Nickel Basin to maximize opportunities for early-stage ventures in Nickel Belt-Greater Sudbury

News release

Sudbury Catalyst Fund to create jobs and accelerate business development and growth with the help of Government of Canada funding

February 12, 2020 – Sudbury, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario – FedNor

Local entrepreneurs, innovators and jobs creators will soon have access to early-stage equity investment thanks to the launch of the Sudbury Catalyst Fund by the Nickel Basin Federal Development Corporation (Nickel Basin) and its community partners.

Servicing Greater Sudbury for nearly two decades, Nickel Basin provides financing, mentoring and business development services to local entrepreneurs and businesses. This community-based not-for-profit corporation is staffed by experienced business and economic development professionals, and is run by a nine-member volunteer board, representing a variety of sectors and with broad participation from various groups including women, Francophone and Indigenous.

During a visit to downtown Sudbury, Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury, and Marc G. Serré, Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, announced FedNor funding of more than $3.3 million to help Nickel Basin establish a venture capital fund designed to support early-stage and innovative ventures. This announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.

The government’s support for Nickel Basin and the Sudbury Catalyst Fund will provide investments of up to $250,000 to qualifying early-stage and innovative firms operating within Greater Sudbury. Once complete, this five-year pilot project is expected to help up to 20 start-up companies expand, allowing them to develop and commercialize new products and technologies, while creating up to 60 full-time high-quality local jobs.


“Sudbury is a hotbed for business start-ups with high growth potential and this investment will help local companies take it to the next level. As a Sudburian, I recognize the unique challenges facing local entrepreneurs and I’m proud to be part of a government that is investing in innovators and job creators who help to diversify and grow our economy.”

- Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury 

“Supporting businesses and entrepreneurs engaged in innovation is vital to the economic growth of our region. Establishing a venture capital fund is a critical step to improving access to financing, paving the way for businesses to start, expand and prosper here at home in Nickel Belt-Greater Sudbury."

- Marc G. Serré, Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt

“We understand that the path to economic prosperity varies from region to region. Strong regional economies are essential for Canada’s success and sustainability. That’s why FedNor is there to help businesses and innovators grow, succeed and create good jobs for Canadians here in Greater Sudbury. Together, we will overcome the challenges of today and ensure all regions of Canada realize their full economic potential. We have your back."

- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for FedNor

“Today’s announcement supports fledgling businesses striving to develop their business ideas or to expand operations in Northeastern Ontario. This funding is a strong show of support from FedNor and demonstrates confidence in our organization and the work we do to provide entrepreneurs with access to the resources and tools they need to grow, innovate and succeed.”

- Paul Reid, Chair, Nickel Basin Federal Development Corporation

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.

  • The venture capital fund is a five-year pilot project supported by Nickel Basin, the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation (GSDC) and the NORCAT Chapter of the Northern Ontario Angels.

  • The GSDC is a not-for-profit corporation formed by the City of Greater Sudbury to undertake economic development initiatives.

  • NORCAT is the largest Regional Innovation Centre (RIC) in Northern Ontario.  Located in Greater Sudbury, the NORCAT Chapter of the Northern Ontario Angels (NOA) is the most active angel network in Canada. There are approximately 40 active angel investors in the Greater Sudbury area that have a demonstrated track record of investing in early-stage and innovative companies based in Northern Ontario.

Associated links


Alexander Cohen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Barclay Babcock
Communications Officer

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