More capital to grow your natural product business in 2024

January 25, 2024

NPC announces expansion of programs

Natural Products Canada is pleased to announce significant enhancements to its popular Commercialization Programs, which now provide up to $350,000 to early-stage Canadian companies producing game-changing natural solutions to industry’s biggest challenges.

The changes come after in-depth examination of the current programs, including reviewing initial results and gathering extensive client feedback. Revisions include an expansion of eligibility criteria as well as an increase in available funds.

“NPC has always focused on filling real gaps for Canadian developers of natural products and solutions,” says Shelley King, CEO. “Our team’s approach to truly understanding the needs of the founders and their growth plans was an essential driver for these revisions.”

The changes impact two of NPC’s most utilized programs: 1) The Access to Talent Program, which helps innovative companies build out critical parts of their teams, now incorporates two streams to accommodate roles that require both medium and senior experience; and 2) The Proof of Concept Program, which supports the commercial validation of high innovation products, increases its maximum contribution to $350,000.

NPC will be hosting a series of regional webinars to review these Programs changes to ensure Canadian companies can fully leverage this important potential source of non-dilutive capital. (This event is now closed. Watch the videos below)


Access to Talent Program Changes

The Access to Talent (ATT) Program  is designed to address critical gaps in early-stage teams, which is a key deterrent to growth, and a common concern for investors and other funders assessing opportunities. It provides up to $150,000 to add key personnel to promising Canadian early-stage natural product companies.

The new revisions to the ATT Program reflect input from founders and their complex hiring needs, and are focused on helping companies attain the growth and expansion expected for their stage.

What Has Changed:

  1. Eligible positions: ATT now has expanded the list of eligible positions and experience levels to better align with the growth needs of startups. Applicants can now hire for numerous positions that can show concrete efforts to achieve growth targets over the course of the 12-18 months of the program. These roles can include scientific or technical development, business development and sales, marketing, finance, operations and logistics, and can include senior titles such as Director, Chief or VP. Please note the role of CEO is not eligible.
  2. Size of company: ATT is now open to companies with up to 25 employees, ensuring that more start-up and early-stage companies can apply for this important source of capital.
  3. Leadership: ATT now allows companies to hire for positions that have  direct reports, which aligns with the needs of growing start-ups to build out their leadership and management teams.
  4. Separate streams: ATT now has two streams to accommodate the varying needs of startups in terms of experience and salary expectations.
    • Stream 1 will focus on employees with 5-9 years’ experience, and will provide up to 40% of their salary to a maximum of $75,000.
    • Stream 2 will focus on employees with 10+ years’ experience and will provide up to 40% of their salary to a maximum of $150,000.

What Hasn’t Changed

  1. The ATT Program is designed to help companies address strategic growth initiatives in a specific period of time.
  2. The ATT application process must include a detailed job description that aligns with the stated objectives, and the applicant must dedicate 100% of their time to these objectives.
  3. The ATT Program is only eligible for NEW hires. Employees currently employed by the company are not eligible.
  4. . The applicant is responsible for the remaining 60% of the new hire’s salary.

Read the full ATT Program guidelines, and contact us to learn more.

Proof of Concept Program Changes

The Proof of Concept (POC) Program  is a powerful source of non-dilutive capital to help promising companies validate the commercial viability of their product. It can be applied to activities like clinical trials and field trials, which are critical to proving technologies and securing the trust of potential customers, funders and investors.

What Has Changed

To meet the varying needs of the high potential applicants, the POC Program is expanding from a maximum contribution of $250,000 to $350,000.

What Hasn’t Changed

  1. The POC Program supports projects that help to establish the commercial feasibility of innovative natural products or technologies (Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 4-9) to advance development, commercialization, or de-risk subsequent investment.
  2. The POC Program does not support basic research, but rather supports activities that demonstrate commercial potential via animal, field, demonstration, or human trials.
  3. The POC Program contributes up to 40% of the project costs, leaving the applicant responsible for the remaining 60%.

Read the full POC Program guidelines, and contact us to learn more.


For more information, register for the webinar in your region:

British Columbia (February 9): Featuring Regional Director, Rishi Mankidy WATCH THE VIDEO

Prairies (February 9): Featuring Regional Director, Darren Bolding WATCH THE VIDEO

Ontario (February 6): Featuring Regional Director, Colin Garrioch WATCH THE VIDEO

Quebec (February 8): Featuring Regional Director, Anis Ben Amor WATCH THE VIDEO

Atlantic Canada (February 5): Featuring Regional Director, Barbara Campbell WATCH THE VIDEO