Protecting your innovative startup’s intellectual property (IP) is about more than just registering a trademark, filing a patent or hiring a lawyer. A well-developed IP strategy is a competitive edge.

Having the right IP strategy in place can help your business create a product that competitors can’t offer or copy, be more attractive to investors​, and prepare to compete in an international, global marketplace.

AccelerateIP, offered in BC, Yukon, and Northwest Territories, now provides enhanced access to education, skills development, and financial support for protecting, managing and leveraging your intellectual property.

Program overview 

AccelerateIP will support hundreds of innovative startups across multiple sectors to grow and protect their ideas and intellectual assets. 

New Ventures BC is leading the delivery of the program, with Innovate BC as its prime collaborator, alongside a network of accelerators, incubators and tech organizations.

This initiative is a recipient of the ElevateIP program by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). The program will run until March 31, 2026.

Version Française


 

 

 

Program Guidelines: Version 2

Please note all program guidelines may be subject to change.

Apply on application portal

Our partners

Our delivery partners are located across all regions of the program:

  • Accelerate Okanagan
  • BC Tech Association
  • e@UBC
  • Foresight
  • Hubspace
  • Innovation Island
  • Kamloops Innovation Centre
  • KAST – Kootenay Association for Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences BC
  • Pinnguaq
  • SFU Venture Labs
  • Spring
  • Tech Yukon
  • VIATEC – Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council

Our collaborators

We are also working with the following collaborator organizations:

  • Innovate BC (Prime Collaborator)
  • CICE – BC Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy
  • Council of Canadian Innovators
  • DIGITAL
  • Genome BC
  • InBC Investment Corp.
  • Innovation Asset Collective
  • Northwest Territories Business Development Investment Corp.
  • Province of British Columbia -Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development, and Innovation
  • SDECB – Société de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique
  • South Island Prosperity Partnership
  • Volition

Eligibility for AccelerateIP

Each stream has progressive requirements. General eligibility for the program:

  • A startup based in BC, Yukon, Northwest Territories or Nunavut
  • Fewer than 500 full-time employees
  • Have an innovative technology and/or operate in the tech sector
  • Non-profit organizations that meet the above may also apply 

Each stream will also ask questions to help assess your IP readiness and knowledge.

Three ways AccelerateIP can help your startup

AccelerateIP will be offered through three streams of programming:

  1. Education and Awareness: foundational IP training
  2. Strategy: 1:1 mentorship and some costs covered for legal strategy support
  3. Implementation: Get some costs covered for legal implementation support

Stream 1: Education and awareness

Stream 1 includes options for startups just starting out in their IP journey or who want to go deeper on refining their knowledge and strategy.

  • Webinars and in-person seminars
  • Online modules
  • In-depth IP Certification Program

How to join webinars, seminars, and take online modules

  • For webinars and in-person seminars, check New Ventures BC’s events page.
  • For online modules, registration is available on the program portal.
  • To apply for the certification program, registration is available on the program portal.

Eligibility

All startups that meet basic eligibility requirements are welcome to register or apply.

Register on application portal

Stream 1 education

IP Certification Program

Apply to join a cohort program to take a deep dive into your startup’s IP.

This workshop is led by IP experts Karima Bawa and Myra Tawfik, authors of The Intellectual Property Guide. Future cohorts may include guest facilitators or other presenters. 

There are no fees for startups to take this program, as program costs are fully funded by AccelerateIP. 

What you’ll learn

You’ll get an in-depth look at IP strategy, with the following course outline:

Session 1: Overview of IP and Data Basics 

This session, delivered over two days, will provide the foundational knowledge required to advance through the case studies.  

Please note specific course topics may be subject to change.

Participants will discuss:

  • The importance of intangible assets for business success
  • The different forms of IP and the components of a robust IP portfolio
  • the increasing importance of data as an asset and the current legal status of data and data ownership
  • Underrepresented groups in the IP system
  • Indigenous IP 
  • Basic concepts and elements of IP and data strategies
  • Introduction to relevant bodies of law including contract law

Participants will also work in groups to deliberate on a case study and discussion.

Sessions 2–6: IP Portfolios, Data Management and More

These half-day sessions build upon the knowledge learned in the opening session.

Participants will discuss:

  • Strategic considerations for building out an IP portfolio
  • Strategic considerations for data management (privacy, cybersecurity, data sharing)
  • Enforcement and litigation strategies for IP and data
  • Monetization and other strategies for IP and data
  • Alternative strategies: Approaching IP and data from an EDI perspective 

The program will end with an exam. The full course must be completed to receive certification by the instructors. 

