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Feds invest in ag accelerator

Feds invest in ag accelerator

Bioenterprise Corporation will receive up to $2.28 million

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The federal government showed confidence in Ontario’s agribusinesses with a multimillion dollar investment.

Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, announced today that Ottawa is investing up to $2.28 million into Bioenterprise Corporation, which provides entrepreneurs with such supports as mentoring and pitch preparation.

Longfield announced the funding on behalf of Navdeep Bains, the federal innovation, science and economic development minister, at the first Innovation Expo in Guelph. The event featured more than 100 companies that have received funding and support through Bioenterprise and Innovation Guelph.

L to R: Anne Toer Fung, Executive Director, Innovation Guelph; Dave Smardon, President and CEO, Bioenterprise Corporation; Lloyd Longfield, MP for Guelph; Mickey Campeau, Program Manager, Innovation Guelph; Jessica Bowes, Vice President, Commcercialization, Bioenterprise Corporation.

“Starting a business is really a question of knowing who can help you and what kind of support is out there,” Longfield said. “All across Canada, people know this (region) is a hotbed for innovation and know that what goes on (in Guelph) goes beyond (the local community).”

The new funding will help 52 start-ups succeed in the agribusiness sector and create nearly 300 jobs in southern Ontario, he added.

 Bioenterprise will use the investment to continue supporting local ag entrepreneurs.

The organization received $4.84 million from the federal government in 2016. It used that funding to support 115 companies, bring 135 new products and services to market and generate more than $37 million in new revenue and private sector investment.

This new round of funding will help ensure that innovation is part of Guelph’s future, said Dave Smardon, president and CEO of Bioenterprise.

“The future for Canadian businesses is investing in the small startups that become big corporations. If nobody is investing in those small businesses, we have a problem,” he told “We are located in a community where great work is being done at the University of Guelph but, with this funding, we may also be able to attract new businesses from other parts of Ontario.”


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