Introducing the Ignite Top 27 Finalists!

The first round of Ignite pitches are complete and we have our Top 27!

Ignite saw 67 incredible innovation, technology or invention based businesses apply. This week, Ignite held three separate competitions for the three categories; Student Entrepreneur, Young Entrepreneur and General Entrepreneur. During the competitions, each participant had only 60 seconds to convince the judges that their startup was viable and investment worthy. Being able to pitch in one minute is not easy, but it shows the need to communicate clearly, quickly, and to engage your audience when speaking about your start-up business.

Spark Centre would like to congratulate the 27 companies selected to move on to the Round 2 Pitch Competition on October 13th at the Abilities Centre in Whitby.

Young Entrepreneur Category*
Top27 (1)Ball In The 6
Callerlytics
CandiiShop
Dash MD
Fiix
KoffeeDate
MIR
Tabnex
Tap Report
Vicis Labs
Welbi
WeTraq

General Entrepreneur Category
Cliply Corp
FI Automation
Hexyoo
Mentally Charged
QuickStaff
Studio 1 Labs
Ten Count
Test Run Online
Tutor Hub
VSS

Student Entrepreneur Category
Derman.ca
InFocusFilms
MiCharity
TruckOff
Ultima Apparel

If you’d like to join us for the Round 2: Pitch Competition on October 13th at Abilities Centre, please REGISTER HERE. Tickets are limited, so reserve your place quickly! The Student Entrepreneur winner will be announced and awarded $5,000! The Top 4 (two Young Entrepreneur and two General Entrepreneur) finalists will also be announced to move on to the Boardroom Competition for their chance to win $25,000.

 

*The Young Entreprenueur Top 10 is a Top 12 due to a tie.

Board of Directors Announces Resignation of President & CEO

Spark Innovation Centre’s Board of Directors announces Dennis Croft’s resignation as President & CEO of the organization effective September 16, 2016.

Since joining Spark Centre in 2011, Dennis has been a great champion for innovation and entrepreneurship in Durham Region and Northumberland County. Dennis has been involved in many significant accomplishments for the organization including the establishment of The Loft, Durham Region’s first start-up incubation space for entrepreneurs.

“The Board of Directors is very thankful to Dennis for getting the Spark Centre to that next stage of growth. He brought a true entrepreneurial spirit, which was critical in helping Spark get there,” says Kathy Weiss, Chair of Spark Innovation Centre’s Board of Directors. “We wish him well on his next endeavour.”  

Beginning immediately, the board will be conducting a search for a replacement while Spark Innovation Centre will continue to run as is during this time. To access the job posting, please click here. Applications will be accepted until Monday September 26th and should be forwarded to hr@sparkcentre.org.

About Spark Centre: Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre is one of eighteen 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

 

Contact:
Amanda Reynolds
Communications Specialist, Spark Innovation Centre
areynolds@sparkcentre.org
905-432-3999 x 122

Durham College Receives $13 Million for new CFCE

Durham College (DC) announced today that it has received $13 million in funding from the federal government through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) toward the construction of the new Centre for Collaborative Education (CFCE) at the college’s Oshawa campus. The announcement was made by Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Liberal MP for Whitby, on behalf of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada at an event held at the college this morning.

The $13 million commitment, combined with the $22 million in funding received from the provincial government toward the building in April 2016, brings the total amount being invested in the CFCE to $35 million, the largest single-project investment by government in the college’s history.

With a total build cost of $40 million, the CFCE will replace the college’s aging Simcoe building, which was originally built as a temporary structure and opened in 1969. The new multi-level, 75,000-square-foot-facility, a legacy project tied to DC’s 50th anniversary in 2017, will serve as an educational access point for students while bringing together local, Indigenous and global community groups and members of key business sectors. The CFCE will be located to the east of the current building, where it will connect directly to the Student Services building, and is being designed to reflect and address the needs of both students and the community, including the desire for more collaborative learning and social spaces.

“On behalf of everyone at Durham College, I extend my sincere thanks to the federal government for this significant investment in our unique vision and commitment to creating a facility that will expand local programming, further connect Indigenous communities to post-secondary education and drive entrepreneurship and internationalization via Global, Open and Collaborative spaces that connect the college to more than 50 academic institutions around the world,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “Providing us with the opportunity to expand into new programs areas that offer experiential learning opportunities designed to match the labour needs of industry, the CFCE is a legacy building for the next 50 years that truly reflects Durham College’s dedication to meeting the demands of students, employers and Ontario’s changing economy.”

Designed to reflect DC’s commitment to working with local business and community partners to create a new facility where students, employees and the broader community can work together in ways that transcend the traditional concepts of education, the CFCE will house the following:

  • The School-College-Work Initiative and the affiliated Centre for Success program, a partnership between DC and the Durham District, Kawartha Pine Ridge District, Durham Catholic District, Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District, and Trillium Lakelands District school boards that assists in-risk students by helping them find their way to college.
  • The Aboriginal and Student Diversity Centres.
  • Entrepreneurial, Innovation and Creative spaces including the Spark Centre, which will expand applied research opportunities for students, faculty and small-and medium-sized businesses.
  • Global, Open and Collaborative spaces that will enable faculty, students and the broader community to use technology in creative ways to gain unprecedented access to students, educators, thought leaders, subject matter experts and other visionaries from more than 40 countries around the world.
  • Health science facilities including state-of-the art classrooms and labs; a spa focused on massage therapy, cosmetology and aesthetics; and programming centred around occupational therapy and physical therapy.
  • Foundation programs designed to prepare students for the continuation of post-secondary education at college or university.
  • Significant collaborative learning and social spaces for our students, faculty and community.

“These infrastructure investments will help create high-quality, well-paying jobs that can help the middle class grow and prosper today, while also delivering sustained economic growth in the Durham Region for years to come”, said MP Caesar-Chavannes. “Through the Strategic Investment Fund, we are strengthening the foundation for building Canada into a global centre for innovation.”

Since announcing plans to replace the aging Simcoe building in April, DC has made steady progress on plans for the CFCE. The construction and architecture tenders have been awarded and initial work is expected to begin this fall with construction to be completed in 2018. A comprehensive design consultation process involving the builder and architects is now underway with each of the services, programs and departments that will be moving into the CFCE.

“Durham College has long been a vital component of our community,” said Granville Anderson, MPP, Durham. “This significant investment from the provincial and federal governments, which supports expanded programming and enhances Durham’s state-of-the-art learning environment, provides the renewal necessary to continue that important work.”

The college will soon launch a capital campaign to raise the additional $5 million for the construction of the building in partnership with individuals, corporations, community partners and alumni over a two-year period.