There isn’t a government in the world that hands over close to $10 million without some pretty high expectations attached to it, which is why a recent funding announcement from Canada Acceleration and Incubator Program (CAIP) will require some major results from the startups it supports.

CAIP recently said it would be pouring $9.7 million into the Kitchener-Waterloo area to help small and emerging companies propel themselves from mere ideas to sustainable, successful businesses. The money will go towards programming aimed at startups from Communitech, which is based in Waterloo, along with the nearby University of Waterloo and Wilfred Laurier University.

Beyond cementing the Kitchener-Waterloo region as a hotbed of startup activity, the government’s financial investment should also send a few other strong messages to entrepreneurs across the country:

Money Can Help Make More Money

“The real question is, how do we help take companies from startup (mode) to a $100-million company?” a Communitech executive told the Waterloo Chronicle. The answer, at least in part, will be CAIP-funded programs that offer startup founders training in how to increase revenue, the story said. Tools that help young companies analyze industry trends, identify their first customers and grow revenue from early wins will be among the best ways to apply that knowledge once they leave accelerators.

Cash Can Be A Conduit For Community

Research from the Kauffman Institute in the U.S. shows that 600,000 startups are launched in the U.S. each year, but only 200 (or 0.03 percent) achieve $100 million in sales in six years, according to a post on That may make the odds for Canadian startups’ success seem low, but the blog suggests government’s financial support will help foster a vibrant ecosystem. “Staff breaks away and form other startups, and smaller companies are incentivized to follow the lead of the big player and grow more quickly,” Entrevestor said. This is one of the reasons Salesforce recently partnered with Communitech to support its Rev program, providing training and mentorship to contribute to that ecosystem. When talent is highly concentrated, the results can be powerful.

Timelines Can Help Trigger A Turning Point

Just like a venture capitalist, the government has no intention of leaving an open deadline for its investment to pay off. According to the CBC, the money will be spread out over five years with the hopes of seeing 30 countries surpass $50 million over the next decade. That ten years may go by more quickly than entrepreneurs expect. “The scale-up stage is actually one of the most challenging and difficult stages of a company's growth,” the CBC story pointed out. It becomes less challenging, though, when you automate all the things that helps startups look like large established firms, whether it’s marketing, customer service or just running your business from a smartphone.

The government is placing a big bet on startups with the CAIP grants. Now it’s up to entrepreneurs to prove it was a solid bet. 

For more information on how to get your new venture off the ground, visit Salesforce for Startups.