Building a financially healthier future for all Canadians
Powered by Fintech Cadence, IFH Lab is a six-month, equity-free program for startups designing real solutions to the most pressing financial health challenges Canadians face today.

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Applications are now closed.

Why IFH Lab?

We started IFH Lab because we saw a gap in what was out there for entrepreneurs addressing financial health challenges.  
The IFH Lab is designed to close these gaps. The program is a 6 month no-fee, no equity program where startups commit just 2-4 hours/monthly and get access to:

→ Industry-specific support delivered by experts who are mission-aligned, experienced, and in a position to make things happen.

→ Flexible programming that adapts and adjusts to your team’s needs to help you reach your goals and address your real pain points.

→ Be part of a growing community of mission-driven startups building a better financial system through tech innovation.

Selected startups will receive: 

Mentorship

Personalized guidance from 
over 100+ experts from the ecosystem across Canada. Discover some of our experts here.

Community

A cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs to exchange best practices, and access to a broader network of investors and partners.

Programming

Monthly workshops and fireside chats including business fundamentals, deep dives on specific topics such as financing, marketing, team and more.

Software Credits

Over $100,000 in credits  available from our software providers including Plaid, IBM, Zendesk, and more. Full list of credits on our Partners page.

Our cohort in numbers

12

Startups

50+

Jobs Created

 $11M+

Raised

25,000+

Canadians Helped

Click here to discover our alumni in the news

What we are looking for

We’re seeking startups that can help better the financial lives of Canadians.

Millions of Canadians are struggling to pay for today, save for tomorrow, and plan for the unexpected. Over 50% of Canadians spend more than or equal to their income every month. 1/3rd aren’t able to pay all their bills on time and in full. Fintech can fill the gap.

Whether offering creative new financial products for consumers, or solving persistent barriers to inclusion and accessibility in our existing financial services sector, we are looking for ideas that help Canadians build financial health and resilience.

Most importantly, we care about your mission and your goals. Prior to the workshops, sessions and industry expert networking opportunities, our team will sit down with you for private 1-on-1 on-boarding and  goal setting sessions.

Vulnerable

Solutions for the financially vulnerable that are struggling with debt or living paycheque-to-paycheque.

Gig workers

Tools that make it easier for gig workers and the self-employed to better manage the impacts of income volatility.

Seniors

Products and services helping seniors protect and manage their assets to increase financial independence.

Small businesses

Solutions that provide small business entrepreneurs the tools and resources they need to sustain and grow.

Indigenous Peoples​

Innovations that address the lack of culturally appropriate financial products and services for Indigenous Peoples.

Renters

Emerging proptech solutions that help renters build credit, manage rent deposits and more.





Eligibility



You are an early-stage fintech company with a demonstrated commitment to improving the financial lives of Canadians with…

  • At least one full-time employee
  • Validated idea
  • A product in market with some users (test users/pilots included)
  • Incorporated in Canada, or with plans to incorporate in Canada by the end of the cohort
  • Can commit to the program sessions
 
We equally support entrepreneurs looking to build venture-backed businesses and those looking to build non-profits.

The 2022 program will happen in a hybrid model where applicable:

  •  3 day in-person orientation in Toronto in May
  • 1 day in-person demo-day in Montreal in November
  • 2-4 hours of virtual programming per month
  • Additional optional fireside chats and workshops (virtual)
 
 




Commitment


Application Timeline

What our alumni are saying

Ready to get started?

Applications are now closed.

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FAQ

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The program runs from May through November 2022. Applications close March 22nd with interviews taking place mid-April.

The program is intended to offer a flexible time commitment to ensure it does not interfere with you running and building your business. 

 

The program is 6 months in length, with a total of about 2-3 hours of mandatory sessions or meetings a month. Startups have the option to participate in as many additional optional sessions as they want. There will be a 3-day in-person orientation in Toronto and an in-person Demo Day in Montreal or Toronto.

 

Founders are encouraged to involve other members of their team as appropriate in the programming to allow you to get the most out of the program without creating too significant a time commitment.

The bulk of the program is delivered virtually. There will be a 3-day in-person kickoff in Toronto at the end of May, and an in-person Demo Day at the beginning of November that will take place in Montreal. If this model may limit you into applying, please reach out to ifhlab@fintechcadence.com for a chat so we can determine your needs!

There is no fee to participate in the program and we do not take any equity. Travel expenses for the selected teams who choose to participate in the in-person kick-off and Demo Day will be reimbursed (there is a cap that will be put in place).

You can still apply if you are not incorporated as long as you can provide a clear timeline for incorporation by the end of the program. Our team and mentors can provide guidance on the incorporation process!

You’re right for the IFH Lab if you’re building a solution that: aims to improve the financial health and resilience of Canadians; builds your customer’s financial literacy skillset; makes financial products or services more broadly accessible and appropriate for most Canadians; better meets the needs of an underserved community or group that experiences discrimination in accessing financial services.

 

You should also have at least one team member who is either currently full-time or intends to go full-time in the near future. You should have some sort of minimum viable product that is ready to be tested with users.

Our program is unique in its focus on mission-driven fintech founders. It is not intended to be Entrepreneurship-101, but is instead focused on providing founders with what they need to build and scale a fintech business in Canada. 

 

As part of the program, you will get access to: 

  • 100+ mission-aligned industry experts representing investors, larger fintechs, financial institutions, nonprofits, regulators, and more. 
  • Monthly optional fireside chats focused on capacity and knowledge building from experts on topics such as go-to-market strategy, digital marketing, product management, startup financing, and more. 
  • A peer network of 6- 8 impact-driven founders and an alumni network of 12 startups that have already added 50+ jobs, raised over $11 million, and helped 25,000+ Canadians since participating in the program. 
  • An assigned Program Mentor who will assist you in setting, refining, and tracking to 6 month goals. 
  • Over $100,000 in service provider credits from partners such as Amazon AWS, IBM, Plaid, Zendesk, Helcim, and more. 
  • Cash prizes available for the cohort at the Demo Day. 

Our alumni consistently identify how valuable the connections made throughout the program have been. As a result of  the program, our startups have found their first paying customers, onboarded IFH Lab mentors as official advisors, formed partnerships with other startups in their cohorts, and raised capital. 

As a national-wide program, all orientation, peer sessions and workshops sessions will be carried out in English. You can however notify your preferences for French communications and the like upon selection into the program.

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