Spark Centre is showcasing at OCE Discovery!

Discovery is a premier event where innovative entrepreneurship  is celebrated by innovation centers, entrepreneurs, students, venture capital, industry, government and academia. The event is magical and draws thousands of attendees from all over the globe to see and hear thought leaders and participate in entrepreneurial workshops.

Spark Zone will showcase seven of Spark Centre’s highest potential start-ups, ranging from gaming to energy storage solutions, and everything in between.  We have also invited key partners such as Northumberland CFDC, Durham College and Durham Region, who tirelessly work to help our clients succeed and elevate the importance of entrepreneurship.

Spark Zone will also feature interactive opportunities to view all of the various company’s capabilities, and we are hosting an ongoing pitch school which will be free to any attendee of OCE Discovery!

Come out and join us! And as a extra teaser… a few of our companies have some key announcements they will be making public!!

Want to attend OCE Discovery? Register Now!

Do It In Durham 2013 Idea Generation

Do It In Durham celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week and shines a light on local entrepreneurs who are making it happen right here in Durham, from students to the CEO’s of some of Canada’s fastest growing companies.

Entrepreneurship is increasingly the driver of new wealth, high paying jobs and investment. For many, entrepreneurship means living a few years like most people won’t, so they can live the rest of their lives like most people can’t. Could this be you?

Each year some 130 countries around the world celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week. To celebrate it here, Spark Centre and BACD have joined forces with regional partners to bring you Do It In Durham. For anyone with an interest in entrepreneurship, it is an opportunity to learn about the huge range of advice, education, connections and money available in Durham to help entrepreneurs start and grow businesses here.

Do It In Durham 2013 offered free workshops, participate in contests and a chance to win cash prizes. Thank you to everyone who took part and became part of the rising tide of entrepreneurship in Durham!

Thank you to our major sponsors, Meridian, RBC and the Region of Durham for helping us make this happen!

For more information go to 2013′s Do It In Durham Website. To find out about Do It In Durham 2014, join our mailing list.

Ignite 2013 Entrepreneurship Journey

Ignite 2013 was an exciting entrepreneurial journey organized by Spark Centre and The Region of Durham, along with many local community partners. The Ignite program began with all applicants attending pitch school to refine their idea and “elevator pitch”. The 102 applicants had a chance to learn about creating a value proposition, marketing and what angel investors are looking for as well as how to present their business idea from local business people and “been there done that ” mentors. Not only was Pitch School a great opportunity to learn skills is was a great opportunity to network and be involved in an exciting entrepreneurial community.

The next stage was to complete a two page business plan to get an opportunity to present their business pitches at Pitch Night (our version of “Dragon’s Den”) on February 4, 2013 at the Abilities Centre to the Ignite Power Panel, which did in fact include Bruce Croxon from CBCs Dragon’s Den.

A total of thirty applicants presented in front of an audience of over 200 people at pitch night and from those thirty, five were chosen to present to the Power Panel in a boardroom situation. Following the selection process two “Ignite Start-ups” were announced who then entered an intensive four-month boot camp, which included the following: a $25,000 cash award; access to a Power Panel and in-kind professional services from local experts in areas such as finance, marketing, and law. The boot camp culminated in a public event, the Ignite Finale, on June 25, 2013 at The Regent Theatre in Oshawa.

On June 25th, over 600 people attended the Ignite 2013 Finale were we celebrated the growing community of entrepreneurs and cultural leaders in Durham Region. Highlights included hearing the two finalists – Squabble Studios Inc. and Mobile Experience Company, fresh out of start-up bootcamp as well as from keynote speaker, international bestseller, Tim Ferriss. Part of the evening’s attractions included a “Social Media Lounge”  and a “Tweeting Contest” with a chance to win one of two iPad Minis. The evening continued with local gourmet food and drinks, music, breakdancers and participatory art.

Ignite 2013 has really stirred up excitement in our local business and cultural community. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors and in-kind partners.

For more information go to 2013′s Ignite Durham website. To find out about Ignite 2014, join our mailing list.