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.