InNOVAcorp Launches Province-wide I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition



    HALIFAX, Sept. 13 /CNW/ - InNOVAcorp today officially launched its
province-wide I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition with the goal of creating a
number of new Nova Scotia-based companies. I-3 is an exciting opportunity for
Nova Scotia entrepreneurs with high potential business start-ups.
    "A sustainable, strong and vibrant economy in Nova Scotia requires
continuous innovation and the creation of new start-up companies," said
Premier Rodney MacDonald. "This competition is an exciting opportunity for
people in communities across the province with innovative business ideas."
    The competition will take place simultaneously in five geographic zones
across the province.
    Each first place zone winner will receive a $100,000 prize package of a
combination of cash and in-kind contributions and each second place zone
winner will receive a $40,000 prize package of a combination of cash and
in-kind contributions to be used towards the establishment or further
development of their start-up ventures. Prize packages will include support
and resources in the form of expertise (i.e. legal, accounting, marketing,
human resource services), funding and seed investment to be used by winners to
develop their start-up businesses.
    At the end of the competition, one provincial winner will be selected
from among the five first place zone winners, and will be awarded a $100,000
seed investment from InNOVAcorp's HPiTM Microfund.
    "After the success of the pilot I-3 competition in Cape Breton in 2006,
we recognized the opportunity to take the competition province-wide," said Dan
MacDonald, president and CEO of InNOVAcorp. "I-3 is not your typical business
plan competition - our goal is to fuel the creation of new Nova Scotia
knowledge-based companies for the long term."
    "This competition will help drive innovation in Nova Scotia and spur the
growth of high potential start-ups," said Richard Hurlburt, Minister of
Economic Development. "If you're an early stage company with a product or
service that can be commercialized, we're looking for you."
    Zone 1 includes Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish and
Guysborough counties; Zone 2 includes Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne and
Yarmouth counties; Zone 3 includes Digby, Annapolis, Kings and Hants counties;
Zone 4 includes Halifax Regional Municipality; and Zone 5 includes Victoria,
Cape Breton, Inverness and Richmond counties.
    I-3 stands for "Idea, Innovation, Implementation," the early steps in the
commercialization process. The purpose of the competition is to foster and
support the entrepreneurial spirit in the business community across Nova
Scotia and to encourage the formation of new technology start-up companies.
    A six-person judging committee in each geographic zone will include
representatives with relevant start-up business expertise from the public and
private sectors. The quality of the business idea, the strength of the
management team, and the clarity and persuasiveness of the written plan and
oral presentation will form the basis for the judges' selection of zone
winners and an overall provincial winner.
    Entrepreneurs have until 5 pm on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 to submit round
one entries. The competition has three rounds. Finalists will get professional
assistance to polish their plans during the competition's third and final
round. The five zone winners will be announced on December 20, and the
provincial winner will be announced on February 12. Submissions can be
completed online at www.innovacorp.ca.

    InNOVAcorp helps early stage Nova Scotia companies commercialize their
technologies and succeed in the global marketplace. InNOVAcorp's High
Performance Incubation (HPi)(TM) business model, which is recognized
internationally as a "best practice" technology commercialization approach,
incorporates incubation infrastructure, business mentoring, and seed and
venture capital investment. Every day, InNOVAcorp staff engages high potential
early stage companies to provide hands-on business guidance, customized to
address specific business challenges. InNOVAcorp focuses on companies with
innovative proprietary technology and/or service offerings.




For further information:

For further information: Jennifer Batten, Marketing & Communications,
InNOVAcorp, (902) 424-8670 ext. 1197, (902) 225-7284 (cell),
jbatten@innovacorp.ca; Shelley Hessian, I-3 Project Manager, InNOVAcorp, (902)
424-8670 ext. 1123, (902) 220-2031 (cell), shessian@innovacorp.ca

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