Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre

Next Level Program



Program Objective

In Northwestern Ontario, many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have difficulty funding the initial commercialization steps required to accelerate product introduction and marketplace positioning.

The intent of this program is to provide funding to assist with innovative business growth.  This support could be applicable to the following contracted expertise, services or direct costs:

  1. Sales and Marketing
    1. Trade show exhibiting
    2. Sales Training
    3. E-Commerce
    4. Test marketing
    5. Branding development
    6. Selected promotional materials
    7. Export market development
  2. Product Development
    1. Market research
    2. Feasibility analysis
    3. Product testing
    4. Certifications, in-market licences, market entry fees
    5. IP Research and Protection
  3. Business Enhancement
    1. Management support/training
    2. Business capacity development
    3. Productivity or lean production implementation

Up to $5,000.00 in assistance may be provided towards approved costs in the above categories.


The client must be a for-profit entity, (registered sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation) seeking assistance for developing and commercializing an innovation potentially contributing to increased sales and employment.  This program is not intended to support, nor is applicable to, businesses operating as distributors or re-sellers.

Contributory Requirement

Applicants will be required to provide a cash contribution towards the project in the amount of 20% of the total funds requested. Paid expenses occurring before the date of application for Next Level funding will not be recognized as an eligible contribution. Contribution must be received before any payment funds are advanced to contractors.

How to Apply?

You can apply for this program by downloading and completing these forms:

Next Level Application Form

Business Model Canvas

Please submit to

Box 398, 2400 Nipigon Road,Thunder Bay,ON P7C 4W1
Phone:  (807) 768-6682, Fax:  (807) 768-6683
Toll Free:  1 866 768-6682

Prior to completing an application you are encouraged to contact Jaquelyn Holm who can provide you with further information.

Next Level Project Example

For an example of recently completed Next Level project see our case studies with Aerovate and Auto Flex Air Ride Suspension

This Program is supported by:



Knowledge Bank

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Box 398
2400 Nipigon Rd.
Thunder Bay, ON P7C 4W1

Telephone: 807-768-6682
Toll-Free: 1-866-768-6682
Fax: 807-768-6683

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