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What is the North Forge Founders Program?

No matter what stage you are at, North Forge Technology Exchange’s online four-stage Founders Program is available to all Manitobans. Providing comprehensive resources, combined with regional knowledge and international experience, technology-enabled businesses receive foundational business training, access to experts, networking, mentorship, a hot desk, pathfinding to growth capital, and ongoing entrepreneur-in-resident support. 

What is the North Forge Open Office Hours Program?

As a sponsor for North Forge, TDS is offering founders in the North Forge Founders Program the opportunity to meet one-on-one with TDS start-up lawyers to discuss basic legal needs, such as:

  • Incorporating
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Intellectual property (IP) protection
  • Shareholders agreements

Where will the meetings take place? 

During the pandemic, meetings will take place via Microsoft Teams. Once the pandemic is over, meetings could take place at TDS’ True North Square offices, or at North Forge (either at the Exchange District or Smartpark Innovation Hub locations). 

How long will the meetings be and what do they cost? 

Meetings with each start-up will be 30 minutes. The meetings are a complimentary service. 

When will the Open Office Hours Program be offered? 

Twice per month on the first Tuesday (1:30-3:30 pm) and second Thursday (9:30-11:30 am) of each month.

How do North Forge Start-ups apply? 

North Forge start-ups need to fill out the TDS online client intake form. The number of start-ups that can meet with TDS lawyers is subject to availability, and meetings are booked on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

It is important to note that TDS may not be able to meet with some start-ups, in the event of a conflict of interest. For example, if a start-up has a legal dispute with one of TDS’ existing clients, a meeting cannot take place with that start-up. Conflict searches are conducted before any meetings take place.

Which lawyers will start-ups be matched with? 

Start-ups will be matched with a TDS lawyer based on the start-up’s legal needs, such as business law, IP protection, tax law, labour & employment law.

How do fees work? 

Open Office Hours meetings are treated as initial consultations for general legal information. For example:

  • Why do I need to incorporate?
  • What is a shareholders agreement?
  • Do I need a trademark?

If deliverable work results from these meetings (e.g. incorporation of a business, registering a trademark), these services are subject to fees. TDS has developed a customized package of services for start-ups which are priced on a fixed fee basis, to provide start-ups with cost certainty to better manage their legal budgets.

TDS also offers an online billing payment feature.