Thinking about applying for an ISI Grant? Or has your ISI Grant been approved? Get all the answers to your burning questions and more (than you probably ever wanted to know) by reading these program FAQs.

My application has been approved, now what?

First things first: You and your student need to log into the portal and accept the grant agreement.

The grant agreement can be found under “requires attention” on the main screen of the portal. If you can’t see it, just scroll down a bit when you log in.

How and when do I get reimbursed?

Reimbursement happens at the end of the approved term. Please do not complete the payment form until the student has been fully paid.

A quick checklist:

  1. Your student and you have filled in our survey (called a “report” in the portal).
  2. You’ve filled out your payment form and have uploaded paystubs.
  3. Your student completed modules 1 and 2 of online market validation training.

After this checklist is complete payment takes 2 – 6 weeks to be received. Cheques take longer to process than an EFT.

I am working on my application

What does the status of my grant mean?

  • Draft Company – company is working on application.
  • Draft Student – student is working on the application.
  • Submitted – student has completed their part of the application.
  • Review Stage 1 – NVBC has received your grant and is reviewing it.
  • Review Stage 2 – Your grant has been submitted to Innovate BC for final approval
  • Pending Grant Agreement – Your grant has been approved by Innovate BC now it is time for you and your student to log into the portal and accept the grant agreement.
  • Approved – You and your student have accepted the grant agreement.

Help, my student is unable to fill out the application…

To troubleshoot: Check to see that there are no typos in the student’s email address and that the student is using the same email address that you sent it to — sometimes they log in with a personal account rather than a company one.

Also, get them to check their spam folder. If you still have difficulty, email or call our office.

How can I tell that my student has completed the application?

Once the student has finished the application the application will move from draft student to submitted/review stage 1.

Not sure how to answer the question, see our example.

Question: “Please detail a) Your Student’s Job Description (job title and tasks they will complete) b) Entrepreneurial Training Provided to the Student by your Company (ie: mentorship, guidance, staff time) and c) Entrepreneurial Skills Gained by the Student (ie: validating a market, scrum management)”? See an example of the level of detail and specification required below.

Job Title: Business Development Associate


Student Job Title: Business Development Associate

a) Student’s Job Description
– Develop and execute business development plans.
– Monitor, control and manage business operations to meet customer expectations and company goals.
– Coordinate and manage project tasks to ensure project deliveries are within allotted budget and timelines.
– Ensure compliance with company standards and procedures.
– Build and maintain strong customer relationship through regular meetings, attending networking events and communications.
– Use Salesforce to develop business leads.
– Prepare and give business reviews to the senior management team regarding progress and roadblocks to closing new customers.
– Contribute to develop long-term partnerships in support of overall business strategy.
– Assist with marketing initiatives.
– Analyze market trends and provide solutions.

b) Entrepreneurial Training Provided to the Student by your Company

Throughout the duration of the student’s contract, the student will receive extensive entrepreneurial training from senior executives on how to execute a business plan. As well, they will be mentored on how to leverage their networking skills to find leads.

c) Entrepreneurial Skills Gained by the Student

The role of Business Development Associate incorporates entrepreneurial skills because it exposes the student to: the lean startup method, financial management, customer discovery, market sizing, value propositions, customer service and how to effectively problem solve.

Know before you apply

What counts as tech

Our definition of tech is brand – anything from app development to web design to life sciences and more. Even craft breweries count! (It’s biotech.)

How many grants is my company allowed per year?

Companies are allowed to receive two grants per program year. The program year runs May 1 – April 30.

Is there a deadline to submit?

There is no deadline! If your application is for a retroactive grant though we can’t approve anything more than 12 months in the past.

How long will the application take to be approved?

Applications take 2 – 4 weeks to be reviewed and fully approved.

Can I use grant funding on the same student for two terms?

Yes, students are allowed to receive two vouchers per program year. So you can hire the same student for two terms.

Can I hire two students at a time and receive funding for them?

Yes you can, and it would count as two grants.

If I am hiring two students for one term or the same student for two terms, how many applications do I need to make?

Each student/grant needs its own separate application – so in both cases, that would be two applications.

Can I hire a student from a private school?

Yes, however you should check to see that the school is accredited before applying.

What if the student is a recent graduate and not a current BC student, are they still eligible?

No, we don’t take recent grads. The student must be currently enrolled in a BC post-secondary institution.

What if the student is from BC but is attending a post-secondary institution outside of BC, are they eligible?

No, only students attending BC post-secondary institutions are eligible.

Does New Ventures BC match companies and students?

No, it is the company’s responsibility to find their own student. If you need tips on how to find a student check, see our blog post.

Do students need to be working with the companies by the start of the term?

No, they don’t. While we have term dates in the portal, the start and end date that choose can be flexible and go outside of the term.

Are international students eligible?

Yes, international students are eligible if they are currently enrolled at an accredited post-secondary institution in BC and will be working in BC.

Can the student employee be a family member?

Grants cannot be used to hire immediate family members of the senior management team, ie. brother, sister, daughter, son, mother or father. You also cannot hire yourself, if you’re the CEO. 🙂

How does the cash and in-kind match work?

Don’t worry our application system auto-calculates it for you! It’s basically 50/50 – if you pay the student $10,000, we’d provide $5000.

You can offset a bit of that if you provide in kind training, mentorship or courses, etc. to your student.

If a student is hired on a contract, rather than as an employee, is the placement still eligible for a grant?

Yes, contract work is okay. Any type employment that meets legal standards and is compliant with the BC Employment Standards Act is acceptable for grant funding.

Can the ISI Grant be stacked with other funding?

Yes, other sources of funding can be used as the cash match, so long as the total amount of grants does not exceed the student’s salary, and the funding received is allocated towards the student’s salary.

What is Market Validation Training?

Students who are ISI grant recipients must complete Modules 1 and 2 of the Market Validation Training. The online MVT reviews the concepts of entrepreneurship. They do not need to complete the worksheets.

I am a student, what do I need to do?

Once your grant has been approved you need to log into the portal and accept the grant agreement, this can be found under “requires attention”.  By the end of the term you have to complete the final survey and read through modules 1 and 2 of the online Market Validation Training. You do not have to complete the worksheets.

Still have questions?

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