Program Details

Is global growth in your future?

Mitacs Entrepreneur International offers a travel grant to Canadian start-ups that are housed in an academic-institution-linked incubator or accelerator to connect them with host incubators abroad and explore new business development opportunities in international markets. The Mitacs Entrepreneur International program invites application submissions on a year-round basis. 

Canadian start-ups receive a travel grant to support eligible business travel costs, of up to $5,000 to connect with a host incubator in an eligible new target market. Through the program, start-ups:

  • Create direct linkages with their international target market
  • Grow their knowledge of international market opportunities and potential sources of investment
  • Build new clients, partnerships and business opportunities to scale their company

After a successful couple of trips to the US, our pipeline is exploding and we are officially hiring an FTE to join me on the commercial side of the business (mostly to help with sales).


MEI participant

Participants submit their application and budget detailing a travel plan that supports growth goals in at least one of the following categories:

  • Exploring an international target market
  • Seeking international investment
  • Scaling up your start-up internationally

Successful applicants receive a travel grant to support eligible business travel costs for up to two (2) full-time equivalent employees, founders, or owners:

  • Flights and/or ground transit to target market country
  • Transportation costs in target market country
  • Accommodations
  • Per diem

Find the MEI application form under How to Apply.

See Eligibility for a complete list of eligible applicants, markets, activities and expenses.

Funding

Eligibility

Eligible applicants
 

To be considered for the travel grant, all applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a for-profit company
  • Be an incorporated legal entity in Canada
  • Be housed for a minimum of three (3) months and maximum of four (4) years in an eligible incubator or accelerator linked to an academic institution (Home Incubator)
  • Have planned business travel for full-time employees, founders, or owners with soft-landing at a host incubator in an eligible target market. Applicants must leave from and return to Canada on their trip. Applicants must submit their application a minimum of 4 weeks before their planned travel dates

Below is our list of pre-approved home incubators for Entrepreneur International. If you do not see your incubator on the list, please contact pilots@mitacs.ca to check if it is eligible. Please note that all home incubators are required to be linked to a Canadian post-secondary institution.

Prince Edward County

Manitoba

Eligible Activities
 

  • Return travel for up to two (2) full-time employees, founders, or owners of an eligible company
  • Soft-landing at an international host incubator
  • Participation in meetings/events with key contacts from target market

Eligible Markets

Eligible markets include the following countries, regions or jurisdictions:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • European Union
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Tunisia
  • Ukraine
  • United States
  • United Kingdom  

Eligible Expenses
 

Travel grants support eligible business travel costs, with a maximum grant of $5,000. Up to two (2) full-time employees, founders or owners may claim eligible expenses per travel grant.

In-kind contributions from the Home or Host Incubators cannot be used towards matching Mitacs funds.

  • Economy class air or ground transportation fare to new target market
    *Applicants are expected to provide reasonable, economy class return air or ground transportation costs that take advance booking into account. If the amount is deemed excessive, the applicant will be expected to amend their budget to advance booking economy fare estimates.
    *Applicants are expected to select direct transit routes between the travellers’ home base(s) in Canada and the location of travel without any additional stops/destinations. Layovers or stops are acceptable to secure a more economical price.
  • Transportation costs in target market country
    *Applicants may claim taxi, car rental, train or internal flights for travel to the host incubator and for meetings with existing or potential international investors, clients, partners, suppliers and/or distributors.
    *Applicants are expected to select direct routes between the travellers’ accommodation and the host incubator, and/or to meeting locations.
  • Accommodations
    * Applicants are expected to provide reasonable costs that take advance booking into account. If the amount is deemed excessive, the applicant will be expected to amend their budget to advance booking estimates.
  • Per Diem
    *Applicants may claim a per diem for meals and incidentals in accordance with the rates set by the National Joint Council for each day of travel. 

Successful applicants must maintain proper and accurate accounts and records of the approved travel expenses for a minimum of seven (7) years after the date of completion of the travel period.

See How to Apply for more information on how to apply for a travel grant today.

If you have any questions about the Mitacs Entrepreneur International program, please email the Mitacs Entrepreneur International team.

