Technology Start-Up Competition launched in Wolfville
Dalhousie University Innovation in Design Lab director Matt d’Entremont knows first-hand the value of Innovacorp’s I-3 competition. The lobster trap innovation of d’Entremont and his partner, Vince Stuart of Meteghan, won the I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition in Zone 3 two years ago. It went on to win a Top-10 Invention Award from Popular Science Magazine. – Kirk Starratt, www.kingscountynews.ca
By Kirk Starratt
Maybe your idea will be the next from the competition to win a top-10 invention award from Popular Science Magazine.
Innovacorp has launched its provincial I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition. Early-stage, knowledge-based companies with high potential in Nova Scotia have a chance to compete for up to $225,000 in prizes.
With the province split up into five geographic zones, the Zone 3 launch was held at Acadia University’s KC Irving Centre on Sept. 9. Zone 3 includes Digby, Annapolis, Kings and Hants counties.
Dalhousie University Innovation in Design lab director, Matt d’Entremont, said he’s using university resources to help stimulate job creation in the province. But how do you get from the idea stage to market?
D’Entremont worked as a team with Vince Stuart of Meteghan to win the Zone 3 prize two years ago. They went on to win a Top-10 Invention Award from Popular Science Magazine in June 2012 for their lobster trap innovation, the “Bait Savour.”
“For someone to call from New York wanting to do an article on you is something else,” d’Entremont said.
He said the I-3 competition gave them a huge amount of publicity and the Popular Science award has given them more exposure. People have been calling from places like Texas and Australia, he said, and he’s even received a piece of fan mail from the California State Prison.
He urges people to think about their idea and ask themselves, “would it change the world?” Stuart had been working on his lobster trap idea for about eight years and it took them about a year working as a team to solve the problem. Essentially, they were looking for a way to time-delay the release of bait in a lobster trap so the trap “fishes” for a longer period of time, without having to be re-baited.
Innovacorp President and CEO Stephen Duff said Nova Scotia has a rich history of innovation and entrepreneurship. The I-3 competition helps add fuel to that fire, encouraging such activity across the province.
“The question this year is who are the faces to come, and will one of those faces be yours,” Duff said.
He’s challenging Zone 3 to bring forth the greatest number of submissions per capita based on population than any other zone. Duff said they really want to “beat the bushes” for ocean technology innovations this year.
“Great ideas will remain great ideas until they come forward,” Duff said.
Innovacorp helps knowledge-based companies commercialize their technologies and succeed in the global marketplace through investment, incubation and expert advice.
The I-3 competition is held every two years.
About the competition…
- This year, each of the five zone winners will receive $100,000 in cash and in-kind business building services. Second place zone take home $40,000 in cash and services. Every submission will receive feedback from Innovacorp.
- An overall provincial winner selected from the five zone winners will receive an additional $100,000 in seed investment from Innovacorp. There will also be cash awards for the best overall submission in information and communication technology, life sciences, clean technology and oceans technology.
- A six-person judging committee in each zone will consider the quality of the idea, the strength of the management team and the clarity and persuasiveness of the written and oral presentation.
- Entrepreneurs have until 5 p.m. on Oct. 18 to submit entries. Zone winners will be announced Jan. 27, 2014, and the provincial winner and sector winners will be announced Feb. 12, 2014.
- To download an information kit and submission forms, visit www.innovacorp.ca.