Cleantech Superheroes: The Funding Journey

Cleantech blog 2

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By Angela Bourne, Altitude Accelerator Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Last Friday we launched Altitude Accelerator’s four-part “Cleantech Superheroes” blog series to celebrate Earth Day 2022 with our first article, Meet the Changemakers Building a Brighter Future for All of Us.

Being a cleantech startup founder requires passion for leaving the earth a better place for future generations – and developing innovative technology to do it. It also requires funding.

The good news is: there’s lots of money to be found. And, with Altitude, you have the right partner to help you find it.

In this blog post, we will cover two key areas:

  • How Altitude Accelerator’s advisors help startups secure funding
  • Specific cleantech funding opportunities

Altitude Accelerator: Investor Readiness, Preparation, and Access

Have you ever heard the phrase, “the harder you work, the luckier you get?”

From Peter Thiel to Thomas Jefferson – to even Plato – many individuals have been attributed to this quote. Who said it first? No one really knows! But – bottom line for startup founders: it’s your mantra.

Since 2008, Altitude Accelerator has helped 84 cleantech startups raise over $60M in funding to develop and launch products to help solve the world’s energy problems, spanning a variety of sectors – from solar power to air and water purification to electric vehicles and alternative proteins.

We’re proud of our cleantech sector specialization and what we’ve helped our startups achieve to-date. We’re excited about the future and the innovations launching in market. And we also know that funding is never a guarantee, even if you’re in a top incubator like Altitude.

What is a guarantee: if you put the work in, so will we.


We work 1:1 with founders, at every stage of a startup company’s journey, with customized programs to help companies achieve rapid growth. Our 8-week intensive Investor Readiness program is specifically designed for raising capital with direct feedback from active investors and personal introductions to angel and VC networks.

Expert Advisors

To offer additional strategic and financial services horsepower for our startups, we recently announced a partnership with Scan Consulting Group specifically to provide our startups with expertise in not only setting up business processes correctly from the get-go, but also ensuring they are making the right decisions ­in terms of what type of funding to secure, too.

You must make critical decisions at the very beginning of founding your company that will set you up on your funding journey, such as how much money you will accept from the following sources, including but not limited to:

  • Personal financing: cash savings; home refinancing; personal line of credit
  • Bank loans: Business Development of Canada (BDC); lines of credit; CSBF; startup & SMB
  • Friends and family: aka “love money” – must be taken seriously / proceed with caution!
  • Alternative lending sources: Crowd funding; Angel Investors; Venture Capital firms
  • Government grants: Futurpreneur Canada; Canada Job Grant; RISE, Women Entrepreneurs; Black Entrepreneurship Program

Specific Cleantech Funding Sources

As an official partner of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) we are proud that many of our cleantech startups have received grants that have helped them start and scale-up. SDTC has invested over $1.38 billion in 460 Canadian companies since it launched in 2001 and recognizes that clean technology is a $2.5 trillion opportunity for Canadian companies to become world leaders.

To find out if your startup qualifies for an SDTC grant, click here.

Federal Budget 2022, released on April 7, allocates $2.6 billion for a carbon-capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) tax credit; $3 billion in funding to make zero-emission vehicles more affordable and build a national network of charging stations; $2.2 billion for the Low Carbon Economy Fund; $780 million to expand the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund, and more.

Preliminary learnings from the proposed Ontario budget (released yesterday on Thursday, April 28, 2022) indicate a focus on electric vehicles and natural resources. More details (and especially as it relates to sustainable technology development and new business growth in Ontario) are certain to follow in the coming weeks.

Altitude Accelerator is closely connected with local, provincial, and federal government officials and will be notified as new cleantech startup funding opportunities emerge, which we will share in real-time with our startups.

Canadian cleantech startup founders should also familiarize themselves with the following investment firms: Preference Capital, ArcTern Ventures, MaRS IAF, BDC Capital ICE Fund, Cycle Capital, and Renewal.

To learn more about funding opportunities for your startup, register with Altitude Accelerator to set up a meeting with our team and visit our website to learn more about our programs for entrepreneurs.

And we will see you next week on May 6, where we will discuss market opportunity for your cleantech business idea and must-haves for a winning pitch deck.

About Altitude Accelerator

Altitude Accelerator is a not-for-profit innovation hub and business incubator committed to commercializing impactful technology in Southern Ontario. Altitude’s team of more than 100 expert industry, academic, and government partners and advisors helps startups in cleantech, advanced manufacturing, internet of things (IoT), hardware, software, and life sciences grow faster, stronger, commercialize their products, and get to market. Headquartered in Brampton, Ontario’s Innovation District, Altitude Accelerator was created through a partnership with the University of Toronto Mississauga, the Mississauga Board of Trade, and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, & Trade and proud to partner with Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Ontario Cleantech Industry Association, Canadian Cleantech Alliance, and Cleantech North.

On the Blog: Read More about Altitude Accelerator

Cleantech Superheroes: Meet the Changemakers Building a Brighter Future for All of Us

Now is the time for unstoppable courage to invest our time, resources, and funding to innovate and implement changes to build a prosperous and sustainable future… Read more

Technology For Good

We don’t think the dystopian future is inevitable and neither do our entrepreneurs! Meet Altitude clients that focus on this category – often broadly referred to as Cleantech firms. Read more

Altitude’s Clients Make Top 100 Tech Companies List for 2022 on FoundersBeta

In helping them exponentially grow faster, Altitude ensures that their clients are prepared to scale and can effectively meet all of their goals. Read more

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