How to Apply

The Mitacs Entrepreneur International program invites application submissions on a year-round basis.
A Mitacs Entrepreneur International application consists of:

  • A completed and signed application, including your travel budget
  • A signed letter of support from an eligible Canadian incubator or accelerator linked to a Canadian academic institution 
  • A signed letter of acknowledgement from an international host incubator

Applicants must submit an application at least four (4) weeks prior to their planned business travel.  Applicants are responsible for collecting all required attachments for a complete application submission.
 

How to apply 
 

  1. Connect with a Mitacs Advisor in your region to discuss the trip you have in mind.
  2. DOWNLOAD THE MEI APPLICATION PACKAGE UNDER APPLICATION, including:
  • Application, letter of support, and letter of acknowledgement templates
  • Minimum eligibility requirements
  • Adjudication criteria  

  3. Verify with your Advisor that your Canadian and International incubator or accelerator is pre-approved

  4. Review the minimum eligibility and adjudication criteria

  5. Draft an application and collect all required supporting documentation

  • Signed letter of support from an eligible Canadian incubator or accelerator linked to a Canadian academic institution
  • Signed letter of acknowledgement from a host incubator in target market 

  6.  Contact your Mitacs Advisor to review and submit your application for you

What happens next?

  1. Your application is reviewed for minimum eligibility (typically within 10 business days) 
  • Please refer to the minimum eligibility requirements document included in the application package
  • Mitacs staff will reach out to the primary contact listed in the application for any follow-up, as needed

   2. Once the minimum eligibility criteria are met, your application will be adjudicated to ensure your business travel meets our program guidelines (typically within 10 business days)

  • Please refer to the adjudication criteria document included in the application package
  • Mitacs staff will reach out to the primary contact listed in the application for any follow-up, as needed

  3. Mitacs will contact all participants with the outcome of their review and any applicable instructions

See our Program Administration tab for an overview of our adjudication process, participant guidelines, program deliverables and other program information.

If you have any questions about the Mitacs Entrepreneur International program, please email the Mitacs Entrepreneur International team.

Application
All Files.zip
Mitacs Terms, Conditions & Policies
All Files.zip

Program Administration

1. Successful applicants will receive an Acceptance Form with their Notice of Approval, which must be signed and returned to Mitacs within one week to confirm their travel grant

  • Successful applicants must agree to all terms and conditions and participant requirements set out in the Acceptance Form

  2. Mitacs will send the first installment of the approved grant (80%) to the company via EFT or cheque (typically within 30 days)

 3. Successful applicants travel to their target market (typically 2-6 weeks of travel)

4. Upon return, successful applicants must submit a final report detailing the outcomes of their business travel in accordance with their approved application, as well as a financial report detailing their approved expenses

  • Successful applicants must maintain proper and accurate accounts, receipts and records of the approved travel expenses for a minimum of seven (7) years after the date of completion of the travel period

5. Mitacs will review final and financial reporting to ensure the total Mitacs travel grant amount does not exceed actual funds spent

6. If the actual spending detailed in the financial report is equal to or exceeds the approved budget, applicants can expect to receive the second installment (20%) via EFT or cheque within 30 days

  • If the actual spending detailed in the financial report is less than the approved budget, Mitacs will amend the total travel grant amount to ensure the total Mitacs travel grant amount does not exceed actual funds spent
  • Any unspent travel grant funding must promptly be returned to Mitacs

All personal information collected as part of the Mitacs Entrepreneur International program application and administration is subject to privacy legislation and Mitacs Privacy Policy.

Information supplied in the application will be made available to Mitacs staff responsible for managing the application, for activities including reviewing and adjudicating applications, administering and monitoring travel grants, compiling statistics, evaluating the program and reporting to our funders. Demographic information will only be reported in aggregate. Information supplied in your application will also be made available to internal Mitacs reviewers. All reviewers are required to make a commitment to keep the application information confidential.

If you have any questions about the Mitacs Entrepreneur International program, please email the Mitacs Entrepreneur International team.

 

All submitted applications are reviewed for minimum eligibility and to ensure an applicant’s business model and proposed travel plan meets our program guidelines.

A copy of our minimum eligibility requirements and adjudication criteria can also be found in the application package,  including: 

  • Application, letter of support and letter of acknowledgement templates
  • Minimum eligibility requirements
  • Adjudication criteria 

Responsibilities

Applicants must submit a complete application, including a completed and signed Application Form, Letter of Support from an eligible Canadian academic-institution-linked incubator or accelerator (Home Incubator), and a signed Letter of Acknowledgement from an international host incubator (Host Incubator), all in accordance with the templates provided in the downloadable Application Package zip file found in the MEI How To Apply section.

