Program Guidelines

The Fast-Track to Financing Program helps to create strong business or commercialization plans to attract public financing or private investment to help natural products, technologies or services get to market.

This Program is open to Canadian companies (SMEs or start-ups) and research institutes.

SMEs or start-ups: The intent of the Program is to develop strong business or commercialization plans that demonstrate the market and/or growth potential necessary to attract private capital or public funding.

Research Institutes: The intent of the Program is to develop strong commercialization plans to attract public funding, secure industry partnerships, licensing opportunities, and/or create start-up companies.

The Program supports the costs of engaging one or more expert(s) (external consultant(s) or other service provider(s)) to assist in strengthening or revising the business or commercialization plan. This could include all or a subset of the following components: 

  • Market, Customer, & Competitive Analysis
  • Value Proposition
  • Marketing Plan
  • Sales Plan
  • Regulatory Plan
  • IP Plan
  • Financial Plan/Evaluation/Revenue Stream
  • Branding
  • Pricing Plan
  • Production Plan

Successful applicants will receive a conditionally repayable loan of up to 50% of the costs of the project, to a maximum of $25,000. The applicant is required to contribute at least 50% of the cost over the project period.  

The applicant may have a preferred expert(s) at the time of application or may begin their search after the application is submitted. A summary of the qualifications of the expert(s) and the statement of work(s) (SOW) must be submitted to NPC for review prior to final approval.

Applicants interested in applying to the Program are strongly encouraged to contact the NPC Program Director (, prior to submitting an application.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Canadian SME, start-up or research institute
  • Has a novel product, technology or service in the natural product sector
  • SMEs and start-up companies must have the potential to achieve $10M- $15M in annual revenue within a reasonable period for the market, sector or stage of product, technology or service development
  • Products, technologies or services being developed within research institutes must address an industry or sector challenge that has a significant market potential
  • Member of Canada’s Natural Product Innovation Cluster.

Financing and Reporting

  • An advance of 50% of the NPC contribution will be made upon receipt of the fully executed contract. A final report, including the business or commercialization plan prepared by the expert(s) and a financial claim, are required for NPC to release the remaining contribution. Invoices and proof of payment must be provided with the final financial claim.  
  • An annual report will be required during the project and for each of the 3 years after the project ends to comply with NPC’s funding agreement with the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR).

Application Process

  • Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.
  • Applications will be reviewed by NPC staff.
  • Applications will be evaluated on the eligibility requirements, and a combination of criteria derived from the following: novelty of the natural product, technology or service; stage of development; potential market opportunity; statement of work(s) and qualifications of the selected expert(s).
  • Applicants will be notified once the application has been reviewed.
  • Successful applicants must enter into a contract with NPC that contains reporting requirements, mutually agreed upon key deliverables and repayment terms.

Repayment Conditions

  • For SMEs/start-ups: The loan is conditionally repayable (interest-free) upon the company raising private capital of at least $500K, or annual sales revenue of $500K, or $2M in cumulative revenue. If the company raises private capital, then the repayment to NPC must occur within 6 months of securing additional funds. If the company reaches $500K in annual sales revenue or $2M in cumulative revenue, then the repayment must occur within 90 days of the end of the fiscal year.
  • For Research Institutes: The loan is conditionally repayable (interest-free) upon the research institute receiving licensing or other revenue related to the product, technology or service. Repayment to NPC will be based on a percentage of licensing or other revenues.


  • All applications will be treated as confidential information. The applications will only be seen by those directly involved evaluation of the applications.
  • For more information, contact Kim Johnstone at or 902-213-0539.