Impact8 fast-tracks high-potential social ventures to a greater stage of investment readiness, helping them attract financing to scale their impact.
Applications are open for the inaugural cohort of Impact8 Québec (due: June 30th) and the fourth cohort of Impact8 Ontario (due: July 13th)! Both programs are open to ventures from any sector and will run in the fall from September through November 2015.
Impact8 is an investment-readiness program supporting high-impact ventures with blended value propositions: social enterprises or social purpose businesses generating positive social or environmental impact and compelling financial returns. The program brings cohorts of eight ventures together for eight weeks of programming, culminating in an investor and stakeholder pitch event, Demo Day.
Developed by the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, Impact8 leverages the skills and expertise of MaRS and its partners to deliver targeted workshops, one-to-one advisory services, mentorship, peer learning, investor introductions and presentation opportunities. Key contributing partners to Impact8 content and advisory services include BDC, KPMG, Miller Thomson, RBC, TMX Group and more.
The curriculum is tailored for each cohort and is focused on preparing ventures to raise capital and integrate impact into their performance measurement. Interactive workshops encourage ventures to revisit business models, customer segmentation and value proposition, finance fundamentals (emphasis on forecasting and valuations), marketing and communications, legal and governance structures (including corporate and capital structures, and IP).
Impact8 will be adapted for the Québec market by leveraging its partnership with l’Esplanade and other key organizations to deliver the same value for the first cohort of Impact8 Québec.
Impact8 graduates will be eligible to become SVX issuers, and where appropriate, to be considered by the Impact Venture Fund. One peer-selected winner from each cohort will receive an operational grant from the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing.
Who Should Apply?
Impact8 seeks to accelerate startups that have achieved product validation and are seeking investment to grow their enterprise and scale their impact. While Impact8 is conducted in Toronto and Montréal, these two cohorts are open to ventures from across Canada, from any sector!
- Canadian incorporated for-profit, not for-profit or cooperative organization
- Minimum one-year operational history
- Existing revenue or customers
- Strong understanding of operational, financial and strategic plans
- Evidence of relevant expertise within management/officers and directors
- Demonstrable, measurable impact in target outcome areas
- Participants must work full-time on their venture and should be raising or planning to raise investment capital within the next 6-12 months.
The programs will run from mid-September-November, and will include in-person workshops, complemented by one-to-one advisory from service providers and mentors, and culminate in an investor and stakeholder presentation event, Demo Day. Impact8 Ontario includes bi-weekly programming while Impact8 Québec includes weekly programming. Participants must be available and in Toronto or Montréal respectively for in-person programming.
Apply here for Impact8 Québec (June 30th) Impact8 Ontario (deadline July 13th). We have partnered with the Ontario Centres of Excellence for the Ontario Social Impact Voucher (OSIV) Pilot Program. Please note that Ontario based ventures applying for Impact8 Ontario must also submit a brief application through OSIV. We recommend you contact the OCE at least 5 days before the deadline.
**Mentorship is a key component of social venture development. If you are an individual with strong experience within your sector, entrepreneurship or in finance/ investment, and would be interested in working with high-impact social entrepreneurs, please write us a brief note to express your interest.