Applicants must have an approved application prior to their departure and related business expenses.

The primary applicant contact and all traveling employees must:

  • Make the necessary preparations, accommodation arrangements and obtaining the appropriate visas and travel documentation prior to travel
  • Conduct eligible activities in accordance with the approved application including: return travel for up to two (2) full-time employees, owners or founders of an eligible applicant, soft-landing at an international host incubator, and participation in meetings/events with key contacts from the approved target market(s) to support their international growth goal
  • Travel within the approved travel period to the approved target market(s)
  • Adhere to the terms and conditions as set out in the Notice of Approval and Acceptance Form, which they will receive after approval of their application
  • Comply with all laws, regulations, guidelines and directives applicable to them with regard to eligible activities in Canada and abroad
  • Report any changes to the approved travel plan and dates to Mitacs immediately
  • Return ineligible or unspent funds that may result from changes to the travel plan
  • Submit financial and final reporting within 30 days of the travel end date
  • Maintain proper and accurate accounts and records of the approved travel expenses for a minimum of seven (7) years after the date of completion of the travel period

The Home Incubator agrees to support a start-up company’s application to the Mitacs Entrepreneur International program by completing and signing a Letter of Support.

Home Incubators must:

  • Complete and sign a Letter of Support on incubator or accelerator letterhead attesting to the applicant’s business model and proposed travel plan
  • Attest that the applicant has been incubated at your organization for a minimum of three (3) months and a maximum of four (4) years
  • Provide Mitacs with a completed participant survey once a year for each year they support companies as part of this program

The Host Incubator agrees to support a start-up company’s application and travel to the international market by completing and signing a Letter of Acknowledgement, and providing successful applicants with in-kind soft-landing support.

Host Incubators must:

  • Complete and sign a Letter of Acknowledgement on incubator letterhead confirming the in-kind soft-landing support the incubator will be providing to the applicant
  • Provide Mitacs with a completed participant survey once a year for each year they support companies as part of this program

Mitacs is responsible for the adjudication and delivery of the Mitacs Entrepreneur International program, including processing payment and collecting financial and final reporting.

Mitacs will:

  • Receive and evaluate all submitted applications based on the minimum eligibility requirements and adjudication criteria (found in the downloadable Application Package zip file under How To Apply) published on the Mitacs Entrepreneur International webpage
  • Provide applicants with a notice of the outcome of their application review
  • Provide any participant forms and agreements required for the release of the travel grant to successful applicants, including financial and final reporting templates and surveys
  • Monitor the compliance of applicants with respect to the approved travel plan and terms and conditions of the travel grant
  • Mitacs will not claim ownership of any intellectual property generated from the travel funded through the travel grant

If you have any questions about the Mitacs Entrepreneur International program, please email the Mitacs Entrepreneur International team.

Upon their return, travelers will be sent a financial report template and a web link to an online final report by their Grants Specialist, as identified in their Notice of Approval.

Traveler(s) must complete and submit a financial report to their Grants Specialist, as identified in their Notice of Approval within 30 days of the travel end date.

Traveler(s) must also submit a final report through a web link within 30 days of the travel end date. The report should summarize:

  • Eligible activities carried out during the travel dates
  • Benefits of soft-landing support provided by host incubator
  • Key meetings/activities attended related to your organization’s growth goals
  • Achievement towards the travel goals and deliverables
  • Future business development opportunities in the target market, if applicable
  • Home and host incubators are expected to submit a short participant survey via a web link once a year for each year they support companies as part of this program.

If you have any questions about the Mitacs Entrepreneur International program, please email the Mitacs Entrepreneur International team.

Applicants must notify their Mitacs Grant Management Specialist immediately if the approved travel plan has been changed or canceled. The applicant may be required to return a portion of the travel grant.

If you have any questions about the Mitacs Entrepreneur International program, please email the Mitacs Entrepreneur International team.

FAQs

Yes, applicants can apply for multiple Mitacs Entrepreneur International travel grants at the same time if they wish to take separate trips to explore different international markets. All Mitacs Entrepreneur International program eligibility requirements apply, and each application will be reviewed on its own merits. Check in with the Mitacs Entrepreneur International team or more information on applying for multiple travel grants.

