MUSKOKA, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AI–The Muskoka Futures CFDC is bringing back its Muskoka 4.0 Startup Competition for tech startups that are ready to change their community — and the world — for the better. The winner will take home a cool $250,000, making it one of the largest investment competitions for early stage tech startups in Ontario this year.

“Muskoka 4.0 helps accelerate early-stage tech companies by providing risk capital to fund significant milestones in their development—like prototyping—and get them ready for angel round follow-on investment,” said David Brushey of the Muskoka Futures CFDC. “This is the third straight year we’re investing the returns on our $16M portfolio as we continue to hunt for Founders who will take their business to the next level.”

Muskoka is 90 minutes north of Toronto and is home to some of Ontario’s most successful CEOs and tech entrepreneurs. Part of the Muskoka 4.0 mission is to establish stronger connections between startup ecosystems in the GTA, Waterloo and Kingston-Ottawa corridor and Muskoka by providing access to early-stage capital and potential customers — and promoting mentoring and services from Regional Innovation Centres across Ontario, including Communitech, Innovation Factory, NorCAT, TechAlliance, and Venturelab. In 2020, MaRS-mentored NextUp Care took the prize for its cloud-based, AI-enabled patient scheduling platform to automate and optimize the booking of medical imaging appointments.

“One important thing that sets Muskoka 4.0 apart is that we do all our due diligence and term sheet negotiation up front to flow funding quickly. We also have a ‘Power Panel’ — a network of Muskoka CEOs and investors, who provide coaching, mentoring and support for Muskoka 4.0 competitors as they advance through three rounds of competition: the Shortlist, Term Sheet negotiation, and the final Pitch,” said Tyler Lockhart, an Investment Manager with Muskoka 4.0. “This year our panel includes renowned entrepreneur and investor Bruce Croxon – which is a huge win for us, and who will offer incredibly valuable insights for our finalists and our winner.”

Applications for Muskoka 4.0 are now open until October 31st, 2021. Applicants are expected to establish a presence in Muskoka for at least one year to qualify for the $250,000 investment (including a la carte services from regional innovation centres).

Read more here.


  • Since its launch in 2019, 43 early stage technology companies have applied for Muskoka 4.0
  • Past finalists include IRIS, for it’s on demand, AI-enabled transportation, road monitoring, and asset management solutions for municipalities
  • The inaugural winner of Muskoka 4.0 in 2019 was SAAS-based CRM solution creator, Rolldog
  • Muskoka 4.0’s prize represents a portion of the returns on a $16M investment portfolio managed by the Muskoka Futures CFDC
  • Through the Muskoka 4.0 Startup Competition and other initiatives the Muskoka Futures CFDC has supported the launch of 41 startups over 5 years


“Winning the Muskoka 4.0 Startup Competition has changed the trajectory of our business, without a doubt. We’ve hired and we’re hiring again. Over the past 12 months, we’ve been able to make key improvements to our products, reach new partners and secure additional funding that would not have been possible without the support of Muskoka 4.0,” said Wayne Li, Founder and CEO, NextUp Care. “I know they are looking for a return on their investment, but it feels different – it’s more than that. I feel that they care about our success, and they understand what we need to scale. And that feels good.”

“The investment is substantial and less onerous than many other funds we’ve looked at – Muskoka 4.0 doesn’t ask for a seat on the Board. It’s very fair. It’s very transparent — the application process was straight forward,” said Craig Crawford, Co-Founder and CEO, Rolldog. “We’re grateful for the continued mentorship from MaRS and we remain connected to their vital ecosystem – while being able to access capital, partners and support here in Muskoka. It’s truly a nesting environment – not just for my venture, but also for my family.”


NEW IN 2021 — Muskoka 4.0 will be taking 1:1 video meetings with early-stage startups at the CIX Digital Summit on October 27. Register to pre-book a meet with us, here, or give us a call: (705) 646-9511 x. 250



Jodi Chapman-Good

Competition Manager

Muskoka 4.0 Startup Competition

(705) 646-9511 x. 260

Tyler Lockhart

Investment Manager

Muskoka 4.0 Startup Competition

(705) 646-9511 x. 250