Spark Innovation Centre, a not-for-profit organization that offers free services and support to local entrepreneurs has begun accepting applications to its second annual Ignite Competition. Two startup companies will be chosen to win $25,000 to use towards their business.
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 which included former Dragon’s Den star and co-founder of Round 13 Capital, Bruce Croxon and Jason Atkins, President and CEO of 360 Incentives helped choose the five finalists and ultimately the two Ignite winners, Squabble Studios and MobileXCo. Matthew Stephan, CEO of Squabble Studios 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.”
In 2014, Ignite 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 Dennis Croft, Executive Director, Spark Centre. “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.”
Local pitch competitions will take place in several cities around 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. 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 winners must establish their business within Spark Centre offices in Durham Region. 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 on September 12, 2014. Please visit www.ignitedurham.ca for more information on the application process, eligibility criteria, and important dates.
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). The centre works to improve competitiveness and visibility of Durham Region and Northumberland County as a world-class innovation cluster. For more information on Spark Centre, please visit www.sparkcentre.org
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