Are you protecting and leveraging your intellectual property?

ElevateIP is a federally funded, nationwide project designed to help business accelerators and incubators like Communitech provide the tools Canadian startups need to understand, strategically manage and leverage their intellectual property.

Join the ElevateIP program! Or contact us if you have questions before you register.

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Developing and protecting intellectual property is a core part of Canada's innovation strategy. It's also good for business.

Companies that invest in IP are:

  • 4x more likely to export.
  • 64% more likely to be high-growth.
  • 32% more likely to seek financing.

But Canada has a massive knowledge gap when it comes to intellectual property business strategy and implementation.

Across Canada:

  • Only 14% of Canadian companies performing research and development hold or use patents.
  • Only 17% of companies say IP protection is needed.
  • Only 9% of innovative companies said they have an IP strategy.

ElevateIP helps startups strengthen the development, understanding and protection of intellectual property. The program is part of a $90-million investment from the Government of Canada through its ElevateIP strategy. Communitech is a proud partner with Invest Ottawa and North Forge in delivering the ElevateIP program for startups in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

How we help

IP education
  • Access to national, provincial and regional IP resources.
  • Identify intellectual property strategy gaps.
  • Customized training for underrepresented or marginalized groups.
IP strategy development and implementation
  • Coaching and resources for startups to develop sound intellectual property strategies.
  • Assessments, advice, legal and advisory services from leading experts.
  • Expert support to undertake intellectual property strategy implementation at significantly lower costs.

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Intellectual Property is a startup's basis for innovation and growth. Having a well thought-out IP strategy has always helped me when leading development for a new product, fundraising, or navigating complex partnerships within our industry.

— Adeel Zaman, CTO & Co-Founder @ DOZR

Strategic partners

Communitech is an ElevateIP Recipient: a national program of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. leading in intellectual property supports for startups in Ontario.


Elevate IP is a federally funded, national project to help business accelerators and incubators (BAIs) provide the tools Canadian startups need to understand, strategically manage and leverage their intellectual property.

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has compiled a list of Canadian IP Supports for Small Businesses which details many of the IP supports currently available for Canadian businesses.

Additionally, the government of Ontario has recently launched IP Ontario to help businesses in Ontario access IP supports.

ElevateIP offers support in three Tiers: education and awareness (Tier 1), developing strategies (Tier 2), and implementing strategies (Tier 3). Tier 1 support is accessible to all startups that register a profile successfully on the portal and there is no cost for Tier 1 services. Given a successful application to the ElevateIP program, startups can access educational resources on intellectual property, meet with our IP expert to discuss IP needs and the best next steps, and have the opportunity to access up to $100,000 CAD worth of IP service provider services to develop and/or implement an IP strategy.

There are several eligibility criteria to qualify for support through the ElevateIP program. Most importantly, a participating startup must:

  • a Canadian-Controlled Private Corporation (CCPC)
  • have less than 500 employees, and
  • the IP must be owned by the startup, not an individual.
  • Headquartered in ON, MB, SK to work with Communitech and its local delivery partners Invest Ottawa and North Forge
    • startups headquartered in other jurisdictions are eligible and would work with one of Communitech's local delivery partners
    • Please also see the question "I am not located in Ontario, can I still participate in ElevateIP?

Please note that funding is not guaranteed and is allocated at the discretion of ElevateIP.

Yes, a startup needs to be a Canadian-Controlled Private Corporation (CCPC) to qualify for support through the ElevateIP program.

No, to be eligible for ElevateIP a startup must be a privately held, for-profit Canadian-Controlled Private Corporation (CCPC).

No, you do not need to be a Communitech member to receive ElevateIP funding and Communitech membership does not offer priority. All startups participating in ElevateIP must agree to Communitech's Terms of Service to proceed with the program.

Any startup located in Canada is eligible to apply for ElevateIP provided all other eligibility criteria are met. Communitech along with our partners, Invest Ottawa and North Forge, will manage ElevateIP for any startup located in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Please see Innovation Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada’s website for information about other recipients of ElevateIP funding if your startup is based in a different province.

Yes, to qualify for support through ElevateIP your startup must not have more than 500 employees.

Where appropriate and based on regional/local gaps, customized support programs may be accessible to underrepresented groups as well as for specific sectors or technologies.

Yes, you can. You do not need to switch service providers, however, your service provider needs to partner with us in order for you to receive funding through ElevateIP. Once they are vetted by the Communitech team, they will go through an onboarding process that solidifies our working relationship with them. This does not come at any cost to them or require a membership with Communitech. Please connect us with your service provider so we can get everything set up for you. Please note that we can not reimburse you for work your service provider has already performed for you before being accepted to participate in ElevateIP.

Accessing resources for Tier 1 (Educational Resources) and Tier 2 (Developing IP Strategies) are free services. However, a co-investment of 10-35% is applicable for support in Tier 3 (Implementing Strategies) based on a variety of factors regarding your startup.

No, ElevateIP funds will not be disbursed directly to startups. Support for advisory or professional services is not guaranteed and will be based on the recommendation of Communitech as well as the passing criteria outlined in your application. Companies will work with a professional IP service provider of their choice who will be paid through Communitech.

Allocation and disbursement of funds is based on Communitech’s recommendation, which is based on the startup meeting the program criteria as well as the assessment by our internal IP experts. The maximum financial support a startup can receive through ElevateIP may not exceed the equivalent of $100,000 CAD, before taxes, in services. The maximum amount is not guaranteed, however, as allocated funds are subject to the startup’s situation and needs as well as availability of funds.

To be eligible for ElevateIP, the IP (to be) acquired must be owned by the startup and not by individuals. If there is an agreement in place that grants the startup exclusive rights to the IP owned by an individual, then we most likely will be able to support them. However, any new IP protection rights sought out through the EIP program should be for IP owned by the startup and not by the individual.

Please reach out to Leila Stevens, leila.stevens@communitech.ca, to schedule an onboarding meeting and learn more about the program.

We recommend speaking with your accountant about this process.

ElevateIP is not the same as IPON's programming, however, we do work closely with our colleagues in similar programs such as IPON or IP Assist. Participation in one program does not automatically exclude you from another; stacking funds is possible as long as you can show that you are not funding the same work twice. For example, you could develop an IP strategy through IPON or IP Assist and implement the same strategy through ElevateIP after, it's just about documenting the work.

A startup can receive the equivalent of $100,000 CAD (before taxes) in services through ElevateIP. This amount can be split: up to $25,000 CAD can be used for Tier 2, and the rest for Tier 3 services. However, if a startup does not use the full $25,000 CAD in Tier 2, they can use the remainder in addition to the $75,000 for Tier 3. This means, if a startup only used $5,000 CAD in Tier 2 services, they have $95,000 CAD left to be used in Tier 3.