Course materials

Myra Tawfik and Karima Bawa, The Intellectual Property Guide: IP Literacy and Strategy Basics for Supporting Innovation (Brush Education, 2019), and other select reading material as provided.

Schedule and session details

The course is spread out into full and half days, over the span of three weekends.

Future cohorts

The program is scheduled to run again in:

  • January, 2024 (online)
  • February, 2024 (Vancouver)
  • March, 2024 (online)

How to apply

To apply, you’ll need to register on the application portal, answer some IP assessment questions, and let us know what you want to learn from the course.

Applications are open for February and March.

Apply on application portal

Stream 2 strategy

Stream 2 Strategy: Mentorship

In this stream, you’ll have the opportunity to receive 1:1, dedicated mentorship on your IP strategy, through a business lens and perspective.

You’ll work with a mentor at a partner or collaborator organization associated with the program. This is a great option if you are not quite ready to approach a legal service provider or still need to work on how IP fits into your overall business strategy.

Please note: Mentors are helping you with your IP strategy from a business perspective. They are not providing legal advice.

Eligibility

All startups that meet basic eligibility requirements are eligible to register or apply.

Eligible activities include (but are not limited to):

  • Reviewing commercialization strategy needs
  • Assessing an IP strategy within your business’ context
  • Helping you hire or work with a legal service provider
  • Preparing for your meeting with a legal service provider

How to apply

To apply, you’ll need to register on the application portal, answer some IP assessment questions, and let us know if you’re already working with a mentor or accelerator organization.

If you don’t already have a mentor, we’ll generally pair you with one that is either in your region or that can offer the best expertise for your specific tech sector.

Applications open and approved on a rolling basis. 

Apply on application portal

Stream 2 strategy supports

Stream 2 Strategy: Costs for legal support

If you’re ready to apply for legal support to further develop your IP strategy, this is the right stream for you. You can apply to have up to $25,000 of costs of working with a legal service provider covered.

Co-investment is 25%, or 10% for startups that are majority-Indigenous owned. The final approval will be based on the quote provided.

Eligibility

All startups that meet basic program eligibility requirements are eligible to register or apply.

We also will check that you have either

  • completed an educational offering from Stream 1,
  • are an existing client of a Partner or Collaborator, or
  • are deemed eligible via the initial IP assessment on the program platform.

Eligible activities include (but are not limited to):

  • IP audits, budget review, competitive analysis, strategy, portfolio valuation
  • Analysis of IP landscaping
  • Common contracts and Document Templates ie: employment agreements, contractor agreements, IP assignment or transfer agreements or NDAs   
  • Freedom to operate or infringement searches
  • Legal contractual analysis, ie: commercialization of IP opportunities
  • Out-licensing strategy development
  • Patentability analysis
  • Prior art search
  • Trademark and branding strategies and clearance searches

How to apply

To apply, you’ll need to register on the application portal, answer some IP assessment questions, and let us know if you’re already working with a mentor or accelerator organization.

You’ll also need to agree to provide a quote from a legal service provider (quotes are generally provided free of charge, if not, please contact us first).

Note: If we feel your company might not be ready, we may ask you to complete some education or mentorship and reapply.

Applications open and approved on a rolling basis

Apply on application portal

Stream 3 implementation

Stream 3 Implementation: Costs for legal support

Have a strong IP strategy in place? Ready to apply for a patent or register a trademark? This is the right stream for you. You can apply to have up to $60,000 of costs of working with a legal service provider covered.

Co-investment is 25%, or 10% for startups that are majority-Indigenous owned. The final approval will be based on the quote provided.

Eligibility

  • Startups must meet program eligibility requirements
  • Must be incorporated
  • Must have completed an educational offering from Stream 1 or equivalent
  • Must have a strong IP strategy in place
  • Must have either completed Stream 2 of AccelerateIP or IP Assist, or
    have completed equivalent training, or
    have completed the Stream 1 Startup Certification program / be willing to complete the program, or
    have an in-house IP expert on staff.

Eligible activities include (but are not limited to):

  • IP registration
  • Legal contractual drafting ie: commercialization of IP opportunities
  • Patent applications
  • Patent registration
  • Trademark application
  • Trademark registration
  • Industrial design application 
  • Industrial design registration
  • Filing fees

How to apply

To apply, you’ll need to register on the application portal, answer some IP assessment questions, and let us know if you’re already working with a mentor or accelerator organization.

You’ll also need to agree to provide a quote from a legal service provider (we don’t expect you to pay for one!).

Note: If we feel your company might not be ready, we may ask you to complete some education or mentorship and reapply.

Applications open and will be reviewed in 2024, we will update with more info soon.

Apply on application portal