Next Level Program





What is it?


If you are a business with an innovative product or service and looking to expand, Next Level can help. Oftentimes, businesses have difficulty accessing funding for growth and get stuck doing the same old thing. This program is designed to help businesses capitalize on market opportunities, expand, and grow.

The purpose of the Next Level program funding is to assist with innovative business growth.  This support may be applicable to contracted expertise, services or direct costs in any of the following areas. 




Purchase New Equipment

Expand to New Markets

Attend Conference & Tradeshows Costs ($1,000 max)

Complete Training & Certification 

Next Level will cover up to 50% funding, up to $10,000 in assistance towards approved costs in the above categories.


Who is Eligible?

Revenue producing, innovative companies located within Northwestern Ontario. Funds for this program are limited therefore applications will be weighed on the following criteria:

  • Registered business
  • An innovative product that is manufacturing or technology-based that you have developed and own
  • At revenue or have confirmed purchase orders and has a demonstrated growth rate of 10%
  • Operating full time with at least one full-time employee
  • Located in Northwestern Ontario
  • Sales outside of Northwestern Ontario or can demonstrate the potential to expand sales outside of NWO.
  • A business model and strategy that validates forecasted sales and employment growth
  • Next Level Funding is not intended for businesses operating as distributors or resellers.

Innovative companies are defined for the purposes of the Next Level program as focusing on technology or manufacturing. Companies that fall outside of these categories but derive a significant portion of sales and profits from products or services recently introduced to the market may also be deemed eligible.

The following sectors are the preferred sectors for this program.

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Agri-Food
  • Health/Bio-Sciences
  • Clean Tech
  • ICT/Digital

Who is Ineligible?

  • Hobby and part-time businesses
  • Retailer, resellers, consultants
  • Municipalities and non-for-profits



  • Outcomes of the Next Level project must be geared towards growing sales, increasing employment levels, or decreasing costs.

  • The applicant is required to contribute a minimum of 50% of the total project costs. Paid expenses occurring before the date of the application for Next Level funding will not be recognized as an eligible contribution. 

Next Level Application Process:

  1. A meeting between the applicant and the program coordinator will be scheduled to discuss and to advise on your project and the Next Level program.
  2. Receive the application, complete and submit it along with vendor quotes for your project. 
  3. The Next Level committee will review your application 
  4. If approved, you will receive the max approval amount and then be able to make your purchases
  5. Once you have completed the project, you submit proof to NOIC and you will receive your reimbursement. 

What are some examples of projects that may qualify for Next Level?

  • Purchasing Equipment

    • New production equipment for your manufacturing business 
      • examples: a mixer, heat sealer, production equipment, bottle filler etc to increase productivity 
      • equipment for product testing 
  • Marketing

    • Professional video of your innovative product for market growth
    • Marketing Consulting for business expansion 
  • Conference and Tradeshows: ($1000 Max)

    • The entry fee to attend tradeshows
    • Marketing for your conference booth
      • table clothes, pop up banners 
  • Training and Certification Costs: 

    • Course fees for staff 
    • Food certification costs 
      • Gluten Free, nutritional testing, shelf life stability testing 

Ready to Apply or Learn More?


Please contact Corey Jones to set up a meeting to discuss your project and start your application! or 807-464-3665


Next Level Project Example

For an example of completed Next Level project, take a look at the following case studies.