Seed Funding

Accessing your Seed Funding Award

If you have already been awarded seed funding from the Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre (DDQIC) and would like to access it, please read and follow the instructions below carefully to avoid delays in payment processing.

If you are a Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation (JLMCF) Fellow who has been awarded seed funding, please review and follow the instructions at the link directly below. Do not review the instructions on this page, as they will not be applicable to most ventures located internationally.

JLMCF Fellow Seed Funding Instructions


Seed funding is non-dilutive.

DDQIC will not take any equity in your venture.

Seed funding is paid by reimbursement.

The purpose is to fund legitimate and appropriate business expenses for your venture.

Before you begin spending your seed funding, all potential expenses should be considered in the context of the venture's scarce financial resources and whether the expense is crucial. Consider if the expense will be the most generative use of funds at that point in your venture's development.

DDQIC seed funding provides ventures with the opportunity to think critically about appropriate use of funds and making good business decisions.

Ask Yourself:

Is this expense crucial to the success of my venture right now?

What is the outcome of this purchase?

Not every expense will be legitimate, allowable, and appropriate business expense. Expenses should make the most of scarce resources and prioritize business growth and continuity.

Examples of ineligible expenses:

  • Goods for resale
  • Attendance at non-industry specific conferences or tradeshows
  • Non-essential travel, meal, or hospitality expenses
  • Founder salaries
  • Non-essential office equipment, computer equipment, and furniture
  • Items that are more cost-effectively accessed outside of a full purchase (for example, when considering equipment rental vs. purchase, the more cost-effective of the two will be considered eligible)
  • LCBO gift cards
  • Fancy pens or new ties

Step 1: Getting Started

In order to begin submitting expenses for reimbursement, you will need to provide DDQIC with:

1. A partnership agreement or shareholder agreement for ventures that are for-profit entities.

  • Please refer to the DDQIC legal Wiki for helpful resources and information.
  • Not-for-profit entities are requested to speak directly to the DDQIC team regarding venture-specific requirements.

2. A signed seed funding agreement. DDQIC provides a copy of this agreement once funds have been awarded.

Step 2: Incurring Expenses

Expenses incurred before receiving a seed funding award are ineligible for reimbursement.

DDQIC pre-approval is required for any expense over $1000 CAD, as well as expenses you are not sure are eligible for your venture (if you are ever unsure, just ask!)

Expenses must be claimed within six months of the date they are incurred.

You must retain proper documentation for each expense.

Step 3: Ongoing Operations and Viability

To continue to receive seed funding your venture must remain operational and viable in the opinion of DDQIC staff.

Your venture idea and team need to be substantially the same as when seed funding was awarded. If your team or venture changes you may be required to re-pitch for your funding.

Step 4: Spending Window

All seed funding must be used within two years of the award date.

  • Example: A QICSI venture is awarded $4000 of seed funding on August 1, 2023 through the summer program. The $4000 must be spent in full by August 1, 2025.
  • Note: Each award has a 2-year spending window. To continue the above example, the same QICSI venture is awarded an additional $10000 on August 17, 2023 as a prize in the Pitch Competition. This $10000 must be spent in full by August 17, 2025.

Requests to extend the use of seed funding beyond the two-year window must be submitted and approved by the DDQIC team.

Seed funding claims must be submitted by email to and should include the following three attachments/documents:

Claim Item #1

Excel claim workbook, provided by DDQIC, detailing all expenses included in the claim. You must use the template claim workbook provided by DDQIC and you can download it below.

 Download the claim workbook template

Claim Item #2

Supporting documentation, including invoices, receipts, and proof of payment. These are to be submitted as a single PDF document, with all supporting documents listed in the same order as detailed in the Excel claim workbook (Claim Item #1). Proper documentation is required for all purchases.

Supporting Documentation Checklist:

  • Does it show WHAT was purchased?
  • Does it show the PRICE of what was purchased?
  • Does it show the DATE of purchase?
  • Does it show WHERE it was purchased? 
  • Does it prove that you PAID? Ex. Invoices must show that any balance owing has been paid in full
  • Does it show the currency you paid in and any exchange applied to your final payment?
    • If the expense was paid by credit or debit card in a foreign currency, you can attach a screenshot of the individual transaction and the exchange rate as it appears on your bank statement.
    • You can also provide a screenshot of the Bank of Canada exchange rate on the day of the purchase. Look up the Bank of Canada daily exchange rate.
    • Any supporting documentation for exchange rates should be enclosed in an organized manner directly alongside the remaining the supporting documentation for that specific expense.

Claim Item #3

A single invoice (PDF or Word Doc), addressed from your venture to the DDQIC.

A Word Doc invoice template is provided by the DDQIC for reference as to what details/information is required on the invoice you submit and you can download it below.

 Download the invoice template

You may optionally use this template for your submission or provide your own invoice template.

Seed funding claims are processed according to the below submission windows and processing timelines:

Seed funding processing windows
Quarter Submission window Processing window
1 May 1-July 31 August
2 August 1-October 31 November
3 November 1-January 30 February
4 February 1-April 30 May

If you require your claim to be processed outside of a window, you may contact DDQIC at Requests are subject to approval by the DDQIC team.

Please note that although claims are reviewed and approved by DDQIC staff first, payments are then reviewed and processed by Queen’s Financial Services and are subject to all Queen’s Financial Services policies and procedures. DDQIC staff are not able to guarantee or influence payment processing times.

Direct to Venture

Ventures will be set up with a single supplier profile in the Queen's University Accounts Payable system, acQuire. The DDQIC team will provide instructions to set up this supplier profile upon receipt of submission of your first seed funding claim.

All seed funding reimbursement payments will be issued directly to the venture by their preferred method from the following options: EFT (direct deposit), VPA (Visa payable automation), or ACH (Automated Clearing House). Cheque reimbursement is possible if your venture cannot accept any of the previously mentioned remittance methods.

Exception: Direct payment of an invoice by DDQIC

Ventures may request that the DDQIC pay an invoice directly on their behalf.

While this is commonly requested for payments $1000 CAD or more, there is no minimum amount required to make a request.

Requests for direct payment of an invoice by the DDQIC must be submitted to and approved by the DDQIC team.

  • Legitimate ≠ Allowable ≠ Appropriate.

  • You will remain responsible for any expenses you incur that are not deemed appropriate by DDQIC staff.

  • Seek pre-approval for expenses over $1000 CAD.

  • Maintain proper documentation for all purchases.

  • Submissions should only include the three requested claim attachments.

  • Expenses must be claimed within six months of the date they are incurred.

  • Expenses incurred prior to receiving a seed funding award are ineligible for reimbursement.

  • Claims will only be processed during the appropriate processing window.

  • Please review your claim for accuracy before submitting to the DDQIC. Failure to do so may lead to significant processing delays.

  • Completed claims should be submitted by email to

  • If your team or business changes, you may be required to re-pitch for funding.

  • To continue accessing your seed funding, your venture must remain operational and viable in the opinion of DDQIC staff.