothing less than the best user experience possible.


High-quality code built for business growth

Our tech team ensures we always craft the best logic for your users and your strategy. Our scalable solutions are ready to accommodate any new features you might need - when your business evolves, our code evolves with you.