All Programs & Resources

IDEA Step-Up Program

PLEASE NOTE: Applications will open in Autumn of 2024. 

This 6-month program supports innovative and inclusive companies to grow and overcome barriers. As a participant, you will have the opportunity to attend workshops and seminars that address common challenges faced by the c-suite of scaling companies, connect with experienced mentors, speakers, and peers, and present to investors, industry partners and City of Mississauga representatives to get started towards your next round of funding, sale or partnership.

With a focus on sustainability, and inclusivity you will receive a tailored program to help you grow your company while simultaneously contributing to social and environmental change. If you are working on an innovative solution that can change the world, get it done in Mississauga with the IDEA Step-Up Program.


  • Located in Mississauga or wish to locate to Mississauga
  • Approximately earning < $2 million in yearly revenue, have patented innovations, or raised pre-seed capital
  • Planning, creating, or growing innovations in Life Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing or Information & Communications Technology (ICT)

Please note that priority will be given to businesses owned or led by individuals from underrepresented communities such as women, Black entrepreneurs, Indigenous entrepreneurs, members of racialized communities, youth, members of the LGBTQ2 community, persons with disabilities, newcomers to Canada and members of official language minority communities.

What do participants of this program receive?

C-Suite Training Sessions
Accounting, Legal, and IP Consultations
Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Matching

IDEA Square One Membership
Altitude Accelerator RevUp Program
Other Subsidized Memberships

IDEA Mentorship
Sector-Specific Introductions
City of Mississauga Introductions

Competitive Expense Coverage Funding
Applied Research Funding
Pitch Prizes



This session provides more information about the IDEA Step-Up Program, the application process, and how you can make the most out of what will be offered. John Lam, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Specialist at IDEA Mississauga has answered some of your questions about the program. 



“Being involved with the [program] has been great for us. There was so much to be gained in listening to panels of tech experts and business experts. The help we received in preparing and refining our pitch to make it understandable to the average person using factual information that is relevant to them was invaluable.”
– Abraham Janabi, Xiera Technologies General Manager



We have identified and answered the most commonly asked questions about this topic:

Mississauga has a robust and diverse business community that makes up some of the largest knowledge-based industries in Canada. These sectors include: Advanced Manufacturing, Financial Services, Information & Communications Technology (ICT), Life Sciences, Smart Logistics and others. The Step-up to Scale-up Program specifically focuses on Life Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing, and ICT to ensure that as your company grows, one of our Economic Development Office staff members who focus on each of these sectors will be available to support you.

Inclusive growth means to expand your business with the diversity of all members of your community in mind. Not all groups of people have benefitted equally throughout history which has led to systemic barriers in the business world we still experience today. Growing inclusively means that these truths are kept in mind as we make business decisions such as hiring new employees, the company’s communications and messages, the supply chain and distribution channels, and many more. In this process of reconciling with the past, we must all learn to rethink the way we grow our companies.

Because not all groups were benefited equally throughout history, we are making an effort to reduce systemic barriers for people who might experience different challenges to accessing opportunities. A priority is given to businesses owned or majority-led by underrepresented groups, such as women, Black entrepreneurs, Indigenous entrepreneurs, members of racialized communities, youth, members of the LGBTQ2+ community, persons with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, and members of official language minority communities. By giving priority to underrepresented groups, we wish to increase the participation in the economy and build a more inclusive and equitable workforce.

Although the systemic barriers in the business world may be experienced by people in underrepresented groups, the problems and root causes are for all to solve. By not being exclusive, we wish to reflect the diversity in Mississauga and engage everyone in the conversation of inclusivity as we grow and move forward together.

The 1.5 hour training sessions will be divided into 30 minutes of panel discussion with our esteemed guests and one hour of networking for you to ask your specific questions. For virtual sessions, the networking portion will occur in virtual breakout rooms while in-person sessions will be less structured. The sessions are structured in this format to accommodate your busy schedules, foster learning, and provide networking opportunities. Please note that there will be both virtual and in-person sessions and attendance at both are expected.

Step 1: submit application by July 31, 11:59pm
Step 2: accept invitation for an interview August 18
Step 3: join us for an interview on August 22, 23, or 30
Step 4: accept invitation to the program on September 8

Eligible expenses can include costs related to the normal operations of your business or anticipated activities to fuel growth. These costs may include but are not limited to employee salaries, purchase of inventory, purchase of equipment or supplies, marketing, attending conferences, legal fees, accounting fees, intellectual property registration fees or other service fees, etc.

Notes * all opportunities listed below are offered and dispersed at the discretion of the City of Mississauga in collaboration with the corresponding benefit/service provider. Opportunities are not guaranteed to any participants and the City of Mississauga reserves the right to discontinue, reject, or delay any of the opportunities listed below without prior notice to participants.