Yes, applicants may travel to multiple eligible markets as part of an approved travel plan.

Companies can apply for up to five (5) Mitacs Entrepreneur International travel grants until March 31, 2026. 

All travellers must be full-time equivalent employees, owners or founders of the start-up. All other Mitacs Entrepreneur International program eligibility requirements apply.

Trips should be planned to optimize meeting your goals and expected deliverables. There are no specific trip duration guidelines, but Mitacs anticipates that most trips will be between 2-6 weeks in duration, depending on the target market and travel goals.

Yes, your planned business travel must support growth goals in at least one of the following categories:
* Exploring an international target market
* Seeking international investment
* Scaling up your start-up internationally
Please select one primary growth goal for the application.

No. All trips must be booked with return air or ground transportation for the purpose of the approved travel plan only.

Applicants are responsible for obtaining their own travel documents and ensuring that they understand the health, safety and security requirements appropriate for their travel destination. Required documents may include passports, visas, recommended immunizations, and travel insurance. Mitacs is unable to assume liability for any losses, such as accidents, illness, or other losses that may occur during the travel period.

No, applicants must have an approved application prior to their departure and related business expenses.

No. We welcome applications from for-profit companies across all sectors. All Mitacs Entrepreneur International program eligibility requirements apply.

Mitacs can help find host incubators for applicants depending on the travel destination. Connect with the Mitacs Entrepreneur International team for more details. Companies must have an international host incubator in an eligible market identified at the time of application submission. Full applications must include: a completed and signed application form by all employees, owners or founders who will be travelling, a letter of support from the company’s Canadian academic-institution-linked incubator or accelerator, and a letter of acknowledgement from the international host incubator. The full application package is available to download in the How to Apply section.

No. All travellers must be full-time equivalent employees, owners or founders of the start-up. All other Mitacs Entrepreneur International program eligibility requirements apply.

The Mitacs Entrepreneur International initiative offers a travel grant to Canadian start-ups that are housed in a academic-institution-linked incubator for a minimum of three (3) months and a maximum of four (4) years to connect them with host incubators abroad and explore new business development opportunities in international markets. Please contact the Mitacs Entrepreneur International team to determine the eligibility of a specific academic-institution-linked incubator.

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Yes, companies can participate in multiple Mitacs programs at the same time (e.g. Accelerate, Elevate).

Mitacs forwards travel grants in two separate instalments to the company only after successful applicants have signed and submitted their required documents.
The first instalment (80% of approved total amount) is released via EFT or cheque upon receipt of the signed Acceptance Form, as set out in the Notice of Approval. Successful applicants must agree to all terms and conditions set out in the Acceptance Form, and can expect to receive the cheque within 30 days.
The second instalment (20% of approved total amount) is released via EFT or cheque upon receipt of the financial report, as set out in the template provided by Mitacs. If the actual spending as outlined in the financial report is equal to or exceeds with the approved budget, applicants can expect to receive the second instalment within 30 days.

Mitacs will work with applicants who meet the eligibility requirements to maximize their success. Mitacs may request revisions and/or encourage a resubmission after addressing any issues that may have prevented the application from being successful the first time. Unsuccessful applicants wishing to appeal the decision on their application may send a letter of appeal to the Mitacs Entrepreneur International team. Appeals must be received within 90 days of the notice of decision and must include the original signed proposal. Appeals are typically responded to within five business days.

Each grant is approved based on the travel objectives and expected deliverables of your trip. Companies who have been approved for travel grants and are already abroad as part of their approved travel must submit a new application that outlines a new travel budget, expected outcomes, and rationale for the travel, including how the new trip will leverage the results of previous trips. All Mitacs Entrepreneur International program eligibility requirements apply, and each application will be reviewed on its own merits. New applications must be submitted at least four (4) weeks prior to travel and travel dates must be after approval of your application.
If you have any questions about the Mitacs Entrepreneur International program, please email the Mitacs Entrepreneur International team.

All travellers must report any substantial changes (travel dates, travellers, host incubator, etc.) concerning their approved application immediately to their Mitacs Grant Management Specialist contact, as identified in the Notice of Approval.