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INNOVATOR FAQS - Frequently asked questions

How much equity/IP ownership do I need to have?

Ideally, the founders have complete ownership over their intellectual property & equity. We prefer applicants to have a minimum 80% ownership over each of their IP & equity.

How much equity does FCSB take?

We take up to 15% equity in each startup, determined on a case-by-case basis in proportion to the amount invested (up to CA$250K).

Do I need to have a patent?

No, we do not require founders to have filed patent applications prior to applying. Applicants should have intellectual property that is protectable & they plan to file for in the future but it is not a requirement for application.

Do I need a product?

We do not require applicants to have a finished product. However, we are looking for founders with a well-developed idea and at the very least an in-principle demonstration that it is technically feasible to produce. This can look like designs, papers, preliminary data, or a rudimentary proof of concept.

Do I need to have revenue?

No, applicants are not required to have revenue. However, demonstrating a compelling business model with indicators of potential customers, such as letters of intent, will greatly support your application.

Can I still apply even if I have already taken investment?

Yes, we only ask that the founders hold the majority of shares in the company.

Do I have to live in Canada to apply?


Do I have to relocate to London, ON for the entire duration of the 4-month program?

Yes, we require founders to be based in London, ON (or the surrounding area) during the program (exceptions may be made due to COVID-19). We strongly encourage successful applicants to remain in the London area following the program to continue to leverage our ecosystem partners.

When will the first cohort start?

Our first cohort is planned for Q1 2022. The start date is subject to change based on COVID-19 regulations & construction timelines. We will continue to keep applicants updated throughout the application process.

What kind of companies are you looking for?

We primarily invest in early-stage synthetic biology companies with the potential to scale, however, we welcome any applicants operating in the life sciences & bioeconomy sectors. Due to our geographic location, network, and partnership with Western Fair Association, we are uniquely positioned to support agriculture- & food-based businesses, but we are open to applicants across industries.

Do I need a Ph.D. to apply?

No, but we do require at least one founder on your team to have the technical capabilities to build your product or deliver your service.

Can I apply as a solo founder?

You may apply to our incubator as a solo founder. But in order to be accepted into our accelerator program, we require you to have a co-founder. If you are a solo founder looking for a partner, you are still able to apply to the accelerator program but please contact our team at We are happy to help you find a suitable co-founder.

Do all founders need to be involved full-time in the accelerator?

Yes, we require all founders to be invested in their business full-time for the duration of the program and expect that they will continue working on their business full-time afterwards.

Can I apply to the incubator (lab space) and the accelerator?

Yes. If you are interested in both please select both in the application form. Successful accelerator applicants will have free access to the facility during the program as well as a prioritized opportunity to continue renting space afterwards.

Do I need a pitch deck for my application video?

Nope. We want to see the founders in action. In fact, the less you rehearse, the better.

Can I apply with more than one idea/startup?

Choose the one you believe in most & apply with that (but feel free to still let us know about your other ideas).

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