Oshawa’s non-for-profit Spark Innovation Centre is all set to host its second annual Ignite Competition. It’ll award two winners $25,000 each and will include a new category awarding $5,000 to a post-secondary student.
The Spark Centre said this year the Ignite Competition will focus on innovation, technology, invention and advanced process oriented start-ups. “The success of Ignite 2013 was very evident with over 100 competitors and over 2,000 attendees to watch the various competition events,” said executive director Dennis Croft. “This year Spark continues to enhance Ignite, bringing in the specific Spark Centre mandate of focusing on technology, invention and advanced process creation oriented companies.”
Last year Ignite saw over 100 companies compete in a rigorous program that involved pitch competitions, a business boot camp and boardroom competition.
An expert “Power Panel” included former Dragons’ Den star and Round 13 Capital cofounder Bruce Croxon, as well as Jason Atkins, CEO of 360 Incentives. They helped choose the five finalists and ultimately the two Ignite winners, Squabble Studios and MobileXCo.
At the time Squabble Studios’ CEO Matthew Stephan spoke about the importance of the program: “Ignite is an amazing opportunity for any entrepreneur. It teaches great new skills and helps businesses build meaningful connections.”
Local pitch competitions will take place in several cities around the Durham Region to “broaden our search for high potential startups, and the competition will once again have an expert Power Panel to help with the selection process,” organizers said.
Ignite 2014 will also be highlighting new categories which support young entrepreneurs, including a special prize of $5,000 to a student currently enrolled in a post-secondary institute in Durham Region.
Startups located anywhere within Canada are eligible to apply, but the selected winners must establish their business within Spark Centre offices in Durham Region, about 30 minutes to the east of Toronto. The winners will work closely with the Spark Centre team and have access to Spark’s network of mentors and advisors who will help to accelerate their business.
Applications are available online and must be received by 5:00 p.m. EST by September 12. Those interested can go here to apply.
About Spark Centre: Spark Innovation Centre is one of fourteen not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centres (RICs) that form part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE).