Might the next Silicon Valley North be in Eastern Ontario? It will be if the Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation and Spark Centre, the local regional innovation centre, have their way.
The two organizations have teamed-up to launch N100, a new entrepreneurship competition that will make up to $100,000 in equity investment available and is open to eligible individuals and companies planning to commercialize an innovative idea or concept. Northumberland Country borders Lake Ontario between Belleville and Trenton, and includes 7 municipalities, with Port Hope, Cobourg, and Brighton among them.
“We’re drawing attention to the need for greater private equity investment activity in early-stage startup companies at the local level,” said Wendy Curtis, executive director of Northumberland CFDC, in a statement. “This competition is open to entrepreneurs at an early stage of development who often have difficulty securing the first round of equity.”
It will be a multi-stage competition, with applications due by March 31st. Of the applications, 10 will be selected to pitch their concepts to the Northumberland CFDC Investment Committee. Of those, five will move on for an intensive round of mentoring and coaching led by Spark Centre’s entrepreneur-in-residence, Bryan Kanarens. For the third round, three will make full presentations to the Northumberland CFDC Investment Committee, and the winner will move on to the private equity negotiation round. The winner will be announced in November.
“N100 will help local startups transform a raw idea into a business opportunity,” said Kanarens. “A substantial equity deal early on contributes to the initial valuation of the company, facilitating further investment rounds. Startups will also receive intensive mentoring, coaching advice and support from Spark Centre.”